Kingston Down Romano-British farm
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1002728
Date first listed: 24-Jan-1951
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Purbeck (District Authority)
Parish: Corfe Castle
National Grid Reference: SY 95724 78011
Two Romano-British farmsteads with associated field systems on Kingston Down.
Reasons for Designation
Romano-British farmsteads are small agricultural units comprising groups of up to four circular or rectangular houses along with associated structures which may include wells, storage pits, corn-drying ovens and granary stores. These were sometimes constructed within a yard surrounded by a rectangular or curvilinear enclosure, and associated field systems, trackways and cemeteries may be located nearby. Often situated on marginal agricultural land and found throughout the British Isles, they date to the period of Roman occupation (c. AD 43-450). Romano-British farmsteads are generally regarded as low status settlements, with the members of one family or small kinship group pursuing a mixed farming economy. Excavation at these sites has shown a marked continuity with later prehistoric settlements. There is little evidence of personal wealth and a limited uptake of the Romanised way of life. Romano-British farmsteads occur throughout southern England, but cluster on the chalk downland of Wessex, Sussex and Kent. They are the most representative form of rural settlement during the Roman period.
The two Romano-British farmsteads with associated field systems on Kingston Down survive well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, development, longevity, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 17 December 2015. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
The monument includes two Romano-British settlements with their associated field systems situated on the summit of a prominent coastal plateau with steeply sloping sides overlooking the sea at Chapman’s Pool and Egmont Point and the valley of Hill Bottom. The farmsteads survive as two discrete clusters of dwellings within an extensive series of fields defined by stony banks and lynchets and including contemporary tracks. At least thirteen of the fields are apparently undisturbed and are relatively small in size and almost square in plan. The northern settlement contains at least two circular depressions of up to 8m in diameter thought to represent house platforms and from this area tracks and fields emanate. Chance finds of Late Iron Age or Romano-British sherds have been made. The southern settlement contains at least two house platforms one of which is embanked with an entrance to the east, these are of similar size to those of the northern settlement and also appear as the focus for tracks and fields. A stray find of the lower part of an Iron Age rotary quern was recovered from the area in 1971.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: DO 158
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape Monument Nos:-456501, 456502 and 456431
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing