Enclosed settlements, hut circles and field systems between White Law and Yeavering Bell.
Reasons for Designation
In Cumbria and Northumberland several distinctive types of native settlements dating to the Roman period have been identified. The majority were small, non- defensive, enclosed homesteads or farms and in many areas they were of stone construction. In much of Northumberland, especially in the Cheviots, the enclosures were curvilinear in form. Elsewhere, especially near the Scottish border, another type occurs where the settlement enclosure was `scooped' into the hillslope. Frequently the enclosures reveal a regularity and similarity of internal layout. The standard layout included one or more stone round-houses situated towards the rear of the enclosure, facing the single entranceway. In front of the houses were pathways and small enclosed yards. Homesteads normally had only one or two houses, but larger enclosures could contain as many as six. These homesteads were being constructed and used by non-Roman natives throughout the period of the Roman occupation. Their origins lie in settlement forms developed before the arrival of the Romans. These homesteads are common throughout the uplands where they frequently survive as well-preserved earthworks. All homestead sites which survive substantially intact will normally be identified as nationally important.
The enclosed settlements, hut circles and field systems between White Law and Yeavering Bell are well-preserved and represent an extensive area of Iron Age/Romano-British settlement and its associated field systems. The significance of the monument is increased by being surrounding by broadly contemporary settlement enclosures, many of which are separately scheduled, which together provide important insight into the character and development of settlement and subsistence during the Iron Age and Romano-British periods.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 2 June 2016. This 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 the remains of a number of enclosed settlements of Iron Age/Romano-British date associated with both enclosed and unenclosed hut circles and a series of field systems, situated on a north facing slope between Yeavering Bell and White Law. The spread of settlement remains stretches over an area of 28.5ha. with the most northerly settlement enclosure (at NT9380 2936) measuring approximately 28m north west-south east by 26m transversely. The enclosure is surrounded by a low stone wall and is scooped into the hillside on its south side. To the south west is an oval enclosure (at NT9366 2922) scooped into the hillside, measuring about 70m by 44m, and surrounded by a tumbled stone wall interrupted by an entrance on the north east side. The enclosure was excavated in the 19th century and found to contain hut circles and a small quantity of Iron Age/Romano-British artefacts. To the east of this is another enclosure (at NT9390 2922), also known as the Old Sheepfold Settlement, which is sub-circular in plan and surrounded by tumbled stone walls with several hut circles in the interior and with the whole being overlaid by a post-medieval sheepfold. To the south are two conjoined circular enclosures (centred at NT9380 2896) each with a diameter of about 11m surrounded by low stone walls approximately 1m thick and containing a large number of facing stones. To the north of these two conjoined enclosures is a D-shaped enclosure surrounded by a low stony bank which is understood to be a contemporary stock enclosure. The land between the settlement enclosures contains a number of unenclosed hut circles and is covered in the remains of prehistoric field systems defined by field boundaries and low banks which divide the area into irregular plots. Further settlement remains lie across both White Law and Yeavering Bell, some of which are protected as separate scheduled monuments.