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 farms. They are usually of stone construction, and the standard layout included one or more stone round-houses situated towards the rear of the enclosure, facing the single entranceway. These homesteads were being constructed and used by non-Roman natives throughout the period of the Roman occupation but their origins lie in settlement forms developed before the arrival of the Romans. They are common throughout the uplands where they frequently survive as well-preserved earthworks. All examples which survive substantially intact will normally be identified as nationally important. Their importance is enhanced by the survival of associated field systems and extensive examples also preserve earlier features dating from the Bronze and Iron Ages such as field systems, hut circles and cairns.
The prehistoric settlement, funerary and agricultural remains south of Monkridge Bridge are well preserved and retain significant archaeological deposits. The remains are extensive and taken together they will provide important insight into the character and development of settlement and subsistence during the prehistoric and Romano-British periods.
The monument includes the remains of several Romano-British enclosed settlements and a round cairn, group of clearance cairns and field systems of Prehistoric date, situated on the north west facing slope of Wether Hill. The area is bisected by a steep-sided stream running north west to south east and the site overlooks the confluence of Elsdon Burn and the River Rede to the north west. Situated on the left side of the stream is an irregularly-shaped enclosure (NY9093 9072) which is 'scooped' into the hillslope on the south east side and is surrounded by an earth and stone bank. The interior is subdivided into two compartments by a series of banks, one of which contains a hut circle measuring about 7m in diameter. Approximately 100m north east of this enclosure, on the other side of the stream, there is another irregularly-shaped enclosure (NY9103 9074) surrounded by an intermittent earth and stone bank. Set into the bank are at least six hut circles with diameters ranging from 4m to 6.5m and with entrances facing into the interior of the enclosure. A seventh hut circle is located just outside of the enclosure to the north east and has a diameter of 6.5m. About 36m south east of this second enclosure lies a small circular enclosure (NY9105 9071) with single hut circles set into its surrounding wall on its north west and south east sides. To the south east of the small enclosure are two further hut circles and a 2m wide hollow way, which leads down slope towards the valley bottom. The enclosures are surrounded, especially to the south and north east, by the remains of a prehistoric field system visible as low earth and stone banks and occasional clearance cairns. To the north east of the first group of enclosures there is a second group consisting of two conjoining rectangular enclosures (NY9116 9083), oriented north west to south east. The enclosures are surrounded by earth and stone banks and the south east enclosure contains at least three hut circles. To the south east of the rectangular enclosures is a round cairn (NY9121 9076) with a diameter of 5m standing to a maximum height of 0.5m. To the north east lies a group of prehistoric field clearance cairns (NY9129 9093).
PastScape Monument No:- 19650 (enclosures and field system), 19675 (rectangular enclosures), 19683 (round cairn), 19657 (clearance cairns)
NMR:- NY99SW1 (enclosures and field system), NY99SW6 (rectangular enclosures), NY99SW8 (round cairn), NY99SW2 (clearance cairns)
Northumberland HER:- 9735