Romano-British settlement, 490m SSE of Apperley Dene


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
Broomley and Stocksfield
National Grid Reference:
NZ 05558 58017

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. In many areas they were of stone construction, although in the coastal lowlands timber-built variants were also common. In much of Northumberland, especially in the Cheviots, the enclosures were curvilinear in form. Further south a rectangular form was more common. 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. At some sites the settlement appears to have grown, often with houses spilling out of the main enclosure and clustered around it. At these sites up to 30 houses may be found. In the Cumbrian uplands the settlements were of less regimented form and unenclosed clusters of houses of broadly contemporary date are also known. 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. In lowland coastal areas they were also originally common, although there they can frequently only be located through aerial photography. All homestead sites which survive substantially intact will normally be identified as nationally important. The Romano-British settlement SSE of Apperley Dene is reasonably well preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits relating to its construction, use and abandonment. Its unusual double ditched form enhances the significance of the monument, as does it close association with the Roman Road. This monument will add to our knowledge and understanding of native settlement during the Romano-British period.


The monument includes the remains of a Romano-British settlement, situated near the summit of the low lying Castle Hill and adjacent to the Roman Road, Dere Street. The enclosure is rectilinear in shape and measures approximately 35m by 33m, within the low earthworks of two ditches. There is a causewayed entrance across the ditches in the north east side. The monument was partially excavated in 1951 and 1974-5 which revealed that the enclosure had two structural phases and was of unusual form. The first phase dates to the 2nd century AD and comprised a rectilinear double-ditched enclosure with a timber gateway and at least one timber round house. The second phase involved the re-occupation of the site in the 3rd century AD and the construction of several stone structures. The second phase enclosure was demolished in the mid-4th century AD and the site was not re-occupied after 370AD. A boundary which crosses the farmstead is excluded from the monument although the ground beneath this feature is included.

SOURCES PastScape Monument No:- 20275 NMR:- NZ05NE5 Northumberland HER:- 9839


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
ND 314
Legacy System:


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

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