Settlement W of Birkby
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Allerdale (District Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- NY 05477 37650
Settlement enclosure, 365m WNW of Orchard House.
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 settlement enclosure 365m WNW of Orchard House is preserved as a cropmark and partially as an earthwork. The monument will contain archaeological deposits relating to its construction, use and abandonment and environmental deposits relating to the use of the surrounding landscape. The monument provides insight into the character of settlement and subsistence during the Romano-British period.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 31 March 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 settlement enclosure of Romano-British date, situated on a ridge with views in all directions. The enclosure, which is preserved as a cropmark and partial earthwork, is sub-rectangular in plan measuring approximately 52m by 63m and is surrounded by a single ditch with an entrance on its north east side. Within the interior of the enclosure is at least one house platform and to the east is an annexe to the main enclosure.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- CU 531
- Legacy System:
- RSM - OCN
PastScape Monument No:- 8983
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