Romano-British settlement and Romano-British farmstead north-east and east of Gilts


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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

Eden (District Authority)
Crosby Ravensworth
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
NY 62908 11833

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 monument is a good example of a small Romano-British native settlement and farmstead in close proximity. The earthworks survive well and preserve much detail of the layout of the site. It is one of a group of similar sites at the head of the Lyvennet valley and will contribute to the study of Romano-British settlement patterns in this area.


The monument includes a Romano-British settlement and a Romano-British farmstead located on a gently graded north facing slope east of Ravens Gill, 250m north-east and 220m east of Gilts respectively. It is one of a number of such sites surrounding the head of the Lyvennet valley. The Romano-British settlement includes turf covered stone walls up to 1m high that enclose a series of rectangular and irregularly-shaped fields containing smaller enclosures that were stock pens. There are faint indications of an entrance with an internal passage or trackway. A turf covered wall forms the eastern boundary of the site and continues on a north-easterly alignment for a further 33m. This wall also continues on a southerly alignment for a further 100m where it connects with the north-western side of the turf covered enclosure wall of a Romano-British farmstead. This farmstead includes an egg-shaped enclosure with the apex towards the south-east. There is an entrance at the mid-point of the south-western side that is flanked internally with traces of two or three circular huts. Towards the centre of the enclosure is a round house 8m in diameter and elsewhere are traces of walls forming small rectangular enclosures that were stock pens. The settlement and farmstead would have been in use during the Roman conquest of the north. They lie within an area occupied by the Carvetii tribe. A drystone wall adjacent to the north-eastern side of the farmstead and crossing the wall connecting the farmstead with the settlement is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Higham, N, Jones, B, The Carvetti, (1985), 132-3
Alcock, L, 'Archaeologia Cambrensis' in Gwyr Y Gogledd, , Vol. CXXXII, (1983), 4
Ebbatson,L., MPP Single Mon Class Descriptions - Romano-British Farmsteads, (1989)
RCHME, Westmorland, (1936)


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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