Ewe Close Romano-British enclosed and unenclosed stone hut circle settlements and associated field system, medieval farmstead and Wicker Street Roman road


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 60961 13452

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.

Ewe Close is the best preserved Romano-British native settlement in north-west England. Its earthworks survive well and preserve much detail of the layout of the settlement. It is one of a group of similar settlements at the head of the Lyvennet valley and will contribute to the study of Romano-British settlement patterns in the north.


The monument includes Ewe Close Romano-British enclosed and unenclosed stone hut circle settlements and associated field system, a medieval farmstead, and a length of Wicker Street Roman road. The Romano-British native settlement is one of a number located around the head of the Lyvennet valley and is situated on a gently graded north-east facing hillside above Dalebanks Beck. It includes a stone-walled enclosure measuring c.70m square with rounded angles and a gate almost centrally placed in the south side. In the centre of the enclosure is a large circular stone hut with an internal diameter of 15.2m. Close by is a small hut containing a furnace, and clustered around the gateway are 9 other small huts. There is a well at the eastern side of the enclosure and a rectangular stockpen at the western side. The eastern side of the enclosure is sub-divided into two smaller enclosures. East of the main enclosure are a series of sub-rectangular fields, some containing stockpens, whilst to the south there is a group of nearly a dozen circular stone huts and a stockpen. To the west is part of Wicker Street, the Roman road linking forts at Low Borrow Bridge and Brougham. It measures 7.6m wide at this point. Overlying part of the sub-rectangular field system and some of the unenclosed stone hut circles is a medieval farmstead that includes a rectangular stone building, a paved farmyard or stockpen, and a small outbuilding. A series of banks associated with the medieval farmstead exist around the site whilst to the south are foundations of two rectangular structures constructed against the remains of a stone boundary wall. Limited excavation of the monument occured in 1907/8. Pottery included 2nd- late 3rd/early 4th century wares. During this period the site lay within an area occupied by the Carvetii tribe. All modern field boundaries are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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 Archaeologia Cambrensis, , Vol. CXXXII, (1983), 4
Alcock, L, 'Archaeologia Cambrensis' in Gwyr Y Gogledd, (1983), 4
Alcock, L, 'Archaeologia Cambrensis' in Gwyr Y Gogledd, (1983), 4
Collingwood, R G, 'Trans Cumb & West Antiq & Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Prehistoric Settlements in Crosby Ravensworth, (1933), 201-7
Collingwood, R G, 'Trans Cumb & West Antiq & Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Prehistoric Settlements in Crosby Ravensworth, (1933), 201-7
Collingwood, W G, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser., , Vol. IX, (1909), 296-309
Collingwood, W G, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc New Ser' in Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc New Ser, , Vol. IX, (1909), 296-309
Collingwood, W G, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc New Ser' in , , Vol. IX, (), 296-309
Ross, P, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc New Ser' in The Roman Road North Of Low Borrow Bridge To Brougham Castle, , Vol. XX, (1920), 7-8
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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