Romano-British settlement and regular aggregate field system north of Yanwath Wood


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


© Crown Copyright and database right 2021. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2021. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1008238.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 27-Nov-2021 at 18:44:06.


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

Eden (District Authority)
Yanwath and Eamont Bridge
National Grid Reference:
NY 52114 25984

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 north of Yanwath Wood survives well and is a rare example of a site in a lowland situation which retains upstanding earthworks. The remains preserve considerable detail of the layout of the site, and will facilitate further study of Romano-British settlement patterns in the area. Additionally an associated field system is clearly visible on aerial photographs and has been confirmed by limited excavation. Such field systems provide important evidence of a carefully planned reorganisation of landscape and definition of landholding. Their articulation with other contemporary archaeological features, such as land boundaries, settlements, farmsteads and enclosures, makes them worthy of protection.


The monument includes a Romano-British settlement and its associated regular aggregate field system. It is located on the west side of the River Lowther; the settlement occupies the eastern end of a plateau overlooking the river floodplain. Its associated field system extends to the east down the hillslope towards the river. The settlement includes upstanding earthworks whereas the field system has been identified from cropmarks visible on aerial photographs which clearly show infilled ditches, buried walls and trackways. The settlement includes a stone and earth enclosure bank up to 7m wide and 1m high which encloses a roughly oval area measuring approximately 75m by 73m. The enclosure is subdivided into at least eight sub-rectangular enclosures or stock pens and also includes a low mound approximately 4m in diameter interpreted as a possible hut platform. There are four entrances into the enclosure; one on the north-west side and three at the east side. The associated field system visible in aerial photographs includes three large sub-rectangular fields to the east of the settlement enclosure; a small rectangular field, itself containing a sub-rectangular enclosure with a south-facing entrance, is located at the eastern end of the southernmost of the large fields. Three lengths of trackway and numerous other linear features lying to the north, south and east of the settlement enclosure have also been identified on the aerial photographs and have been interpreted as field boundaries. In the late 1970's limited excavation of some of the features identified from aerial photographs confirmed the existence of a trackway to the east of the settlement and running between the central and northern of the large sub-rectangular fields. On the southern side of the enclosure excavation through a bank noted by survey in 1936, but since levelled by agricultural operations, found the base of a stone wall and ditch interpreted as the south-western boundary of the field system. Within the ditch sherds of samian pottery were found and suggest that it became silted up at the end of the second century AD. To the north of the enclosure excavation through another bank noted by the survey found traces of a more substantial wall interpreted as forming the north-western boundary of the field system. All modern field boundaries, telegraph poles, gateposts, a small brick and concrete reservoir, a water trough, and the surface of a farmtrack are all excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath all these features, is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 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 J, 'Rome and the Brigantes. The Impact of Rome on Northern England' in Native Settlements West of the Pennines, (1980), 41-8
Higham, N J, 'Rome and the Brigantes. The Impact of Rome on Northern England' in Native Settlements West of the Pennines, (1980), 45
Higham, N J, 'Rome and the Brigantes. The Impact of Rome on Northern England' in Native Settlements West of the Pennines, (1980), 41-8
Higham, N J, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in A Romano-British Farm Site and Field System at Yanwath Wood, (1983), 49-58
Higham, N J, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in A Romano-British Farm Site and Field System at Yanwath Wood, (1983), 49-58
AP's cont, 37A: 92,22-4: 149,21-3,27, AP No's STJ BF 6: MU CS 152,26-29,31-3: 82,6,21: MU CS 93,34-5A,,
AP's cont, 37A: 92,22-4: 149,21-3,27, AP No's STJ BF 6: MU CS 152,26-29,31-3: 82,6,21: MU CS 93,34-5A,,
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

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].