Medieval farmstead, 450m north east of Berry Hills


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


© 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 - 1008436.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 23-Jul-2021 at 16:09:34.


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

Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
NY 96911 83405, NY 97063 83469

Reasons for Designation

Farmsteads, normally occupied by only one or two families and comprising small groups of buildings with attached yards, gardens and enclosures, were a characteristic feature of the medieval rural landscape. They occur throughout the country, the intensity of their distribution determined by local topography and the nature of the agricultural system prevalent within the region. In some areas of dispersed settlement they were the predominant settlement form; elsewhere they existed alongside, or were components of, more nucleated settlement patterns. The sites of many farmsteads have been occupied down to the present day but others were abandoned as a result of, for example, declining economic viability, enclosure or emparkment, or epidemics like the Black Death. In the northern border areas, recurring cross-border raids and military activities also disrupted agricultural life and led to abandonments. Farmsteads are a common and long-lived monument type; the archaeological deposits on those which were abandoned are often well-preserved and provide important information on regional and national settlement patterns and farming economies, and on changes in these through time.

The farmstead north east of Berry Hills is very well preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits. It is one of a variety of medieval settlement types in the area and will add to our understanding and knowledge of medieval rural settlement.


The monument includes the remains of a farmstead of medieval date situated on the end of a promontory formed by the confluence of the Ferneyrigg Burn and the River Wansbeck. It is divided into two separate areas. The farmstead is visible as two sub-rectangular contiguous enclosures and a third, irregularly shaped enclosure. All are very well preserved. The most easterly enclosure measures a maximum of 54m by 53m within a strong ditch 6m wide; outside the ditch there is a counter-scarp bank standing to a height of 1.5m above the botton of the ditch, and best preserved on the northern and western side. The enclosure is divided internally by a wall, 0.5m high, running north-south towards the eastern end of the enclosure. There is a circular hollow in the south east corner of the enclosure. This enclosure is contiguous with the second sub-rectangular enclosure which measures 42m by 50m within a well preserved V shaped ditch on average 8m wide and 2m deep below the top of an internal and an external bank 6m and 9m wide respectively. The enclosure is divided internally by a wall, 4m wide and 1m high, running east-west. There is a 20m square platform in the north east corner of this enclosure; this is interpreted as the platform for a medieval dwelling. The third enclosure is situated 50m west of the second; it is irregularly shaped and measures 60m east west by 55m north south. It is bounded by a slight bank and a ditch 8m- 10m wide on the south, east and western sides. Within the enclosure there is a rectangular platform in the south west corner 10m by 12m which is thought to represent the remains of a building platform.

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
Hogg, A H A, 'Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 4 ser 11' in A New List of the Native Sites of Northumberland, (1946), 172
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana 4 ser 38' in Rectlinear Settlements of the Roman Period in Northumberland, (1960), 36
NY 98 SE 17,


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].