Romano-British farmstead, 1.3km north east of Harwood Head
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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This copy shows the entry on 30-Sep-2020 at 16:56:13.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- NY 98450 90941
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.
Despite some damage from afforestation the farmstead north east of Harwood Head is well preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits. It is one of a group of broadly contemporary settlements in the area and will contribute to any study of the settlement pattern at this time.
The monument includes the remains of a farmstead of Romano-British date
situated on a gentle south eastern slope. The farmstead, sub-rectangular in
shape, measures 50m east-west by a maximum of 60m north-south within two banks
separated by a ditch. The inner bank is 4m wide and 0.5m high; the outer bank
is of similar proportions. The broad ditch is on average 6m wide and 1m deep
below the top of the banks on either side. An entrance 6m wide is, unusually
for this type of settlement, placed in the western wall rather than the
eastern wall of the enclosure, and is carried across the ditch on a causeway.
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 Native Settlements of Northumberland, (1947), 169
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana 4 ser 38' in Rectlinear Settlements of the Roman Period in Northumberland, (1960), 37
NY 99 SE 03,
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