Pattenshiel Knowe Iron Age/Romano-British farmstead


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008890

Date first listed: 23-Aug-1978

Date of most recent amendment: 15-Feb-1993


Ordnance survey map of Pattenshiel Knowe Iron Age/Romano-British farmstead
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Hepple


National Grid Reference: NY 95563 98644


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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 settlement at Pattenshiel Knowe survives in a reasonably good state of preservation and is a good example of its type. Despite some damage from ploughing and military digging it retains significant archaeological remains. Evidence relating to the economy of a small but typical farm in Iron Age/Romano British times will be contained within and beneath its archaeological deposits.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a farmstead of Iron Age/Romano British date situated on a gentle east-facing slope in an area of open heather moorland. The settlement, sub-circular in shape, measures 45m south-west to north-east by 4Om north-west to south-east within a stone bank 2m wide and up to O.5m in height. The position of the entrance is difficult to ascertain as the usual position of entry, in the south-eastern area of the bank, is somewhat denuded. There are clear traces of internal occupation in the form of the foundations of at least three sub-circular stone structures; the largest in the south-east corner of the settlement measures 8m in diameter, within a bank 1m across, and has an entrance to the north-east. A smaller structure lies 3m to its west and a third structure lies in the north-western area of the settlement. The modern stone field wall which clips the north-western side of the enclosure 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.


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

Legacy System number: 20907

Legacy System: RSM


No. 2759,
Pagination 6, Charlton, D B & Day, J C, No. 5 plan 3 Pattenshiel Knowe, An archaeological survey of the MOD training area, North'd, (1977)

End of official listing