Millrigg Romano-British enclosed hut circle settlement


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008898

Date first listed: 30-Mar-1925

Date of most recent amendment: 19-Aug-1994


Ordnance survey map of Millrigg Romano-British enclosed hut circle settlement
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cumbria

District: South Lakeland (District Authority)

Parish: Kentmere

National Park: LAKE DISTRICT

National Grid Reference: NY 46075 02508


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.

Millrigg Romano-British enclosed hut circle settlement survives well and remains largely unencumbered by modern development. Limited antiquarian investigation of one of the hut circles located a hearth and a second century AD artefact, and further environmental and artefactual evidence will exist within the site. Additionally the monument preserves considerable detail of the layout of the site and will facilitate further study of the Romano-British settlement patterns of the area.


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


The monument includes Millrigg Romano-British enclosed hut circle settlement located upon a small hillside terrace on the eastern side of the Kentmere valley. The settlement is of irregular oval shape and includes an enclosure bank or wall 2m-3m thick and up to 1m high which is edged with large stones and has an infilling of small rubble. There are four entrances; two of which on the north east and south east sides have been subsequently blocked, while those on the north and west sides remain open. Adjacent to the south east entrance the enclosure wall turns inwards around the foot of a small mound which is thought to have been an additional defensive feature guarding the gateway. This entrance opens onto a passageway giving access into the enclosure's interior. At the northern entrance the enclosure wall turns outward for a short distance, while internally there are traces of another passageway giving access into the interior. At the western entrance the enclosure wall has traces of an internal return or projection. Within the enclosure there is a roughly pentagonal central enclosure with maximum internal dimensions of approximately 14m by 12m. Elsewhere within the main enclosure there are the foundations of seven hut circles having internal diameters ranging between c.5.5m-8m. At a later date a c.27m long by 1.3m high length of stone wall or bank was constructed overlying part of the south east side of the enclosure wall. Limited antiquarian excavation within one of the hut circles located a hearth and part of an armlet of second century AD date. A modern drystone wall crossing the monument is excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath this feature 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: 23701

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
'Trans Cumb & West Antiq & Arch Soc. New Ser.' in , , Vol. 1, (1900), 175
RCHME, Westmorland, (1936)
SMR No. 1915, Cumbria SMR, Millrigg British Settlement, Kentmere, (1985)

End of official listing