Romano-British enclosed stone hut circle settlement and Romano-British farmstead north west of Tongue House Barn.


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008899

Date first listed: 31-Jul-1973

Date of most recent amendment: 23-Sep-1994


Ordnance survey map of Romano-British enclosed stone hut circle settlement and Romano-British farmstead north west of Tongue House Barn.
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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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 45152 06890


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 Romano-British enclosed stone hut circle settlement and the Romano-British farmstead north west of Tongue House Barn survive reasonably well, remain unencumbered by modern development, and preserve considerable detail of the layout of the site. The monument is a good example of a small Romano-British native settlement and farmstead in close proximity and will facilitate any 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 a Romano-British enclosed stone hut circle settlement and a Romano-British farmstead located on a natural glacial mound at the foot of Tongue Scar in the upper Kentmere valley a short distance north west of Tongue House Barn. The Romano-British enclosed stone hut circle settlement has a roughly circular enclosure wall up to 3m thick and 1m high which is edged with large stones and has an infilling of small rubble. The enclosure measures approximately 72m by 68m and has an entrance mid way along the western side where the enclosure wall turns inwards to form a passageway giving access into the interior. There is a second entrance on the north side and traces of a third on the east side. Within the enclosure there are the foundations of ten stone based circular huts having internal diameters ranging between c.4m-15m. Three of the hut circles within the north east quadrant of the enclosure and the hut circle near the centre of the enclosure are constructed on distinct platforms. The six largest hut circles are all freestanding and are thought to be dwellings; three smaller hut circles backing into the enclosure wall just north of the main entrance are thought to have been storage sheds or guard huts. To the south east and south west of the enclosure there are traces of two stone lined drains. About 27m to the north west of the stone hut circle settlement there is a small Romano-British farmstead which is joined to the larger site by a track. The farmstead has an sub-circular enclosure wall c.2m-5m thick and up to 1m high and an internal diameter of approximately 20m. It is entered at the south east side but there are also traces of a narrow entrance on the north east side. Within the enclosure are two hut circles with internal diameters of approximately 6m built into the north and north west sides of the enclosure wall. A modern drystone wall on the monument's south side 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: 23702

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Inglesfield, W M, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in A Second Settlement Found at Kentmere, (1972), 320-23
Inglesfield, W M, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in A Second Settlement Found at Kentmere, (1972), 321-3
SMR No. 1910, Cumbria SMR, Settlement W of Tongue House Barn, Kentmere, (1987)

End of official listing