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Romano-British farmstead and earlier palisaded settlement, 800m SSE of Bridge House

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Romano-British farmstead and earlier palisaded settlement, 800m SSE of Bridge House

List entry Number: 1008984


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.


District: Northumberland

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Wark


Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 19-Jan-1970

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Oct-1994

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 25067

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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 farmstead near Bridge House is well-preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits. It is one of a group of similar Romano-British settlements in the area and will contribute to any study of the settlement pattern at this time.


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


The monument includes the remains of a farmstead of Romano-British date situated on a gentle east facing slope. The farmstead, sub-rectangular in shape, measures 60m east to west by 44m north to south within a broad stone wall, on average 3m wide, standing to a maximum height of 0.5m above the exterior ground level. A stream runs through the eastern side of the enclosure which has masked the stone perimeter wall and an entrance at this point. Within the south east corner of the enclosure a large scooped yard is visible as a sub-circular depression. Immediately behind the yard, to the north and west, there are the remains of at least five circular stone houses 7m-8m in diameter, linked by low stone walls. Limited excavation of the farmstead in 1957 by Professor George Jobey revealed that the stone huts contained hearths and small stone lined storage pits as well as internal stone benches. Other finds included pieces of quernstone used for the grinding of corn, pieces of native pottery and nails used in roof construction. Part of a glass pendant and a glass bead were also discovered. All of these artefacts are thought to be of first or second century date. Limited excavation outside the farmstead uncovered a sixth stone house which indicates that the settlement expanded outside the enclosure walls. It is considered that further remains survive in this area. The excavations also revealed that before the construction of the farmstead there had been earlier activity on the site; a stone packed palisade trench with irregularly placed post holes was discovered running underneath the south east wall of the later settlement. This has been interpreted as evidence of an earlier timber settlement. Partial excavations in 1972-3 confirmed the presence of a timber palisade and also revealed the existence of a timber round house beneath a later stone house. The nature and date of the stone wall which joins the farmstead at its south east corner is uncertain but it is thought that it has been placed to take account of the external hut circle at this point and is likely to be a later field wall.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Charlton, D B, Day, J C, 'Archaeologia Aeliana 5 ser 2' in Bridge House Re-examined, (1974), 33-40
Charlton, D B, Day, J C, 'Archaeologia Aeliana 5 ser 2' in Bridge House Re-examined, (1974), 33-40
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana 4 ser 38' in Rectlinear Settlements of the Roman Period in Northumberland, (1960), 1-35
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana 4 ser 38' in Rectlinear Settlements of the Roman Period in Northumberland, (1960), 1-35

National Grid Reference: NY 82483 78964


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This copy shows the entry on 18-Aug-2018 at 02:30:51.

End of official listing