Romano-British farmstead, 500m north of Watergate

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008990

Date first listed: 13-Oct-1994

Map

Ordnance survey map of Romano-British farmstead, 500m north of Watergate
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Wark

National Park: NORTHUMBERLAND

National Grid Reference: NY 81088 79949

Summary

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 500m north of Watergate is reasonably 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.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the remains of a farmstead of Romano-British date situated on a north east facing slope below the summit of Leek Hill. The farmstead, sub-rectangular in shape, measures 33m east to west by a maximum of 32m north to south within an earthen bank on average 4m wide and standing 0.5m high above the interior of the settlement. Surrounding the bank there is a ditch 5m wide and 0.5m deep below the inner bank; the ditch has been infilled on all sides except the south, where it is well-preserved. Within the enclosure, two oval depressions at the eastern end are thought to be the remains of two sunken yards. At the western end of the enclosure, fronting onto the most northerly yard, there is a circular stone-founded house 8m in diameter and a second circular house is visible fronting onto the second scooped yard.

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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 25077

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
MacLaughlan, H, Additional Notes on Roman Roads in Northumberland, (1867), 76-7
Hogg, A H A, 'Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 4 ser 11' in Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 4 ser 11, (1946), 173
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana 4 ser 38' in Rectlinear Settlements of the Roman Period in Northumberland, (1960), 36

End of official listing