Romano-British farmstead 330m west of Rattenraw Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008994

Date first listed: 05-Sep-1994


Ordnance survey map of Romano-British farmstead 330m west of Rattenraw Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Dec-2018 at 19:30:18.


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

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Rochester


National Grid Reference: NY 84712 95129


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 at Rattenraw is very 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 south facing slope immediately above the Rattenraw Burn. The farmstead, sub-rectangular in shape, measures 40m north west to south east by 30m north east to south west within a bank of stone and earth 4m-5m wide and a maximum of 1.5m deep. There is an entrance 2m wide in the south east side of the enclosure. Within the enclosure, two sunken yards placed either side of the entrance, are visible as large rectangular depressions. Facing onto these yards, at the rear of the enclosure, there are three stone-founded houses, two are 6m in diameter while the third, and largest, is 8m in diameter; all have south east facing entrances. Some 5m outside the enclosure to the east there are the remains of up to four stone-founded huts, each with a diameter ranging from 6m to 9m and an entrance in the south east side. An irregularly shaped enclosure 24m by 20m is situated at the eastern end of this small complex of external houses. Traces of a rectangular enclosure containing all of these external features have been identified as a low earthen bank with an entrance through its south wall. These features are considered to be contemporary with the main use of the settlement and indicate that the settlement expanded to the east.

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: 25082

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Charlton, D B, Day, J C, In Search of Early Man in the North38
Charlton, D B, Day, J C, 'Archaeologia Aeliana 5 ser 6' in Excavation and Field Survey in Upper Redesdale, (1977), 83 & 85
NY 89 NW 12,

End of official listing