Settlement WSW of Ell's Knowe


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009039

Date first listed: 12-Apr-1994


Ordnance survey map of Settlement WSW of Ell's Knowe
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This copy shows the entry on 13-Nov-2018 at 15:50:00.


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

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Kirknewton


National Grid Reference: NT 87026 27728


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.

This settlement south west of Ell's Knowe is a good example of a Roman period native farmstead. It is in good condition and is relatively intact. Its proximity to a number of other broadly contemporary settlements demonstrates well the organsition and development of land use during this period.


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


The monument includes a Roman period native settlement situated on a south west facing slope. The oval enclosure has been scooped into the uphill slope to create a level platform suitable for buildings and is enclosed by a single bank of earth and stones. An additional bank runs from the external south west side which curves to form a partially enclosed space outside the main enclosure. The main enclosure bank contains an area measuring 18.2m by 20m. The bank survives to a maximum height of 1m. The additional bank on the south west side extends 6.9m from the main enclosure. The entrance into the enclosure is orientated north-west. A hut circle is located on the south side of the enclosure and the enclosure bank appears to have changed direction slightly to accommodate it. This may indicate that the enclosure bank is later than the hut circle. The hut circle survives to a height of 55cm and measures 8.8m in diameter north-south and 8.2m in diameter east-west. The entrance faces into the enclosure. The whole monument including the additional bank on the south west side and the hut circle measures 23.5m north-south and 26m east-west.

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: 24581

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing