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Bran's Walls Romano-British enclosed settlements, 400m SSE of Kielder Head

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: Bran's Walls Romano-British enclosed settlements, 400m SSE of Kielder Head

List entry Number: 1009670


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


District: Northumberland

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Kielder

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 20-Jun-1973

Date of most recent amendment: 13-Dec-1994

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 25110

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 two settlements at Bran's Walls are very well preserved and retain significant archaeological deposits. There are few surviving examples of this form of Romano-British settlement in this area, and they will contribute to our knowledge and understanding of settlement and activity at this time.


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


The monument includes the remains of two settlements of Romano-British date, situated on a north west facing slope overlooking the valley of the Kielder Burn. The most northerly settlement is roughly oval in shape and measures a maximum of 28m north west to south east by 58m north east to south west, within a bank of stone and earth varying between 3m to 5m wide and standing to a maximum height of 1.2m above the exterior ground level. The enclosure is subdivided at its northern end into two compartments by a broad earthen bank. There are the remains of at least eight stone-founded circular houses with diameters of between 5m to 10m within the enclosure, two of which have been built into the broad dividing wall. Three of the other circular houses are situated in the south eastern corner of the enclosure upon a raised platform. There are two well defined entrances in the easten side of the enclosure, towards the northern end. The second settlement, situated 20m south of the first is long, narrow and irregularly shaped and has been scooped into the hillslope on the eastern side. It measures a maximum of 68m north to south by 40m east to west externally and is bounded on the west side by a substantial bank of stone and earth 5m wide and standing to a maximum height of 1m. There is an entrance through the north and the south walls of the enclosures. Within the enclosure there are the remains of at least six stone-founded circular houses ranging in diameter from 6m to 10m. It is considered that more than one phase is represented by the remains at this monument.

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
MacLaughlan, H, Additional Notes on Roman Roads in Northumberland, (1867), 64
MacLaughlan, H, Additional Notes on Roman Roads in Northumberland, (1867), 64
Hogg, A H A, 'Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 3 ser 10' in A New List of the Native Sites in Northumberland, (1947), 166
Hogg, A H A, 'Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 3 ser 10' in A New List of the Native Sites in Northumberland, (1947), 166
Spain, G R B, 'Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 3 ser 10' in Bran's Walls Camp, Kielder Burn, Northumberland, (1921), 82-84
NY 69 NE 02,

National Grid Reference: NY 66750 97640


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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1009670 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 16-Aug-2018 at 07:25:10.

End of official listing