Romano-British settlement, 150m ENE of Hawkhirst scout camp
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1010044
Date first listed: 01-Nov-1963
Date of most recent amendment: 02-Nov-1994
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: NY 66080 89405
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.
Despite afforestation of the defences, the settlement at Hawkhirst scout camp retains significant archaeological deposits. The importance of the monument is enhanced by the survival of similar settlements in the area, taken together they will contribute to any study of the settlement pattern during the late prehistoric and Romano-British period.
The monument includes the remains of a settlement of Romano-British date,
situated on what is now the edge of Kielder Reservoir, but was formerly a
north east facing slope with extensive views of the now flooded North Tyne
valley. The enclosure, sub rectangular in shape, measures a maximum of 95m
east to west by 100m north to south. It is surrounded by a broad ditch up to
6m wide and a maximum of 1.2m deep below the slight traces of an inner
rampart, now spread to 5m wide and standing to a height of 0.6m. Outside the
ditch there are in places the surviving remains of an outer rampart of stone
and earth 0.4m to 0.6m high and on average 4m wide. It is thought there are
opposing entrances in the east and west walls of the enclosure. Within the
enclosure a large shallow depression situated near the east entrance is
considered to represent the site of a sunken yard and towards the centre of
the enclosure slight traces of arcs of walling may represent the foundations
of at least one circular stone-founded house.
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: 25129
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
MacLaughlan, H, Additional Notes on Roman Roads in Northumberland, (1867), 67
Hogg, A H A, 'Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 4 ser 11' in Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 4 ser 11, (1947), 168
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana 4 ser 38' in Rectlinear Settlements of the Roman Period in Northumberland, (1960), 36
NY 68 NE 02,
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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing