Romano-British settlement, 300m north of The Heugh


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Romano-British settlement, 300m north of The Heugh
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
NY 87181 80717

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 settlement 300m north of The Heugh is 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.


The monument includes the remains of a settlement of Romano-British date, situated above the confluence of two deeply incised streams on the left bank of the River North Tyne. The settlement, sub-rectangular in shape, measures a maximum of 62m east to west by 86m north to south within two ramparts of stone and earth and a medial ditch. The surrounding ditch, very well defined for most of its circuit, is on average 5m wide and a maximum of 1.8m deep. Within the ditch there is an inner rampart, now only visible in places and best preserved on the south side where it is constructed of large blocks of stone. Here, it is 3m wide and stands to a height of 1.3m. Outside the ditch there are traces of a second rampart best preserved on the eastern side of the enclosure. There is an entrance in the centre of the eastern wall from where traces of two parallel banks 0.2m high lead into the centre of the enclosure. Situated at the centre of the enclosure there is one of at least six stone-founded circular houses; it is 13m in diameter and stands to 0.5m high. The remainder of the houses, all but one of which are situated in the southern half of the enclosure, are constructed of stone and earth walls standing to 0.5m high and measure between 3m and 12m in diameter. One of the houses was partially excavated in the 1870s when the interior was found to have a stone flagged floor and a fireplace formed of seven stone slabs set on edge with a hearth stone 70cm by 40cm.

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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Hogg, A H A, 'Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 4 ser 11' in A New List of the Native Sites of Northumberland, (1946), 173
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana 4 ser 38' in Rectilinear Sites of the Roman Period in Northumberland, (1961)
Rome-Hall, G R, 'Archaeologia 45' in Archaeologia 45, (1880), 367
NY 88 SE 01,


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

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