Romano-British farmstead, 1km north-west of Grottington Farm
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1011096
Date first listed: 04-Apr-1951
Date of most recent amendment: 09-Sep-1993
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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 96852 70548
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 the denuded state of parts of the site north of Grottington it survives reasonably well. It is one of a group of native prehistoric settlements in the vicinity of Hadrian's Wall and will contribute to study of the wider settlement pattern at this time.
The monument includes a farmstead of Romano-British date situated on the edge
of Redhouse Crag. The farmstead is sub-rectangular in shape and is enclosed by
a slight ditch and an outer bank, best preserved on the eastern side. The
farmstead measures a maximum of 65m east to west by 60m north-south within the
ditch which is 4m wide and 0.5m deep. Outside of the ditch the stone and earth
rampart is 3.5m wide and stands to a maximum height of 1m. There is also a low
inner bank on the eastern side 2m wide. Within the enclosure at the south-west
corner, a roughly circular area of stones may represent the foundations of a
stone built prehistoric house. A later post medieval field boundary runs
across the farmstead at its northern end. The stone wall which crosses the
farmstead towards the southern end is excluded from the scheduling but the
ground beneath it is included.
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: 20993
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana 4 ser 43' in Additional Rectilinear Settlements in Northumberland, (1963), 63
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