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


Ordnance survey map of Romano-British farmstead, 1km north-west of Grottington Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Wall

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

End of official listing