Romano-British farmstead and associated annexe, 180m SSE of Herpath House


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011113

Date first listed: 15-May-1963

Date of most recent amendment: 01-Dec-1993


Ordnance survey map of Romano-British farmstead and associated annexe, 180m SSE of Herpath House
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Kirkwhelpington

National Grid Reference: NY 98309 85332


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.

Despite the denuded state of the monument the farmstead at Herpath House retains significant archaeological deposits. The adjoining annexe is an unusual feature. It is also one of a group of native prehistoric settlements in the vicinity which will contribute to study of the wider settlement pattern at this time.


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


The monument includes the remains of a Romano-British farmstead with an annexe attached to its western side occupying the summit of a flat promontory. The farmstead, roughly square in shape, measures a maximum of 50m east-west by 40m north-south within a broad shallow ditch 5m wide. Immediately to its west, and separated from it by a ditch 4.5m wide, is a roughly square annexe which measures 35m by 30m. With the exception of the south-west corner of the annexe the earthworks defining this monument have been levelled and spread by former ploughing but the ditch is still visible as a slight depression. Throughout most of its course this depression is shallow, however at the south-west corner of the annexe it survives as a substantial feature 5m wide and 1m deep. While infilled elsewhere, the profile of the ditch will still survive as a buried feature. Inside the ditch a single bank or rampart has been levelled in recent years except at the south-west angle where it is visible as an earthen bank rising 0.5m above the bottom of the ditch.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 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: 21009

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hogg, A H A, 'Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 4 ser 11' in Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 4 ser 11, (1947), 171
NY 98 NE 15,

End of official listing