Romano-British enclosed hut circle settlement 350m WNW of Maisongill


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


Ordnance survey map of Romano-British enclosed hut circle settlement 350m WNW of Maisongill
© 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.

Eden (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
NY 67268 10944

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 monument is a good example of a Romano-British enclosed hut circle settlement. Despite a small area of later quarrying at the centre of the site the monument's earthworks survive reasonably well, preserve considerable detail of the layout of the site and will facilitate further study of Romano-British settlement patterns in the area.


The monument is a Romano-British enclosed hut circle settlement located on a gently sloping north-east facing hillside 350m west of Maisongill. It includes an enclosure wall of turf-covered limestone rubble and earth up to 4.5m wide and 1.5m high. There is a narrow 2.5m wide entrance on the north-west side of the enclosure where the wall has been widened to 6.5m on either side of the opening. This entrance leads into a large sub-rectangular enclosure with a circular depression 6.5m in diameter at the eastern corner which is the site of a hut circle. On the north-east side of the enclosure wall is a second entrance measuring 5m wide. This gives access to a number of irregularly shaped stock pens, some of which have been partly disturbed by later quarrying, and another sunken hut circle approximately 6.5m in diameter, also partly quarried. On the south side of the enclosure wall is a third entrance measuring 4.5m wide with a slight causeway leading inwards via a passageway from the opening. This gives access to a group of sub-rectangular stock pens and two sunken hut circles entered from the passageway: the smaller measuring 6.4m diameter, the larger being oval in plan and measuring 10m by 7.3m. A modern drystone wall running across the south-eastern corner of the monument 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.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


RCHME, Westmorland, (1936)


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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