Romano-British enclosed settlement on Holborn Hill
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1011140 .pdf
The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.
This copy shows the entry on 26-May-2019 at 04:16:58.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Eden (District Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- NY 68196 12177
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 settlement. Despite mutilation of parts of the enclosure wall the 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 settlement located on the summit of
a low eminence known as Holborn Hill. It includes an irregular oval enclosure
wall of turf-covered limestone rubble and earth up to 3.7m wide and 1m high
that has been partly mutilated on its south side by quarrying. On the north
side the enclosure wall has been reduced down to the present ground level in
places but is still visible for much of its length on aerial photographs.
Within the enclosure are numerous irregularly shaped stock pens including one
at the centre which has a 2.3m wide entrance on its south side.
A modern drystone wall running along the north side of the enclosure is
excluded from the scheduling but 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:
AP , Manchester University,
RCHME, Westmorland, (1936)
SMR No. 1751, Cunbria SMR, Village Settlement at Holborn Hill, (1985)
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