Romano-British enclosed stone hut circle settlement at Heck Beck, Bannerdale


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011360

Date first listed: 08-Dec-1938

Date of most recent amendment: 13-Oct-1993


Ordnance survey map of Romano-British enclosed stone hut circle settlement at Heck Beck, Bannerdale
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. 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.

County: Cumbria

District: Eden (District Authority)

Parish: Martindale

National Park: LAKE DISTRICT

National Grid Reference: NY 42308 15382


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.

The monument is a good example of a Romano-British enclosed stone hut circle settlement which exhibits several phases of occupation and activity. Its earthworks survive well, preserve considerable detail of the layout of the site, and will facilitate further study of Romano-British settlement patterns in the area.


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


The monument is a Romano-British enclosed stone hut circle settlement located in the remote valley of Bannerdale, on a sloping shelf either side of Heck Beck which runs through the site. It includes an enclosure wall 0.9m - 1.4m wide and 0.6m high which is visible at the south-west, north and north-east sides of the settlement only. A mound of large outcropping rocks is incorporated into the wall in the north-west side adjacent to which is a re-entrant or inwardly pointing entrance. South of Heck Beck, and within the enclosure wall, are three hut circles having internal diameters of between 1.4m - 7.3m. Immediately north of the beck is an area of irregular small enclosures, with a well defined entrance of flat stones through the enclosure wall, within which are 5 hut circles with internal diameters between 1.5m - 6.4m. At the north-eastern end of the site three sub-rectangular enclosures, two of which have entrances defined by large flat stones, have been constructed against the internal side of the enclosure wall. Close by are two hut circles with internal diameters of 6.2m and 4.5m. Dominating the north-eastern end of the settlement is a well preserved irregular enclosure with walls up to 7.3m thick constructed of stones standing up to 0.9m high. This enclosure is sub-divided into two main parts, each with clearly marked entrances on the east, and is thought to indicate a rebuilding and/or enlargement of the settlement. A modern drystone wall running across the monument is excluded from the scheduling although 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: 22563

Legacy System: RSM


RCHME, Westmorland, (1936)

End of official listing