Three Romano-British settlements, an irregular aggregate field system, and a bowl barrow on Aughertree Fell

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013392

Date first listed: 15-Jul-1966

Date of most recent amendment: 04-Aug-1995

Map

Ordnance survey map of Three Romano-British settlements, an irregular aggregate field system, and a bowl barrow on Aughertree Fell
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cumbria

District: Allerdale (District Authority)

Parish: Ireby and Uldale

National Park: LAKE DISTRICT

National Grid Reference: NY 26296 37986

Summary

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 irregular aggregate field system is one of several methods of field layout known to have been employed from the Bronze Age to the Roman period (c.2000 BC -AD 400). It comprises a collection of field plots, generally lacking conformity of orientation and arrangement, containing fields of various shapes and sizes, bounded by stone or rubble walls or banks, ditches or fences. Such systems are an important element of the existing landscape and are representative of farming practice over a long period. A substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. Bowl barrows are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds which covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often acted as a focus for burials in later periods and are a major historic element in the modern landscape. Their considerable variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities, and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. Despite some minor localised quarrying, the three Romano-British settlements on Aughertree Fell survive well. They preserve considerable detail of their layout and will facilitate further study of Romano-British settlement patterns in the area. The associated irregular aggregate field system is clearly visible, both as a series of earthwork features and buried remains visible on aerial photographs. Its articulation with the settlements provides important evidence of a carefully planned reorganisation of landscape and definition of landholding. The bowl barrow survives well and is one of three similar well preserved bowl barrows on Aughertree Fell. It will contain undisturbed archaeological deposits within the mound and upon the old land surface beneath.

History

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

Details

The monument includes three Romano-British settlements, an associated irregular aggregate field system, and a bowl barrow located on the north facing slope of Aughertree Fell. The settlements include well preserved upstanding earthworks, whereas the field system has been identified from a combination of earthworks and cropmarks visible on aerial photographs which clearly show linear features such as infilled ditches. The bowl barrow survives as an earthwork and is one of three well preserved surviving examples on Aughertree Fell. The eastern of the three Romano-British settlement enclosures is the best preserved. It is sub-circular in plan and is defended by outer and inner earth and stone banks up to 1m high separated by a ditch up to 1m deep. Internally the settlement encloses an area of approximately 0.4ha and it is subdivided by a series of earth and stone banks into small enclosures or stock pens with faint traces of a hut circle situated a little north of centre and others built against the main enclosure wall. The entrance to the settlement is on the south east side and it is approached by a 15m wide banked and ditched droveway traceable for 300m running through the aggregate field system. The central of the three settlement enclosures is rectangular with rounded corners on three sides and encloses an area of approximately 0.35ha. It is defended by outer and inner earth and stone banks up to 1.3m high separated by a ditch up to 7m wide and 1m deep. There is an entrance on the east side with a causeway across the ditch. Internally there are faint traces of a rectangular enclosure thought to be a stock pen in the north east corner. The western of the three settlement enclosures, like its two counterparts, is defended by outer and inner earth and stone banks up to 1m high separated by a 3m wide ditch. It is sub-circular in plan and encloses an area measuring approximately 0.3ha. Internally there are two small enclosures or stock pens at the south east side and faint traces of two hut circles at the south west side. There are entrances on the south and west sides. The associated field system is visible as a combination of extensive and very pronounced earthwork banks interpreted as field boundaries, and more discreet field boundaries identifiable on aerial photographs. There are three large sub-rectangular fields to the east of the eastern settlement and its associated droveway, two other large fields to the south of the settlements, and a whole series of linear features, some of which connect the settlements and indicate smaller field plots. Approximately 90m to the north east of the western settlement there is flat topped, oval shaped bowl barrow measuring 15m by 13m and up to 1.5m high. All modern field boundaries are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 27652

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
De Figueiredo, P, Treuherz, J, Cheshire Country Houses, (1988)
Higham, N, Jones, B, The Carvetti, (1985), 93-4
Higham, N, Jones, B, The Carvetti, (1985), 93-4
Bellhouse, R L, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in The Aughertree Fell Enclosures, , Vol. LXVII, (1967), 26-30
Higham, N, 'BAR' in Early Field Survival in North Cumbria, (1978), 119-26
Higham, N, 'BAR' in Early Field Survival in North Cumbria, (1978), 119-25
Other
Cumbria SMR, MPP Evaluation - Banjo Enclosures, (1992)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Bowl Barrows, (1988)
Hingley,R., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Banjo Enclosures, (1987)
SMR No. 5872, Cumbria SMR, Aughertree Fell, (1984)
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Source Date: Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing