Romano-British enclosed hut circle settlement and associated annexe at Lanthwaite Green


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013502

Date first listed: 20-Jun-1973

Date of most recent amendment: 02-Jan-1996


Ordnance survey map of Romano-British enclosed hut circle settlement and associated annexe at Lanthwaite Green
© 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: Allerdale (District Authority)

Parish: Buttermere

National Park: LAKE DISTRICT

National Grid Reference: NY 15974 21019


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 Romano-British enclosed hut circle settlement at Lanthwaite Green survives well and remains unencumbered by modern development. It is a rare example in Cumbria of this class of monument with an associated annexe. Limited excavation within the settlement during the early 20th century located pot boilers, and a possible net sinker; a quernstone was also found on the site at about the same time and further artefactual evidence will exist within the site. Additionally the monument preserves considerable detail of the layout of the site and will facilitate further study of the Romano-British settlement patterns in the area.


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


The monument includes a Romano-British enclosed hut circle settlement and an associated annexe located on relatively flat land on Lanthwaite Green a short distance to the east of the B5289 Cockermouth - Buttermere road. The settlement is sub-circular in plan, measures approximately 58m in diameter internally, and is defended by a rubble bank or rampart up to 3m wide and 0.3m high through which there is an entrance on the western side. The interior of the settlement has been scooped out to form a saucer-like hollow, around the lip of which the rampart runs. There are traces of three hut circles measuring 3m-4m in diameter scooped into the interior side of the rampart on the south side of the settlement. These hut circles front into an inner enclosure which has two sides formed by a low curving bank of stones and a third side formed by traces of a thin line of stones. There is a narrow entrance near the north east side of this enclosure. On the eastern side of the settlement there is an almost identical inner enclosure with a narrow entrance. Within this enclosure the only feature is a rectangular stepped recess c.2.3m wide cut into the side of the settlement's rampart; two hut circles c.3.6m in diameter are cut into the outside of this inner enclosure bank. Elsewhere within the settlement there is a line of five low oval-shaped rubble mounds which may have functioned as hut platforms, and faint traces of three small enclosures or stock pens built by using the settlement's rampart as one wall. Immediately adjacent to the south west side of the settlement there is a large annexe bounded on three sides by a stone bank up to 2m wide and 0.2m high. It measures approximately 70m by 60m and has an entrance which is situated immediately to the south of the entrance to the settlement. Limited excavation within the settlement in 1919 found a stone hammer, a number of potboilers (cobbles heated then dropped into water) and a flat slate disk with a hole bored through it and possibly used as a net sinker. A quernstone was also found on the site at about the same time.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 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: 27659

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Mason, J R, Valentine, H, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in The British Village Site At Lanthwaite Green And Other Earthworks, , Vol. XXIV, (1925), 117-120

End of official listing