Romano-British farmstead 250m ENE of Belmont House


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013506

Date first listed: 28-Feb-1974

Date of most recent amendment: 04-Oct-1995


Ordnance survey map of Romano-British farmstead 250m ENE of Belmont House
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Feb-2019 at 16:01:25.


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

County: Cumbria

District: Allerdale (District Authority)

Parish: Holme St. Cuthbert

National Grid Reference: NY 09001 47909

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 farmstead 250m ENE of Belmont House survives reasonably well despite the absence of any upstanding earthworks. The monument is one of a number of similar sites identified by aerial photography on the Solway Plain in recent years and it will contribute to any further study of Romano-British settlement patterns in the area.


The monument includes a Romano-British farmstead located on slightly elevated ground 250m ENE of Belmont House. The site is visible as crop marks on aerial photographs which highlight features such as infilled ditches. The aerial photograph shows three sides of a rectangular ditched enclosure which has internal measurements of approximately 42m by 38m. There is an entrance at the mid-point of the enclosure's eastern side and an internal square feature interpreted as a building foundation against the enclosure's north side. Also visible on the aerial photograph is a small circular annexe situated immediately outside the enclosure close to its south western corner. A modern field boundary on the monument's south side 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. It includes a 5 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: 27664

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Bewley, R H, 'Oxbow Monograph 36' in Prehistoric and Romano-British Settlement in the Solway Plain, (1994), 41,32-3
AP , Manchester University,
AP No. DL 014, Cambridge University Collection,
FMW Report, Crow, J, Rectangular Enclosure 30m NNE of Bank House, (1991)
SMR No. 604, Cumbria SMR, Rectangular Enclosure 30m NNE of Bank House, (1987)

End of official listing