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