Romano-British settlement and Iron Age defended settlement, 550m north east of Shaftoe Grange


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013757

Date first listed: 17-Mar-1995

Date of most recent amendment: 04-Oct-1995


Ordnance survey map of Romano-British settlement and Iron Age defended settlement, 550m north east of Shaftoe Grange
© 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.

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Capheaton

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Wallington Demesne

National Grid Reference: NZ 05365 82363


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

Reasons for Designation

During the mid-prehistoric period (seventh to fifth centuries BC) a variety of different types of defensive settlements began to be constructed and occupied in the northern uplands of England. The most obvious sites were hillforts built in prominent locations. In addition to these a range of smaller sites, sometimes with an enclosed area of less than 1ha and defined as defended settlements, were also constructed. Some of these were located on hilltops, others are found in less prominent positions. The enclosing defences were of earthen construction, some sites having a single bank and ditch (univallate), others having more than one (multivallate). At some sites these earthen ramparts represent a second phase of defence, the first having been a timber fence or palisade. Within the enclosure a number of stone or timber-built round houses were occupied by the inhabitants. Stock may also have been kept in these houses, especially during the cold winter months, or in enclosed yards outside them. The communities occupying these sites were probably single family groups, the defended settlements being used as farmsteads. Construction and use of this type of site extended over several centuries, possibly through to the early Romano-British period (mid to late first century AD). Defended settlements are a rare monument type. They were an important element of the later prehistoric settlement pattern of the northern uplands and are important for any study of the developing use of fortified settlements during this period. All well-preserved examples are believed to be of national importance.

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 the enclosures were curvilinear in form. Further south a rectangular form was more common. 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. At some sites the settlements appear to have grown, often with houses spilling out of the main enclosure and clustered around it. 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 Iron Age defended settlement and Romano-British settlement near Shaftoe Grange are reasonably well preserved and retain significant archaeological deposits.


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


The monument includes the remains of a Romano-British settlement and a possible Iron Age settlement, situated in a promontory position on the edge of Salters Nick crags. The Romano-British settlement is formed by a single curving rampart of stone and earth which runs from the southern edge of Salters Nick and terminates at the other end of the cliff edge forming an irregularly shaped enclosure which is afforded good natural defence on the western, southern and northern sides. The enclosure measures a maximum of 70m north east to south west by 48m north west to south east. The earthen rampart is on average 6m-8m wide and stands to a maximum height of 1m. Within the enclosure there are the remains of at least three stone founded circular houses on average 9m in diameter. This settlement is thought to be situated within an earlier Iron Age settlement; the enclosing rampart of the earlier settlement is placed some 12m to 18m to the east and encloses an area of 44m east to west by a maximum of 93m. The internal dwellings associated with this earlier settlement have been obscured by the construction of the later Romano-British settlement. The fence line which crosses the northern part of the monument from west to east 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.


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

Legacy System number: 25150

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Ball, T, 'Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 3 ser vol 10' in Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 3 ser vol 10, (1921), 172
Ball, T, 'Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 3 ser vol 10' in Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 3 ser vol 10, (1921), 244-6
Hogg, A H A, 'Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 4 ser vol 2' in Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 4 ser vol 2, (1947), 172
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana' in Rectlinear Sites of the Roman Period in Northumberland, (1964)
NZ08SE 22,

End of official listing