Romano-British enclosed hut circle settlement 660m south east of Holme Bank


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013821

Date first listed: 04-Dec-1924

Date of most recent amendment: 30-Jan-1996


Ordnance survey map of Romano-British enclosed hut circle settlement 660m south east of Holme Bank
© 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: South Lakeland (District Authority)

Parish: Urswick

National Grid Reference: SD 27598 73401


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.

Despite some minor erosion by cattle and sheep, the Romano-British enclosed hut circle settlement site south east of Holme Bank survives reasonably well and remains unencumbered by modern development. The monument is one of a number of Romano-British and prehistoric settlement sites in the locality and preserves considerable detail of the layout of the site. It will facilitate any further study of 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 located on flat ground to the south east of Holme Bank. It straddles a thin strip of limestone pavement and includes an irregularly-shaped enclosure containing internal sub-divisions and visible traces of six hut circles. The enclosure has maximum internal dimensions of approximately 80m north-south by 50m east- west. That part of the settlement to the east of the limestone pavement is defended by a turf-covered bank or wall of limestone rubble up to 2.5m wide and 1m high and an outer ditch, partly infilled, but still measuring 1.5m wide and 0.5m deep on the south and much of the east sides. The defences on the west side are slighter and are best preserved at the north west corner where they consist of a bank 1.5m wide and 0.3m high with an internal ditch 1.3m wide and 0.2m deep. There is an entrance on the monument's east side and internally there are the earthwork remains of three hut circles, each about 8m in diameter, situated in the southern half of the enclosure. A low bank is visible in the northern half of the enclosure suggesting this part was partitioned off from the rest and may have been used as a stock pen. In that part of the enclosure lying to the west of the limestone pavement there are faint traces of three flat circular depressions each c.6m in diameter which are interpreted as hut circles.

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: 27684

Legacy System: RSM


SMR No. 2327, Cumbria SMR, Camp near Holme Bank Plantation, (1986)

End of official listing