Romano-British farmstead east of Little Urswick Crags


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013823

Date first listed: 04-Dec-1924

Date of most recent amendment: 05-Feb-1996


Ordnance survey map of Romano-British farmstead east of Little Urswick Crags
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 09-Dec-2018 at 19:16:44.


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 26094 74033


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 a combination of stone robbing and quarrying, the Romano-British farmstead east of Little Urswick Crags survives reasonably well and remains largely unencumbered by modern development. It is one of a number of Romano-British and prehistoric settlement sites in the locality, indeed it lies immediately east of another Romano-British farmstead, and 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 farmstead located on gently sloping ground a short distance to the east of the summit of Little Urswick Crags. It is one of two Romano-British settlements on the crags; the adjacent farmstead, which is of markedly different shape, is the subject of a separate scheduling. This site includes an almost square enclosure having maximum internal measurements of approximately 56m by 53m. The enclosure is defended by a turf-covered stone wall or bank of limestone rubble up to 3m wide and 1m high. There are two entrances through this wall or bank on the enclosure's eastern side. A modern drystone wall crossing the north western side of the monument 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 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: 27686

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Dobson, J, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Urswick Stone Walls, , Vol. VII, (1907), 72-94

End of official listing