Unenclosed hut circle settlement, 180m north east of Sandyway Heads


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014069

Date first listed: 29-Apr-1996


Ordnance survey map of Unenclosed hut circle settlement, 180m north east of Sandyway Heads
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1014069 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 17-Jan-2019 at 16:49:48.


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

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Matfen

National Grid Reference: NZ 04394 75071, NZ 04421 75029


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

Reasons for Designation

Unenclosed hut circle settlements were the dwelling places of prehistoric farmers. The hut circles take a variety of forms. Some are stone based and are visible as low walls or banks enclosing a circular floor area. Others were timber constructions and only the shallow groove in which the timber uprights used in the wall construction stood can now be identified; this may survive as a slight earthwork feature or may be visible on aerial photographs. Some can only be identified by the artificial earthwork platforms created as level stances for the houses. The number of houses in a settlement varies between one and twelve. In areas where they were constructed on hillslopes the platforms on which the houses stood are commonly arrayed in tiers along the contour of the slope. Several settlements have been shown to be associated with organised field plots, the fields being defined by low stony banks or indicated by groups of clearance cairns. Many unenclosed settlements have been shown to date to the Bronze Age but it is also clear that they were still being constructed and used in the Early Iron Age. They provide an important contrast to the various types of enclosed and defended settlements which were also being constructed and used around the same time. Their longevity of use and their relationship with other monument types provides important information on the diversity of social organisation and farming practices amongst prehistoric communities.

The unenclosed settlement near Sandyway Heads is well preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits. The importance of the monument is enhanced by the survival of other types of prehistoric monuments in the immediate vicinity which taken together will add greatly to our understanding of Bronze Age settlement and activity.


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


The monument includes the remains of an unenclosed hut circle settlement of prehistoric date situated on the eastern end of a crag above a steep drop to the north. It is divided into two areas. There are three hut circles, the two most southerly are 8m in diameter within enclosing stone walls 1m wide and stand to a maximum height of 0.3m. There is a clear entrance through the wall in the south eastern side of the most westerly hut circle. The third circular house is situated 40m to the north west; it is less well defined but is 7m in diameter and is enclosed by the footings of a low stone wall.

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: 25180

Legacy System: RSM


NZ 07 NW 05,

End of official listing