Roman period native enclosed settlement 460m north of Sutherland Bridge


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014499

Date first listed: 22-May-1996


Ordnance survey map of Roman period native enclosed settlement 460m north of Sutherland Bridge
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Kirknewton


National Grid Reference: NT 88863 25362


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.

The settlement 460m north of Sutherland Bridge is a well preserved example of a Roman period native settlement and associated features. The site is situated within an area of clustered archaeological sites of very high quality and forms part of a wider archaeological landscape. It will contribute significantly to the study of the wider settlement pattern during this period.


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


The monument includes an native enclosed settlement dating to the Roman period. It is situated 460m north of Sutherland Bridge. The monument consists of an enclosed scooped settlement and the circular stone foundations of prehistoric buildings. The remains of field banks defining associated enclosures lie immediately to the east of the settlement. The settlement is situated on the valley bottom, at the foot of the slope of Black Haggs Rigg. It occupies the slightly higher ground on the edge of the river terrace overlooking the College Burn. Land immediately to the south is lower lying and very poorly drained. The enclosure is oval in shape, with maximum dimensions of 30m north-south by 29m east-west. The back of the enclosure is scooped into the hillslope to a depth of up to 2.2m. The other three sides are defined by a stone and earth bank up to 5m wide and up to 0.6m high. The main entrance is in the north east corner of the enclosure, it is 1.5m wide and is defined on the north side by a massive boulder. A break in the enclosure bank in the south east corner represents a second entrance. In the interior of the enclosure is a platform, 10m by 14m, scooped into the south west corner. It contains the stone foundations of a sub-circular prehistoric building with an internal diameter of 5m by 4m, the walls are 1.5m wide and there is an entrance in the east wall. To the north of the enclosure, at a distance of c.15m, is a circular platform, 6m in diameter, constructed of earth and stone. This represents the foundation for a prehistoric house which was situated outside the main enclosure. Immediately to the east of the enclosure, the remains of field walls, up to 30m long, partly enclose the area of level ground which lies in front of the enclosure. The stone foundations of a circular structure with an attached length of stone wall, 4m to the south east of the main enclosure entrance, may represent an animal pen. A further length of field wall extends northwards from the north east corner of the settlement for a length of c.8m.

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: 24623

Legacy System: RSM


Topping, P, A Survey of College Valley, North Northumberland, 1981, BA Dissertation, University of Durham

End of official listing