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Roman period native settlement 250m west of Elsdonburn Shank

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Roman period native settlement 250m west of Elsdonburn Shank

List entry Number: 1014773


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.


District: Northumberland

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Kilham


Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 14-Mar-1972

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Jul-1996

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 24645

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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 Roman period native settlement west of Elsdonburn Shank is well preserved and will contain significant archaeological deposits. It is one of a group of broadly contemporary settlements and enclosures located on the northern slopes of Coldsmouth Hill. The settlement is situated within an area of clustered archaeological sites of high quality and forms part of a wider archaeological landscape. It will contribute to the study of the broader settlement pattern during this period.


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


The monument includes the remains of a Roman period native settlement situated on the lower northern slopes of Coldsmouth Hill. It consists of a sub rectangular enclosure divided into two roughly equal compartments. It measures 41m north-south by 50m east-west and is contained by an earth and stone bank, 3m-5m wide and up to 0.8m high, except to the south where the eastern half is scooped to a depth of c.2m. The bank overlaps and runs parallel with the edge of the scoop allowing access to the western half. On the east side is an entrance 2m wide which is marked by a stone setting on the southern edge. The two compartments are separated by an earth and stone bank, 1m wide and 0.2m high, running north-south. Outside the settlement to the north, are the remains of three terraces or level strips each measuring up to 30m long, 3m-4m wide and 0.3m-1m high. These terraces are interpreted as the remains of a field system associated with the settlement. Beyond the settlement to the east is a linear bank, but as its function and relationship to the settlement are not fully understood, it is not included in the scheduling.

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.

Selected Sources

NT 82 NE 39,

National Grid Reference: NT 85974 29334


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This copy shows the entry on 19-Sep-2018 at 07:24:10.

End of official listing