South Ringles Roman period native settlement 850m north west of Middleton Dean


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014924

Date first listed: 18-Mar-1966

Date of most recent amendment: 27-Aug-1996


Ordnance survey map of South Ringles Roman period native settlement 850m north west of Middleton Dean
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. 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.

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Ilderton


National Grid Reference: NT 99126 22847


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 South Ringles Roman period native settlement is well preserved and will contain significant archaeological deposits. The monument is situated within an area of clustered archaeological sites of high quality and forms part of a wider archaeological landscape. As such 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 a Roman period native scooped settlement situated below the crest of a rise on the north slope. The settlement is oval in plan and measures 47m east-west by 57m north-south overall. It is defined by an earth and stone bank on the north, east and west, this measures 5m wide and stands up to 0.5m high. There a several massive kerb stones along the western edge but on the north side the bank has largely collapsed and spread 12m downslope. On the south east side the enclosure is scooped to a depth of 2m. There is an entrance 3m wide on the east side and another possibly secondary entrance on the west side which measures 2m wide. Within the enclosure is a central yard, 10m by 17m and orientated roughly east-west, with level hut platforms around the inner edge of the outer bank. Up to four hut circles are visible situated opposite the entrance, these measure between 5m and 10m in diameter. One hut circle, beneath the scooped edge, is situated above a raised platform which measures 14m by 21m. On the north side of the settlement, within the spread of the bank, is a small scooped platform 6m by 4m. A few metres to the north is a low sub-rectangular platform 9m by 4m attached to the outer edge of the bank. At the north west corner of the settlement a field bank, 3m wide and between 0.1m and 0.7m high, runs from the enclosure bank downslope in a south westerly direction and can be traced for a considerable length. It is thought this may be contemporary with the settlement and a 20m long sample of this boundary has been included in the scheduling. To the south is a further area of field banks disturbed by quarrying but their relationship is not understood and they are not included in the scheduling. A post and wire fence runs along the eastern side of the settlement and is excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath is included.

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: 24662

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing