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Romano-British farmstead and earlier structures at Woodhouse Hill, 230m south east of Harmony Lodge

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Romano-British farmstead and earlier structures at Woodhouse Hill, 230m south east of Harmony Lodge

List entry Number: 1015327

Location

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

County: Dorset

District: Purbeck

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Studland

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 17-May-2000

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 22978

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 Romano-British farmstead at Woodhouse Hill originated during the pre-Roman Iron Age and represents a relatively unusual survival of a settlement which continued in use into the Roman period. Part excavations of areas within the settlement have demonstrated the presence of a wide range of structural features demonstrating both `native' and `Roman' structural influences. The excavations have also demonstrated the extent to which buried remains will survive within the unexcavated areas. The site is one of few Iron Age and Romano-British farmsteads to be identified within the Isle of Purbeck and, as such, provides a significant insight into the late prehistoric and early Roman economy of the region.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a Romano-British farmstead and pre-Roman Iron Age structures situated on an east facing sandstone slope of the Isle of Purbeck, with views to Ballard Down to the south and Studland Bay to the north east. The site was first identified during the 1920s when building debris and Roman pottery were revealed during construction of a tennis court. Blocks of Purbeck marble along with further finds of Romano-British material were also recovered during landscaping of the area in the 1940s. Part excavations were conducted at the site by Norman Field between 1952 and 1958. These revealed the presence of structural remains representing the occupation of the hillside over several centuries. The structures included 12 buildings, five hearths and a series of ditches and gullies, all dating to between the first and fourth centuries AD. The earliest structural remains include a timber-built structure, sub-oval in plan, which dates to the later part of the pre-Roman Iron Age. The structure may have been broadly contemporary with a sub-rectangular building set close by. Both structures are situated on the northern side of the site, below the brow of the hill, and both were of a post and wattle construction. The rectangular structure was later extended during the later half of the first century AD. The enlargement of the structure was achieved by the addition of lean-to extensions on three sides, which may have contributed to the collapse of the building before the end of the century. A second group of first century AD structures was identified 30m to the south. These included five sub-rectangular or sub-oval structures disturbed by the construction of a series of later buildings during the second and third centuries AD. The northern part of the site was later associated with two substantial rectangular structures of third-fourth century date. The course of two ditches or gullies were also identified near to these structures. The western ditch ran downslope, along a north-south alignment, deviating around an early structure. This ditch had dimensions of between 0.9m-1.5m in width and between about 0.45m-0.75m in depth. The eastern ditch, aligned north east by south west was of similar dimensions to the western ditch. The two ditches, which link together to the south of the structures, had become infilled and were unknown prior to excavation. Investigation of the field boundary to the west revealed the presence of a ditch containing relatively unused Roman pottery and this is likely to represent a western boundary of the farmstead. Finds from the excavations included quantities of Romano-British pottery, brooches and coins dating from throughout the first to fourth centuries AD. Also recovered were traces of slag and bronze working within some of the structures, indicating some small scale and localised industrial working. These finds suggest the continuous occupation of the hillside between the late Iron Age and early Roman periods. All posts relating to the modern field and garden boundaries are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 153
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 165-70
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 154
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 143-7
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 143-7
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 148-52
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 163-4
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 160-2
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 164-5
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 148-52
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 153
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 148-52
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 154
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 148-52
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 155
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 143-7
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 156
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 153
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 154
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 148-52
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 154
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 165
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 156-9
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 163
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 162
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 164-5
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 148-52
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 170-1
Other
Collapse of structure,
Detail dimensions of the ditch,
Detail finds of RB pottery,
Detail partial excavations of 1955,
Extensive disturbance by later sites,
Interpretation as a RB boundary,
Mention excavations,
Mention structure with side extension,
Presence of similar structures to S,

National Grid Reference: SZ 03123 82195

Map

Map
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This copy shows the entry on 15-Dec-2017 at 08:16:40.

End of official listing