Enclosed settlement on east slope of Brands Hill, 900m north of Cowboy's Cairn


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015633

Date first listed: 15-Apr-1997


Ordnance survey map of Enclosed settlement on east slope of Brands Hill, 900m north of Cowboy's Cairn
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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 98205 23888


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.

This enclosed settlement on the east slope of Brands Hill forms a reasonably well preserved example of a Roman period native settlement. The entire circuit of the enclosure is clearly visible, as are the remains of both internal and external features. The site 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 wider settlement pattern during this period.


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


This monument includes a native settlement dating to the Roman period. It is situated on a level plateau on the east slope of Brands Hill, 900m north of Cowboy's Cairn. The monument consists of a sub-circular enclosure of earth and stone banks, with the remains of an outlying hut circle immediately to the south east. Remains of field boundaries lie to the north and west of the site, there is no visible physical relationship between these and the site. The full extent and nature of this field system is not fully understood, hence it is not included in the scheduling. The settlement measures 20m by 19m internally. It is enclosed within stone and earth banks, 3m wide and up to 0.5m high. There are stone orthostats clearly visible on the interior face of the bank. Collapsed material from the bank extends downslope for c.3m. The interior of the enclosure is slightly scooped into the hillslope, to a depth of 0.5m, to provide a level platform. There is a small internal courtyard in the northern part of the enclosure. This measures c.6m by 6m internally and is defined by a low bank, up to 2m wide, with an entrance in the east side. Immediately outside the enclosure, on the east side, are the stone foundations of a prehistoric building, 5m in diameter.

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: 24656

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing