Roman period native settlement on the south east slopes of Brands Hill, 430m north west of Cowboy's Cairn


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015642

Date first listed: 25-Jun-1969

Date of most recent amendment: 15-Apr-1997


Ordnance survey map of Roman period native settlement on the south east slopes of Brands Hill, 430m north west of Cowboy's Cairn
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1015642 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 19-Dec-2018 at 15:41:55.


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 98121 23379


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 430m north west of Cowboy's Cairn is well preserved and will contain significant archaeological deposits. It is one of a group of broadly contemporary settlements and enclosures situated on the south eastern slopes of Brands 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 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 settlement situated on the lower south east slopes of Brands Hill with extensive views to the east. The settlement is roughly circular in plan and measures approximately 29m in diameter internally. It is enclosed by a bank of earth and stone standing up to 1.2m high with revetting stones around the outer edge. There is a simple gap entrance in the south east side. The interior of the enclosure is scooped to the north east and south west sides to a maximum depth of 1m. This has left a raised area on the north west side and a central platform on which the stone foundations of a hut circle, 6m in diameter, are clearly visible. Three smaller hut circles lie to the north west of the central platform: one lies against the enclosure bank and two more are built within the width of the bank and are secondary. A possible fourth hut circle lies immediately inside the entrance on the west side. Around the outside of the east side of the enclosure, at a distance of about 6m, is a low bank with large orthostats along its path believed to be contemporary with the enclosure. At its south end this outer bank abuts the enclosure bank near the entrance; at the north end the bank veers away from the enclosure and runs for a distance of c.14m.

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: 29313

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing