Roman period native enclosed settlement and scooped enclosure on the south east slopes of Brands Hill, 350m north west of Cowboy's Cairn


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015643

Date first listed: 25-Jun-1969

Date of most recent amendment: 15-Apr-1997


Ordnance survey map of Roman period native enclosed settlement and scooped enclosure on the south east slopes of Brands Hill, 350m north west of Cowboy's Cairn
© 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 98081 23223


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 and scooped enclosure 350m north west of Cowboy's Cairn is well preserved and contains 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 any 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 enclosed settlement and a scooped enclosure situated on the lower south east slopes of Brands Hill on a spur of land defined by deep gullies on each side. There are extensive views to the east. The settlement is sub-rectangular in plan and measures 40m by 30m overall. It is enclosed by a bank of earth and stone up to 1.2m high with traces of external revetting. The entrance is on the south east side and has an out-turned bank on the north and an in-turned bank on the south, possibly representing a small hut circle. The interior of the enclosure is scooped in the north west corner to a depth of 1m, leaving the southern part of the enclosure at a higher level. Three hut circles lie in this raised area and measure an average 7m in diameter. Eight metres west of the settlement lies a circular scooped enclosure, 18.5m in diameter. There is a possible entrance on the north east side and there are no internal features visible. This enclosure is believed to be contemporary with the adjacent settlement and is interpreted as a stock enclosure.

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: 29314

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing