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Tathey Crags prehistoric unenclosed hut circle settlement

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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Tathey Crags prehistoric unenclosed hut circle settlement

List entry Number: 1015644


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


District: Northumberland

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Earle


Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 12-Jun-1973

Date of most recent amendment: 15-Apr-1997

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 29318

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

Unenclosed hut circle settlements were the dwelling places of prehistoric farmers. The hut circles take a variety of forms. Some are stone based and are visible as low walls or banks enclosing a circular floor area. Others were timber constructions and only the shallow groove in which the timber uprights used in the wall construction stood can now be identified; this may survive as a slight earthwork feature or may be visible on aerial photographs. Some can only be identified by the artificial earthwork platforms created as level stances for the houses. The number of houses in a settlement varies between one and twelve. In areas where they were constructed on hillslopes the platforms on which the houses stood are commonly arrayed in tiers along the contour of the slope. Several settlements have been shown to be associated with organised field plots, the fields being defined by low stony banks or indicated by groups of clearance cairns. Many unenclosed settlements have been shown to date to the Bronze Age but it is also clear that they were still being constructed and used in the Early Iron Age. They provide an important contrast to the various types of enclosed and defended settlements which were also being constructed and used around the same time. Their longevity of use and their relationship with other monument types provides important information on the diversity of social organisation and farming practices amongst prehistoric communities.

The unenclosed hut circle settlement at Tathey Crags is very well preserved and will contain significant archaeological deposits. It is one of a group of prehistoric settlements located close to rock outcrops above the valley of the Harthope Burn and is situated within an area of clustered archaeological sites of high quality. It forms part of a wider archaeological landscape and will contribute to any study of the wider settlement and land use pattern during this period.


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


This monument includes an unenclosed hut circle settlement of prehistoric date flanking the eastern side of Tathey Crags. The settlement is located on a broad ridge above the valley of the Harthope Burn and has extensive views in all directions. It comprises at least 15 stone founded round houses which measure between 5m and 9m in diameter and stand up to 0.3m high. The majority have an entrance gap which is randomly orientated. Two round houses lie outside the main group at the foot of the crags: one is situated at the tail of the crags and one on the crags themselves. Amongst the round houses are at least two round cairns up to 3m in diameter and 0.3m high. Towards the south east end of the tail of the crags, an earth and stone bank 0.3m high projects north eastward and is visible for a distance of c.29m before petering out. This is interpreted as the possible remains of an associated field system.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana 4 ser 50' in Notes On Additional Early Settlements In Northumberland, , Vol. 50, (1972), 71-80

National Grid Reference: NT 96452 21135


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This copy shows the entry on 22-Sep-2018 at 05:39:47.

End of official listing