Three Roman period native settlements and later droveway 750m south west of Torleehouse


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016138

Date first listed: 13-Jan-1972

Date of most recent amendment: 16-Jan-1998


Ordnance survey map of Three Roman period native settlements and later droveway 750m south west of Torleehouse
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. 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: Kirknewton


National Grid Reference: NT 90769 28498


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 settlements and later droveway are well preserved and will retain significant archaeological deposits. Their importance is enhanced by their close proximity to each other and their association with a later droveway and probable reuse as part of a droving system. They are situated within an area of clustered sites whose remains are well preserved and form part of a wider archaeological landscape. They will contribute to any study of the settlement pattern during the Roman period and to later agricultural systems.


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


The monument includes the remains of three Roman period native settlements enclosed by banks of earth and stone, each with evidence of internal features. They are associated with a later droveway which extends several hundred metres eastward beyond the area of protection and a small section only is included in the scheduling. The settlements are located on the lower north west slopes of Easter Tor on gently undulating ground above the steep sides of the valley of the College Burn; a tributary stream runs through the monument. The most easterly settlement comprises a circular enclosure 36m in diameter, scooped on the west side to a depth of 1m and defined by a bank 3m to 5m wide and up to 0.7m high. Large kerb stones are visible along the outer edge of the bank and there is no trace of an entrance. On the east side is a sub-rectangular annexe 22m by 26m with traces of a hut circle 7m in diameter lying in the south west corner. Across the settlement are remnants of a later sheepfold, now only surviving as low banks, but recorded in the 1950s as standing up to 0.6m high. The foundations of small rectangular buildings have been built into the enclosure bank on the north side and are also attributed to later use of the monument. A modern sheepfold stands over the western edge of the settlement. To the north of the settlement are the slight earthworks of two possible hut circles cut into the outer edge of the circular enclosure, as well as a linear bank running northward; a 15m length of this bank has been included within the monument. To the south west, at a distance of about 35m, lies a second settlement 36m by 28m, scooped on the east and south to a depth of 1m and defined by a bank 2m wide and up to 0.3m high. The enclosing bank is broken and very slight on the west side and there is a possible entrance in the south west side. Internally, there are three hut circles, one of which is placed centrally and measures approximately 4m in diameter. In addition, there are two yards and a possible stone setting. The northern part of the enclosing bank has been breached at a later date and opens into the droveway which leads past all three settlements. The droveway comprises a sunken track between 5m and 11m wide defined by stone faced banks of earth and stone 1m wide and up to 0.5m high; the outer edge of the northern bank is revetted in places. The droveway curves around the second settlement and crosses a stream at a fording point and continues past the third enclosure. This enclosure is oval in shape, measuring 30m by 26m externally, scooped on the south up to 0.75m deep and defined by a bank about 0.1m high on all but the north east side above a natural scarp. A possible hut circle lies against the scooped edge of the 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: 29322

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing