Bronze Age unenclosed settlement and field system with burial cairns south west of Brands Hill, 350m ENE of Langlee


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016142

Date first listed: 16-Jan-1998


Ordnance survey map of Bronze Age unenclosed settlement and field system with burial cairns south west of Brands Hill, 350m ENE of Langlee
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 19-Dec-2018 at 16:39:44.


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 97390 23553


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 Bronze Age unenclosed hut circle settlement and its associated field system and burial cairns are well preserved and will retain significant archaeological deposits. Their importance is enhanced by the survival nearby of other prehistoric and Roman period native settlements and field systems whose remains are well preserved, clustered on Brands Hill. It forms part of a wider archaeological landscape in the Cheviot Hills 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.


The monument includes a prehistoric landscape comprising an unenclosed round house settlement and an associated field system. Within the field system are banks, irregular enclosures, clearance cairns and at least two burial cairns. The monument is situated on the south west of Brands Hill on a ridge above the valley of the Harthope Burn; it is separated from further monuments on Brands Hill by a deep gully to the north east. The field system stretches for several hundred metres across the hill ridge and is characterised by a wide scatter of around 40 field clearance cairns. These are made of earth and stone and measure between 3m and 5m in diameter and stand up to 0.6m high. Amongst the clearance cairns are several which have the character of burial cairns; these appear more compact and rounded and one, measuring 5.5m by 4m by 0.6m high, has been robbed in the centre. A slight clearance bank appears to define the western edge of the field system. It stands no more than 0.2m high by 2m wide and a 100m sample only has been included in the scheduling. Other slight field banks lie on the eastern side of the field system, running north west to south east and measuring 1.5m wide by 0.2m high. In the centre of the field system lies a smaller enclosure interpreted as a field plot. It is defined by a slight and fragmentary bank up to 1.5m wide and 0.3m high, enhanced on the east side by the natural slope. It is associated with four round house platforms which measure 6m to 10m in diameter, with walls up to 0.2m high. A fifth round house platform lies 50m east of the enclosure and is raised 0.3m to 0.4m above the surrounding land; a possible sixth platform lies 50m north of the enclosure, set below an artifically scarped edge. A smaller, circular enclosure, which measures 14m in diameter externally and is defined by banks 1.5m wide and up to 0.2m high lies 10m west of the field. Attached to the western side of this enclosure is a disturbed area of tumbled stone, which is interpreted as a later animal pen and which probably obscures an earlier annexe or hut circle. A small circular annexe is also attached to the east side and measures about 7m in diameter. A post and wire fence crossing the site from south west to north east is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

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: 29326

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing