Roman period native settlement on south eastern slope of Hart Heugh, 490m north west of Carey Burn Bridge


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Ordnance survey map of Roman period native settlement on south eastern slope of Hart Heugh, 490m north west of Carey Burn Bridge
© 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.

Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
NT 97152 25293

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 on the south eastern slope of Hart Heugh is well preserved and will contain significant archaeological deposits. It is one of a group of broadly contemporary settlements and enclosures in this area and therefore forms part of a wider archaeological landscape. It will contribute to the study of the wider settlement pattern during this period.


The monument includes a Roman period native settlement situated on a promontory, with a natural ravine on the east side, north of Carey Burn on the south facing slope of Hart Heugh hill. The settlement is roughly circular in plan and measures approximately 80m in diameter externally. It is enclosed by a bank of earth and stone up to 0.7m high externally and enhanced on the east side by a natural ravine. On the north side the settlement is terraced into the hillside with walls surviving to a maximum height of 1.5m. On the west side, facing stones are visible on both sides of the enclosure bank. There is a 3m wide simple gap entrance on the south side with large boulders visible on each side. The interior is divided by a natural escarpment which runs north west to south east. This divides the site into two parts. The south west half contains the foundations of one rectangular building measuring 7.5m by 4m. The north eastern half contains the remains of one rectangular building 16m by 7m and another partly obscured by rubble, 10m long. On the north west side of the enclosure a section of walling appears to have collapsed and has spread 4m beyond the outer bank. This may mask another rectilinear enclosure about 8m long.

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.

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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.

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