Roman period native settlement and medieval shieling on east slopes of Brands Hill, 1100m south east of Carey Burn Bridge


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016244

Date first listed: 11-Mar-1964

Date of most recent amendment: 16-Jan-1998


Ordnance survey map of Roman period native settlement and medieval shieling on east slopes of Brands Hill, 1100m south east of Carey Burn Bridge
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1016244 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2019 at 13:26:50.


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 98267 24156


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.

Shielings are small seasonally occupied huts which were built to provide shelter for herdsmen who tended animals grazing summer pasture on upland or marshland. Shielings are reasonably common in the uplands but frequently represent the only evidence for medieval settlement and farming practice here. Those examples which survive well and which help illustrate medieval land use in an area are considered to be nationally important. The Roman period native settlement is well preserved and will retain significant archaeological deposits. It is one of a group of broadly contemporary farmsteads and enclosures on the slopes of Brands Hill and lies in an area of clustered sites whose archaeological remains are well preserved. The shieling is fairly well preserved and may be associated with the nearby medieval settlement of Middleton Old Town to the south east. It is part of a wider group of shielings found in the northern Cheviots in similar locations: on slightly raised ground adjacent to water. Both the Roman period native settlement and medieval shieling form part of a wider archaeological landscape and will contribute to any study of the settlement pattern during these periods.


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


The monument includes an enclosed native settlement dating to the Roman period. It is located on a prominent knoll on the lower slopes of Brands Hill, which rises to the south west, and has extensive views to the east. The position is well defended from the west and south by steep slopes and a stream but on the north east side the land falls away gently. Although the situation is defensive, the monument has the character of a Roman period native settlement and includes an enclosure, annexe and hut circles. The settlement comprises a sub-circular enclosure, approximately 54m in diameter, defined by a bank of earth and stone, 3m wide and up to 1.5m high. The inner and outer edges of the rampart are marked by large kerb stones and along the top of the rampart are several pointed orthostats. On the less well defended north east side there is an additional bank, now spread up to 6m wide and up to 1m high. Around the north west side of the knoll, at a distance of between 10m to 18m from the settlement, is a stony bank 39m long, 1m to 2m wide and up to 0.3m high, with large boulders placed along its length. The bank is interrupted by an overlapping entrance about 1.5m wide and continues for 71m around the south west side of the knoll. It utilises the steep natural slope to form a revetment and terminates at a rocky outcrop. Within the enclosure are around nine hut circles which measure between 5m and 8m in diameter. One of these is centrally placed with banks radiating towards the rampart and which form yards within the enclosure. Inside one yard a possible quern stone was found protruding from the ground. A more recent stone wall has been built across the settlement and crosses it from north west to south east, through the probable original entrance. To the south east of the enclosure is an irregular shaped annexe with the remains of up to three hut circles. At the base of the knoll, also on the south east side, is a rectangular structure 8m by 3m internally with walls 1m wide by 0.1m high. It is bisected by the later field wall and is interpreted as a shieling. The later field wall is included within the scheduling because it has been constructed from material derived from the native settlement. A modern post and wire fence on the west side of the wall 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: 29327

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing