Romano-British farmstead, 900m north east of Thornborough High Barns


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017723

Date first listed: 24-Feb-1998


Ordnance survey map of Romano-British farmstead, 900m north east of Thornborough High Barns
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This copy shows the entry on 21-Jan-2019 at 05:48:05.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Corbridge

National Grid Reference: NZ 02250 66157


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.

Although visible as only a partial earthwork, the farmstead near Thornborough High Barns is reasonably well preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits. It is one of a group of similar Romano-British settlements in the vicinity of Hadrian's Wall and will contribute to any study of the settlement pattern during the Roman period.


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


The monument includes the remains of a farmstead of Romano-British date situated in a commanding position on a low ridge immediately above the former Shildon Loch. The northern half of the enclosure is visible as an earthwork while the southern part of the monument lies beneath a road and its verges and survives below ground level as a buried feature. The upstanding remains of the farmstead, which is sub-rectangular in shape, measure a maximum of 56m east- west by 20m north-south within a broad ditch 6m wide. The ditch is a maximum of 1m deep below an outer earthen bank on average 4m wide which stands 0.3m high. The remainder of the farmstead survives below ground as a buried feature with a ditch of similar dimensions. The farmstead is named on an estate map of Thornborough High Barns as Bow Bridge. The fences which bound the road on both sides and the metalled surface of the road are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number: 28574

Legacy System: RSM


NZ06NW 16,

End of official listing