Two deserted medieval hamlets and part of an associated field system, 830m east of Shillmoor


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017759

Date first listed: 23-Aug-1978

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Sep-1997


Ordnance survey map of Two deserted medieval hamlets and part of an associated field system, 830m east of Shillmoor
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Alwinton


National Grid Reference: NT 89421 07771


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

Reasons for Designation

Medieval rural settlements in England were marked by great regional diversity in form, size and type, and the protection of their archaeological remains needs to take these differences into account. To do this, England has been divided into three broad Provinces on the basis of each area's distinctive mixture of nucleated and dispersed settlements. These can be further divided into sub-Provinces and local regions, possessing characteristics which have gradually evolved during the past 1500 years or more. This monument lies in the Cheviot sub-Province of the Northern and Western Province, the upland mass straddling the English-Scottish border. The sub- Province has not been sub-divided and forms a single local region. Settlement is now largely absent, but the area is characterised by the remains of linear dykes, field boundaries, cultivation terraces and buildings which bear witness to the advance and retreat of farming, both cultivation and stock production, over several thousand years. The distinctive, difficult upland environment means that many of the medieval settlement sites relate to specialist enterprises, once closely linked to settlement located in the adjacent lowlands, such as shielings, but the extensive remains of medieval arable farming raise many unanswered questions about medieval land use and settlement, touching economic, climatic and population change.

The deserted hamlets 830m east of Shillmoor survive well and retain significant archaeological deposits. They are a fine example of upland dispersed settlement and taken with the associated boundaries and fields they will contribute greatly to our understanding of medieval settlement in the Cheviot margins.


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


The monument includes the remains of two deserted medieval hamlets and part of an associated field system, situated on the south and east facing slopes of high moorland. The first hamlet, at the south east corner of the monument, is situated immediately below the highest part of the hill; it contains the rectangular foundations of up to five houses, largely orientated north west to south east, defined by low stony walls averaging 0.5m high. The houses range between 9m to 20m long and average 5m-6m wide, some with clear internal walls dividing the interior into two rooms. The houses are associated with several smaller enclosures interpreted as yards or paddocks. Some 250m to the north there is a second hamlet, comprising a compact group of four rectangular houses with a single outlying house some 70m to the east, beyond the unmetalled modern track which crosses the monument. The houses here, which are orientated east to west, range between 22m and 10m long and between 5m to 7m wide. At least two of the houses have an internal dividing wall with an entrance through one of their long walls giving access into the most westerly compartment, with a second entrance through the dividing wall into the other compartment. The walls of all of these houses are of stone and earth up to 3m wide, standing to a maximum height of 1m. The two hamlets lie adjacent to, and are bounded by, a series of linear earthen banks ranging between 0.4m to 1m high and averaging 3m wide. These banks are interpreted as boundaries which divide the area of the settlement into several parts. One of the banks bounds an area of rig and furrow cultivation. It is thought that these hamlets formed part of the medieval settlement of Whiteside which was recorded on a 16th century map of the area by Christopher Saxton. The modern stone sheep fold at the southern end of the monument is included in the scheduling as it has been built on the site of further settlement remains and it is considered that some parts of its lower courses may be in situ walling from these remains.

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: 28543

Legacy System: RSM


1757/267, Gates T, (1980)
NT80NE 16,
NT80NE 16,
SF 1757/267, Gates, T, (1980)

End of official listing