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Romano-British farmstead and medieval field system 100m south west of Bell Nook

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Romano-British farmstead and medieval field system 100m south west of Bell Nook

List entry Number: 1018597

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cumbria

District: Eden

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Warcop

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 29-Oct-1999

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 27830

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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.

The medieval field system lies in the Cumbria-Solway sub-Province of the Northern and Western Province, an area characterised by dispersed hamlets and farmsteads, but with some larger nucleated settlements in well-defined agriculturally favoured areas, established after the Norman Conquest. It represents the small stock enclosures, garden areas and fields associated with a dispersed medieval settlement, the precise location of which is now uncertain due to disturbance caused by military exercises. Despite impact damage caused by artillery and the digging of foxholes during military training excercises, the Romano-British farmstead and medieval field system 100m south west of Bell Nook survive reasonably well. The monument is one of a number of Romano-British settlements located on the hillslopes of east Cumbria and will facilitate further study of settlement patterns of this period in the area. Additionally it is a rare example of the juxtaposition of a medieval field system within the boundary of an earlier settlement and as such attests to the reuse of the site.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the earthworks and buried remains of a Romano-British farmstead within which is a small later medieval field system. It is located on a flat shelf on a gently sloping hillside to the west of Hayber Beck 100m south west of Bell Nook sheepfold, and includes a sub-oval enclosure containing hut circles which has latterly been subdivided and reused as a medieval field system. The farmstead enclosure is bounded by a ditch with inner and outer earth and stone banks on the south and west sides; the inner bank continues around much of the north side but has been heavily disturbed by later activity at the north east corner. On the east side traces of a low bank above the steep declivity to Hayber Beck survive. There is an entrance through the inner bank just north of the mid-point on the western side and an entrance through the outer bank at the south western corner. A circular scooped depression against the inner side of the boundary bank on the enclosure's northern side marks the site of the hut circle in which the occupants lived, while two other hut circles 8m-10m diameter with walls surviving up to 0.3m high, are located in the north western part of the enclosure. The medieval field system, although partially damaged by later activity, is contained within the earlier farmstead enclosure and survives as a line of three small enclosures situated at the eastern and highest end of the farmstead enclosure. A stone bank separates these three small enclosures from a short length of trackway or hollow way running parallel to the east. In the south western part of the farmstead enclosure there are remains of the turf-covered wall footings of two small fields associated with the medieval field system. Both of these fields utilised in part the earlier enclosure's banks within their own boundary. All modern field boundaries 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.

Selected Sources

Other
AP No's.CCC2799,29A; 2801,22; 2801,31, Cumbria County Council, Bell Nook, Warcop,
ID 14842, Sainsbury,I.S., IA/RB settlement overlaid by remains of medieval field system, (1975)
ID. 14842, Sainsbury,I.S., IA/RB settlement overlain by remains of medieval field system, (1975)
Site No. 4297, Cumbria County Council, Bell Nook, Warcop, (1985)
SMR No. 4297, Cumbria SMR, Bell Nook, Warcop, (1985)

National Grid Reference: NY 75577 18246

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Nov-2017 at 10:33:54.

End of official listing