Roman period native settlement at Calf Holm, immediately west of Dine Holm Scar


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019162

Date first listed: 14-Dec-1999


Ordnance survey map of Roman period native settlement at Calf Holm, immediately west of Dine Holm Scar
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: County Durham (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Forest and Frith

National Grid Reference: NY 86519 28387


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 Roman period native settlement at Calf Holm, Force Garth survives well, and it is one of several Romano-British settlements in Upper Teesdale. Their form and distribution will add to the sum of knowledge relating to Romano- British settlement and land use in upland areas.


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


The monument includes a Roman period native settlement on the north bank of the Tees at Calf Holm in Upper Teesdale. Calf Holm is a rather inaccessible area of flood plain at a bend in the Tees, below Dine Holm Scar. The settlement consists of three interconnected rubble banked enclosures, abutting the base of the scar, the remains of at least two hut circles, and a small oval structure with an attached rubble bank. The most conspicuous of the enclosures is 30m wide and 26m from front to back, with rubble banks up to 3m wide and 0.8m high. One of the hut circles is inside this enclosure, at the foot of the scar. This is about 5m in diameter. Another possible hut circle is visible as a slight stony crest attached to the north side of the enclosure. A second, larger enclosure is connected to the north side of the enclosure described above. This larger enclosure measures 52m by 45m and has a rubble bank up to 3m wide and 0.7m high. A later sheepfold or shelter has been built over the front edge of this enclosure, using some of the stone from the rubble bank. A third, smaller enclosure is attached to the south side of the first. It is much less substantial than the other two, and its walls are just visible as a slight stony crest. Outside the enclosures, near the river, west of the sheepfold, there is a hut circle visible as a slight stony crest forming a circle about 7m in diameter. A small rubble walled oval stucture, 6m by 4m, survives near the south end of Calf Holm. A short length of rubble bank extends from this towards the river.

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: 33492

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Coggins, D, 'Upper Teesdale the archaeology of a North Pennine Valley' in Upper Teesdale The Archaeology Of A North Pennine Valley, , Vol. 150, (1986), 88

End of official listing