Romano-British farmstead and part of an associated field system 630m south west of White Gables


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019311

Date first listed: 26-Jan-2000


Ordnance survey map of Romano-British farmstead and part of an associated field system 630m south west of White Gables
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Dec-2018 at 12:15:17.


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

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Akeld


National Grid Reference: NT 97369 28053


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.

A regular aggregate field system is a group of regularly defined fields of prehistoric or Roman date, laid out in a block or blocks which lie approximately at right angles to each other, usually with a settlement as a focal point. Fields are generally square or rectangular and the blocks give an ordered, if irregular, shape to the field system as a whole. They are characteristically extensive monuments; the number of individual fields varying between 2 and 50, but this is, at least in part a reflection of bias in the archaeological records rather than the true extent of such land divisions during their period of use. The fields were the primary unit of production in a mixed farming economy, incorporating pastoral, arable and horticultural elements. Less that 250 such field systems have been identified and, as a rare monument type which provides an insight into land division and agricultural practice during the period of use, all well preserved examples will normally be identified to be nationally important. The Romano-British farmstead 630m south west of White Gables is a reasonably well preserved example of its type. It is situated within an area of prehistoric sites of high quality and forms part of a wider archaeological landscape. Taken together with the remains of part of its associated field system, it will contribute to the study of Romano-British settlement and activity in this area.


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


The monument includes a farmstead of Romano-British date and part of an associated field system situated on the lower slopes of the east side of Humbleton Hill. Further remains of prehistoric settlements and cairns in the vicinity are the subject of separate schedulings. The farmstead comprises two conjoined enclosures. The southern enclosure, sub-oval in shape, measures 26m north-south by 24m east-west and is enclosed by an earth and stone bank up to 1.5m wide and 0.4m high. There is a simple entrance in the eastern side. The interior of the enclosure is scooped into the hillside to a depth of 1.7m. The remains of at least two level platforms, upon which circular prehistoric houses were constructed, are situated on the slightly higher ground at the western edge of the enclosure; the remains of an internal bank is also visible at the north west corner. The northern enclosure lies slightly to the west and is attached to the southern enclosure by an earth bank up to 1m wide and 0.15m high. The northern enclosure is scooped into the hillside to a depth of 1m. Within the scooped area there is a level platform which provided a flatened area for building. The remains of a field plot, 18m by 12m, lies immediately to the west of the southernmost enclosure. The southern edge is scarped into the hillside and the remainder is visible as a slight field bank, surviving up to 0.1m high, which abutts the northern corner of the southern enclosure. The drystone wall which runs adjacent to the south eastern part of the monument is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath this feature 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: 31737

Legacy System: RSM


NT 92 NE 64,

End of official listing