Romano-British farmstead 760m north of Whitehall


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019925

Date first listed: 07-Aug-2001


Ordnance survey map of Romano-British farmstead 760m north of Whitehall
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Kirknewton


National Grid Reference: NT 89062 26792


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 Romano-British farmstead 760m north of Whitehall is well-preserved and will provide evidence for the nature of Romano-British settlement and agriculture in the area. The remains of houses in which Romano-British farmers lived and the associated domestic debris will enhance our understanding of everyday life during this period. In addition, the structure of the farmstead will reveal details of the manner of its construction. The farmstead is situated within an area of clustered archaeological sites of high quality and forms part of a wider archaeological landscape in the north Cheviots.


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 on a west facing terrace of Hare Law on the east bank of the College Burn. The farmstead, which is oriented north to south, is visible as a sub-rectangular enclosure 55m by 40m within a bank of stone and earth which stands to a maximum height of 0.5m. There is an entrance through the north wall of the farmstead 1.5m wide. Within the enclosure the interior has been divided by an earthen bank into two unequal compartments, each of which has been scooped into the natural slope of the hill to a depth of 2.5m. The earthen bank which divides the two areas contains an entrance at its centre. The more southerly of the two compartments contains the remains of up to three stone founded hut circles. Two of the hut circles are visible as level enclosures within walls of stone and earth which stand 0.3m high. A raised platform at the extreme southern end of the compartment is thought to contain the remains of the third hut circle. A fourth hut circle has been constructed across the remains of the interior dividing wall; it measures 4m in diameter internally and stands to a height of 0.3m. A fifth hut circle, 5.5m by 3.5m internally, abuts the southern wall of the farmstead.

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: 34225

Legacy System: RSM


Topping, P, A Survey of College Valley, North Northumberland, 1981, BA Dissertation, University of Durham

End of official listing