Romano-British settlement 810m south east of Whitehall


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019927

Date first listed: 07-Aug-2001


Ordnance survey map of Romano-British settlement 810m south east 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 89468 25538


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 settlement 810m south east of Whitehall survives in good condition and will provide evidence for the nature of Romano-British settlement and land use. 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 settlement is situated within an area of clustered and well-preserved archaeological sites 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 settlement of Romano-British date situated high on the steep western slopes of Hare Law above the College Burn. The settlement consists of two enclosures. The smallest enclosure is roughly oval in shape and encloses an area 11m east to west by 14m north to south. It is scooped into the hillside and defined by a bank 3m wide which, on the downslope side, stands up to 1.5m high; there is an entrance in the south wall. Inside the enclosure at least one hut circle can be identified, 3.5m in diameter. A larger secondary enclosure was added to the north of the first and encloses an area 39m north to south by 36m east to west. It is defined by a bank up to 3m wide and 0.5m high with an entrance in the north east side. Within this enclosure are four scooped platforms upon which prehistoric houses were constructed; these platforms stand up to 0.5m high and measure between 4.5m and 7.5m in diameter.

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: 34228

Legacy System: RSM


NT 82 NE 130,
Topping, P, A Survey of College Valley, North Northumberland, 1981, BA Dissertation, University of Durham

End of official listing