Settlement 470m north east of Heddon Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020558

Date first listed: 07-Aug-2001


Ordnance survey map of Settlement 470m north east of Heddon Hill
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Dec-2018 at 07:45:08.


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

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Ilderton


National Grid Reference: NU 00558 20747


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 settlement 470m north east of Heddon Hill is well-preserved and will provide evidence for the nature of Romano-British settlement in the area. The survival of the dwellings will preserve evidence relating to domestic life at this time, and the enclosure will add to our understanding of the economy of the uplands during the Roman occupation.


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 on a sheltered terrace on the north east slopes of Heddon Hill. The settlement is one of a group of prehistoric settlements on Heddon Hill, which are the subject of separate schedulings. The settlement comprises three hut circles grouped around a courtyard and attached to an enclosure. The hut circles are visible as circular platforms, between 3m and 5m in diameter, scooped into the natural slope of the hill to a maximum depth of 1m. Each hut circle opens into a shared yard which is visible as a roughly oval enclosure 5m by 6m and scooped to a maximum depth of 0.5m. The enclosure is contained by a bank 2m wide by 0.3m high on the east side. Adjoining the south side of the yard is an oval enclosure oriented north east to south west which measures 44m by 22m within a bank up to 2m wide and a maximum height of 0.3m. There is an entrance 2m wide through the east wall of the enclosure. Within the enclosure the interior has been divided by an earthen bank 1m wide and 0.2m high, into two unequal compartments. The southern one has been scooped into the natural slope of the hill to a maximum depth of 1.5m. The northern one is slightly terraced into the hill side to a maximum depth of 0.5m and its floor level is lower than that of the southern compartment. A levelled platform 5m in diameter in the southern compartment is believed to be the location of a fourth hut circle. Above the scooped edge of the compartment is a shallow terrace 2m wide scooped up to 0.2m deep. Along the eastern side of the settlement there is a platform 0.4m high which has several large stones set into its edge which are thought to form a revetment.

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: 34234

Legacy System: RSM


Museum of Antiquities, Gates, T, NU/0020/C, (1980)
NU 02 SW 45,

End of official listing