Roman period native settlement and field system 260m west of Wynch Bridge


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021094

Date first listed: 22-Dec-2003


Ordnance survey map of Roman period native settlement and field system 260m west of Wynch Bridge
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This copy shows the entry on 19-Dec-2018 at 07:46:44.


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

District: County Durham (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Holwick

National Grid Reference: NY 90132 27952


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.

Prehistoric field systems in the north of England take a variety of forms. Regular and irregular types of prehistoric field system are widespread throughout the Pennine Range. Large-scale field systems with long, parallel, rubble banks are particularly typical of the North Pennines. There are also systems composed of small irregular fields with curving banks. The dating of these is often uncertain, but they are considered to date from the Bronze Age or Iron Age (2500-50BC). An additional type of field system with small, rectangular, lynchetted or rubble-banked fields is considered to be later, usually dating from the Iron Age or Roman period (500BC-AD400). Closer dating of all types of field system may be provided by their relationships to other classes of monument which were in use for shorter, known periods of time.

This Roman period native settlement and field system 260m west of Wynch Bridge survive well. They will contribute to knowledge of the diversity of settlement and field systems during the Roman period.


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


The monument includes a Roman period native settlement and field system occupying the top of a low whinstone outcrop 260m west of Wynch Bridge. The settlement consists of a group of three hut circles within an irregularly shaped rubble and boulder walled enclosure 260m west of Wynch Bridge, and at least one hut circle about 30m further north. These lie within a field system consisting of boulder walls and lynchets, and including two clearance cairns. The stony banks are 1m to 2m wide and typically 0.4m high. The cairns are both 7m in diameter and 0.3m high. The settlement and field system covers an area approximately 280m long and 180m wide. The settlement lies within one modern field, but the rubble banks and lynchets of the field system extend east of the settlement into the three fields to the east. One of the field walls dividing these fields lies on top of one of the Roman period lynchets.

The modern drystone walls are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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: 35953

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), 169

End of official listing