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 monument is a good example of a Romano-British period settlement complex of which only a few survive on the less cultivated ground of the limestone Peak District. This example is important because of the extensive survival of features relating to settlement of the period. The evidence for the survival of further unexcavated buildings means that the site will retain information about its construction and usage and much buried material is likely to survive.
The monument includes the remains of a building, interpreted as a farmhouse of the Romano-British period, together with outbuildings, terraces, and fragments of enclosure walls associated with the farmstead. The farmstead is located at the base of sloping ground in a dry limestone valley and may have been part of a small hamlet or village in the Roystone valley. The farmhouse building is visible as a platform terrace, having a revetment wall on the downslope (eastern side) constructed from orthostats (upright boulders). Post holes found during an excavation in the 1980s provides evidence for the construction of the farmhouse. The position of these post holes is now marked by eight wooden posts. The building measured approximately 15m by 12m. A later phase of building was also discovered, which utilised limestone slabs and blocks in a drystone construction. Associated with the settlement are fragments of orthostat walling to the north, west and east forming a small domestic enclosure around the building. To the immediate south of the building is a terraced area, also partially excavated during the 1980s. This area revealed evidence for a wooden structure associated with the farmstead, together with artefacts, including pottery and coins, indicating a Romano-British date. This structure may have been a dwelling and measured about 15m by 6m, with a yard downslope. Further terracing and fragments of field walls in this area indicate that more extensive remains are likely to exist to the south and west of the excavated areas. These areas are likely to include the remains or one or more buildings. The construction of many walls in the immediate area, including those contained within the area of protection, contains constructional elements of the Romano-British period. All fences, gates, posts and stiles are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included. All drystone walls are also excluded, except for their foundation courses and the ground beneath them which are included together with a 2m margin. The wall foundations are included because of their Romano-British origins.
Book Reference - Author: Hodges, R. - Title: Wall-to-wall History: the story of Roystone Grange - Date: 1991 - Type: DESC TEXT