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Authority English Heritage
Other Ref SM Cat. No. 410
Date assigned Wednesday, June 10, 1998
Date last amended


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 field system 420m south east of Roystone Grange contains a range of features which survive well and which, together, form an outstanding landscape of archaeological features associated with this period. The evidence for at least one building platform indicates that archaeological features relating to settlement of this period are likely to be preserved below ground. DETAILS At the northern end of the field system are faint traces of plough-marks running parallel to terraces revetted with orthostats, identified as being of Romano-British construction. In addition, a bank and ditch also divides the area into two or more field plots. A more recent enclosure wall to the north has also been identified as containing foundation elements dating to the Romano-British period and these foundations are included in the scheduling. Extensive field surveys in the 1980s and 1990s have enabled the development of Roman and medieval wall foundations to be fully understood in this area. There are platforms in several areas of the field system. Some are small and of unknown function, but at least one is likely to have been the site of a building of the Romano-British period, associated with the field system. This platform is revetted on its downslope (south western side) and two other sides with characteristic orthostats. The dimensions of the platform indicate a building of approximately 13m by 8m. There are several lines of orthostats running across the contour of the west facing hillside, indicating that this whole area was also divided into field plots. Some of the alignments are also accompanied by earthen embankments. On the eastern side of the field system the land is less steep and where small stone cleared natural terraces have been enhanced by the construction of revetments of earth and stone. In the western part of the monument are the remains of an enclosure, constructed from orthostats, which lies in the valley bottom. This is interpreted as a stock enclosure also of the Romano-British period. A hollow way extends to the south from the enclosure and eventually aligns itself with the present single track road through the valley beyond the area of protection. At the sides of the hollow way are lines of orthostats, some defining small, stone cleared terraces, occasionally revetted on their downslope (south) sides. Within the area of protection are a number of small stone quarries and evidence of lead mining activities, particularly in the northern part of the field system. All fences, gates, posts and the metalling of tracks are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included. The drystone wall in the northern part of the monument is also excluded from the scheduling, except for its foundation courses and the ground beneath them which are included together with a 2m margin. The wall foundations are included because of their origins in the Romano-British period. SELECTED SOURCES Book Reference - Author: Hodges, R. - Title: Wall-to-wall History: the story of Roystone Grange - Date: 1991 - Type: DESC TEXT

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Sources (1)

  • Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1998. Scheduling Notification: Romano-British field system, 420m south east of Roystone Grange. List entry no. 1018089. SM Cat. No. 410.



Grid reference Centred SK 2027 5639 (463m by 657m)
Map sheet SK25NW

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Record last edited

Aug 30 2013 3:07PM

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