Milestone House Roman Temporary Camp and Section of the Stanegate Roman Road
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County Council (Unitary)
Northumberland County Council
SJ723723 (372286, 566144)
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Clusters of post-medieval limekilns, so called'sow kilns' , are visible as earthworks in the area of Limestone House Roman camp. Over two dozen occur, circular in form and ranging in overall diameter from 4 m to 10 m. They usually consist of an annular or penannular bank of earth and stone about 0.3 m high, surrounded by an external ditch about 0.2 m deep. The main concentration of these features is a group of eleven centred 300 m ESE of Milestone House, with a further fourteen scattered throughout the camp interior at the base of the much quarried limestone ridge. Two possible outliers occur to the S of the camp at NY 72146589 and NY 72216583. Although superficially similar to some prehistoic hut sites and burial cairns, and also to much later stack stands, these structures are the dismantled remains of simple limekilns, known locally as 'sow' kilns and used as recently as the begining of the 20th century to produce lime for fertiliser. The examples at Milestone House would appear to be the group partly excavated by Hedley; comparable sow kilns, closely associated with a limestone outcrop, have been excavated on Wards Hill near Rothbury, Northumberland. Full information is included in the NMR Archive.
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