Roundhouses have been built in Britain since at least the Bronze Age, approximately 4,000 years ago. They continued to be built until the Roman Invasion and perhaps for a short time afterwards during the later Iron Age (100AD). Until recently, no complete roundhouse had ever been found but that all changed with the discovery of a round house in marsh at Must Farm in Cambridgeshire which,  although having been destroyed, much of the structure and many artefacts were found where they had been abandoned. Dwellings of a round plan with distinctive post holes and a central hearth have been found all over Western Europe and particularly in low-lying areas.  Often made partially of stone, when no stone was locally available then it would be entirely organic.

A lot of roundhouses used walls of wattle-and-daub, the wattle often of willow woven between upright posts buried in the ground. This structure supported a conical thatched roof and ranged in size from less than 5 m in diameter to over 20 m.  Daub is a mixture of puddled clay, soil, straw  and animal dung  mixed with water . This mixture, when dried may well have been lime-washed to waterproof it. Until Must Farm, the only evidence of the existence of a roundhouse was the drainage ditch or ring-ditch carrying rain away from the roof and post holes that were visible in the archaeological record.

To the north east of North Duffield, there are indications of roundhouse ring ditches showing up in the crop marks in the fields. Crop marks, visible from the air, are created when structures or features, undetectable on the surface, cause crops to grow at differing heights and thereby showing up as a 3D image. Indeed, doorways facing to the East or South East, are clearly visible in the aerial photographs, together with boundaries and other, as yet, unidentified features.