Medieval shieling south of Cow Green


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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

Eden (District Authority)
Crosby Ravensworth
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
NY 61389 11879

Reasons for Designation

A medieval shieling is a hut, often within an enclosure, found singly or in groups in areas which may be considered upland or marginal in relation to their local environment. They served as temporary summer accommodation for herdsmen and their families involved in transhumance, ie. the removal of stock from permanent dwellings to areas of summer pasture some distance away, on upland or in marshland or fen. Historical documents suggest the use of medieval shielings was largely confined to a period up to the 15th century although a few later examples are known. Shielings can be defined by an enclosure or can be totally isolated. They are of dry-stone walling construction, rectangular, square or ovoid in plan, and can be single-roomed or two-roomed. Shielings comprise both above and below ground structures with the main contexts for the preservation of finds being living floors inside the huts and middens outside the hut. Finds include coins, pottery and metalwork. Environmental evidence may be obtained from hearths and middens. Transhumance has a complex history in the British Isles and finds from shielings, together with an understanding of the chronological development within groups of shielings and the arrangement of activities within and surrounding the structures, will assist any study of the medieval exploitation of marginal lands. The medieval shieling south of Cow Green will retain evidence of its living floor, hearth and internal structures. Additionally it will offer the opportunity for assessing its contemporaneity with the nearby dyke system of the medieval deer park.


The monument is a medieval shieling located south of Cow Green and situated c.80m west-south-west of the southern end of the medieval dyke at Cow Green. It is a rectangular single-roomed shieling measuring c.11m by 4m and is of boulder construction standing one course high above ground level. It is one of five shielings located in close proximity to a medieval deer park which was enclosed in 1336 by the Threlkeld family of Crosby Lodge, then known as Crosby Gill, and extends to about 700 acres. During medieval times it was owned successively by the families of Pickering, Wilson and Rawlinson.

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:
Legacy System:


Schofield,J., MPP Single Monument Class Description, (1989)


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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