Medieval shieling 640m north of Troutbeck Park Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011677

Date first listed: 12-Jun-1974

Date of most recent amendment: 08-Feb-1995


Ordnance survey map of Medieval shieling 640m north of Troutbeck Park Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cumbria

District: South Lakeland (District Authority)

Parish: Lakes

National Park: LAKE DISTRICT

National Grid Reference: NY 42012 06340


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Shielings are small seasonally occupied huts which were built to provide shelter for herdsmen who tended animals grazing summer pasture on upland or marshland. These huts reflect a system called transhumance, whereby stock was moved in spring from lowland pasture around the permanently occupied farms to communal upland grazing during the warmer summer months. Settlement patterns reflecting transhumance are known from the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC) onwards. However, the construction of herdsmen's huts in a form distinctive from the normal dwelling houses of farms, only appears from the early medieval period onwards (from AD 450), when the practice of transhumance is also known from documentary sources and, notably, place-name studies. Their construction appears to cease at the end of the 16th century. Shielings vary in size but are commonly small and may occur singly or in groups. They have a simple sub- rectangular or ovoid plan normally defined by drystone walling, although occasional turf-built structures are known, and the huts are sometimes surrounded by a ditch. Most examples have a single undivided interior but two roomed examples are known. Some examples have adjacent ancillary structures, such as pens, and may be associated with a midden. Some are also contained within a small ovoid enclosure. Shielings are reasonably common in the uplands but frequently represent the only evidence for medieval settlement and farming practice here. Those examples which survive well and which help illustrate medieval land use in an area are considered to be nationally important.

Although lacking structural remains above two courses high, the medieval shieling 640m north of Troutbeck Park Farm will retain evidence of its living floor, hearth and internal structures. It is an unusually small example of a two-roomed shieling, particularly when compared with the cluster of three shielings located approximately 1.5km further up the Troutbeck valley.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument is the remains of a medieval shieling located on a narrow plateau on the western slopes of The Tongue 640m north of Troutbeck Park Farm. Situated on the fells at a height of around 300m above sea level it lies on marginal land well above other settlements. This position within the landscape indicates that it was a shieling, from which the grazing of adjacent uplands was organised during the summer months. The building measures 8m by 6m externally with an entrance on the northern side leading to a central passage with a small room either side. The walls survive as one or two courses of granite boulders.

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: 22547

Legacy System: RSM


Schofield,A.J., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Shielings, (1989)
SMR No. 1914, Cumbria SMR, Farmstead 700yds (630m) N of troutbeck Park Farm, (1987)

End of official listing