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Shieling, 670m south west of Spy Crags

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Shieling, 670m south west of Spy Crags

List entry Number: 1011827

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: Northumberland

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Henshaw

National Park: NORTHUMBERLAND

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 07-Mar-1995

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 25153

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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.

The shieling south west of Spy Crags is reasonably well preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits. It is one of a group of shielings situated along the River Irthing and its tributaries, which, taken together, will add greatly to our knowledge and understanding of the wider Border settlement and economy during this period.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the remains of a shieling of medieval date situated on a river terrace on the eastern bank of the River Irthing. The shieling, orientated north to south, is visible as the footings of a rectangular stone building measuring 14.2m by 3.5m. The walls, which have been partially robbed of stone, are 0.7m wide and stand to a maximum height of 0.5m. The shieling is subdivided into two unequal rooms by an internal wall. There is an entrance in the west wall of the northern room where a single upright stone or door jamb is visible. The northern part of the shieling is overlain by a later sheep fold built of stone robbed from the walls of the shieling. This shieling is one of many in this area which is known to have formed part of the extensive summer pastures serving the permanent settlements of several local manors.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Ramm, H G , Shielings and Bastles, (1970)
Other
NY67NE 03,

National Grid Reference: NY 68645 75050

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1011827 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 17-Dec-2017 at 05:42:35.

End of official listing