Shieling, 110m south of Bull Crag

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011832

Date first listed: 22-May-1995

Map

Ordnance survey map of Shieling, 110m south of Bull Crag
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

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

County: Cumbria

District: Carlisle (District Authority)

Parish: Kingwater

National Grid Reference: NY 63306 71632

Summary

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 at Bull Crag 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 flat land within a meander of the steep sided King Water burn. The shieling, orientated north west to south east, is visible as the footings of a rectangular stone building measuring 9m by 3.2m. The walls are 0.9m wide and stand to a maximum height of 0.6m at the gable ends and are 0.6m wide and stand to a height of 0.3m at the side walls. The shieling is divided internally into two rooms of unequal size with a clear entrance into the southern compartment marked by the survival of an upright stone or door jamb 0.9m high. 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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 25142

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Ramm, H G , Shielings and Bastles, (1970)
Other
NY67SW 05,

End of official listing