This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Woolfe Kennel cave shieling at Kennel 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: Woolfe Kennel cave shieling at Kennel Crags

List entry Number: 1013514

Location

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

County:

District: Northumberland

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Greystead

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 12-Dec-1994

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: 25122

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 cave shieling at Kennel Crags is well preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits. It is a rare example of cave habitation at this time and will add 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 a natural cavity formed by the slipping of a slab of rock from the face of the crags downslope and utilised as a shieling in medieval times. The habitable area measures 7m north west to south east by 2.5m and it is 1.7m high at its highest point. There is an entrance at the eastern end which opens into a small porch at a higher level than the main chamber. The southern limit of the main chamber was originally open, but low, and has now been blocked by rough dry stone walling. The chamber is relatively level with traces of paving slabs irregularly layed on an earth floor. Towards the western end of the chamber larger boulders suggest the possible site of a fireplace. Immediately above this fireplace there is a hole 0.5m square in the roof of the chamber and it is thought that this may have been used as a chimmney.

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), 32
Other
NY 67 NW 07,

National Grid Reference: NY 63982 78414

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.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

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 - 1013514 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 18-Nov-2017 at 07:53:48.

End of official listing