Shieling 930m SSW of Mounthooly
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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 - 1014494 .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 17-Sep-2019 at 02:01:42.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
- National Park:
- National Grid Reference:
- NT 87900 21654
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 930m SSW of Mounthooly survives well and will retain significant archaeological deposits. It is one of a discrete group of shielings clustered at this point south of Mounthooly which, in turn, are part of a string of shielings found along the bottom of the College Valley which are all built in similar locations: on slightly raised ground adjacent to water. They form a group of contemporary structures associated with medieval agriculture and will contribute to the study of medieval and later settlements and land use in the Cheviots.
The monument includes a shieling, of between 14th and 18th century date,
situated on the western floodplain of the College Burn at the foot of the
steep eastern slope of The Shil. The shieling survives as a low building
foundation covered with turf and its long axis runs north east to south west.
It is rectangular in shape and stone built; it measures 12.5m by 6.25m and is
divided into two unequal rooms. Stone tumble in the larger northern room may
represent a further partition. The walls are spread to 2.75m wide and stand up
to 0.4m high, there is an entrance c.1m wide to the smaller southern room on
the south east side.
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:
Books and journals
Archaeology Section, Tyne, Wear Museums, , College Valley Survey: Mounthooly, (1994), 6-7
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