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Shieling settlement close to the mouth of Scale Beck

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 settlement close to the mouth of Scale Beck

List entry Number: 1014735

Location

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

County: Cumbria

District: Allerdale

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Loweswater

National Park: LAKE DISTRICT

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 03-Oct-1975

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Dec-1995

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 27674

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.

Despite the overgrown nature of the site caused by dense bracken cover, the shieling settlement near the mouth of Scale Beck survives reasonably well and remains largely unencumbered by modern development. It is a rare survival in western Cumbria of a shieling settlement, it retains considerable detail of the layout of the site, and it will provide further evidence for the occupation and exploitation of this upland area during the medieval period.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a medieval shieling settlement located on the fellside close to the mouth of Scale Beck on the western side of Crummock Water. It includes a group of five shielings of drystone construction, two of which are associated with adjacent stone-built enclosures, together with a D-shaped enclosure within which there is a small square outbuilding. At the northern end of the site is a rectangular single-roomed shieling measuring c.16m by 5m which lies adjacent to a sub-rectangular enclosure with internal measurements of approximately 18m by 13m. There is an entrance to the enclosure at its north east corner close to the shieling, and a length of walling runs from the enclosure's south east corner and curves around the eastern side of the shieling. A short distance to the south is a second rectangular single-roomed shieling which measures c.11m by 5.5m, and some 50m to the south west is a third single-roomed shieling measuring c.8m by 6m. To the west of this latter shieling lies a D-shaped stone-walled enclosure measuring a maximum of c.26m by 21m internally within which there are the low walls of a small square stone outbuilding. Some 60m to the south west of this enclosure, on the opposite side of a modern drystone wall, there is a three-roomed shieling measuring c.14m by 6.5m which lies adjacent to a sub-rectangular enclosure with internal measurements of c.25m by 20m. There is an entrance to the enclosure at its north east corner, and lengths of walling run southwards from the enclosure's south west and south east corners, the latter terminating in a tumble of stones which may mark the site of another shieling. Approximately 80m to the north east there is a fourth single-roomed shieling measuring c.13.5m by 6.5m and close by is another tumble of stones which may mark the site of a shieling. Elsewhere there are faint traces of wall foundations, particularly on the north east side of the site and close to the two streams which run through the site, but these are too fragmentary and overgrown to interpret with any certainty at the present time. The nature of the surviving remains suggests that the shieling settlement may have been used over a considerable period of time, and that the range of additional features such as enclosures and an outbuilding indicates that it may have been occupied on a more permanent basis than is normal for sites of this nature. A modern drystone wall and sheepfold are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Ramm, H G , Shielings and Bastles, (1970), 35
Ramm, H G , Shielings and Bastles, (1970), 20
Hay, T, 'Trans Cumb & West Antiq & Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Buttermere Settlements, , Vol. XLV, (1945), 116-20
Size, N, 'Trans Cumb & West Antiq & Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Click Mill at Buttermere and Buttermere Notes, , Vol. XXXVI, (1936), 194
Other
Schofield, A.J., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Shielings, (1989)
Schofield,A.J., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Shielings, (1989)
Schofield,A.J., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Shielings, (1989)
SMR No. 1220, Cumbria SMR, Settlement at Mouth of Scale Beck, (1987)
SMR No. 1220, Cumbria SMR, Settlement at Mouth of Scale Beck, (1987)

National Grid Reference: NY 15584 17579

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 - 1014735 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 15-Dec-2017 at 12:51:43.

End of official listing