Shieling and enclosure 840m 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 - 1015194 .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 20-Sep-2019 at 10:44:54.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
- National Park:
- National Grid Reference:
- NT 87912 21737, NT 87935 21739
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 and enclosure 840m SSW of Mounthooly survive reasonably well and will retain significant archaeological deposits. Their importance is enhanced by their association with two other shielings clustered nearby 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 settlements and land use in the Cheviots.
The monument includes a medieval shieling and an enclosure situated on the
western floodplain of the College Burn at the foot of the steep eastern slope
of The Schil. It is protected in two separate areas. The shieling survives as
a low sub rectangular stony mound adjacent to a modern track and measures 7.5m
by 3m. Across the track to the west is an irregular enclosure, roughly
rectangular in shape, which measures c.30m north east to south west by 17.5m
north west to south east with walls 2m wide and up to 0.4m high. There is an
entrance c.3m wide in the north east side with a wing wall 3.75m long on its
north west side. In the southern corner of the enclosure is a stone structure
3.75m square which may be a later addition. The enclosure is interpreted as a
paddock or stock enclosure associated with the shieling.
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), 8
Archaeology Section, Tyne, Wear Museums, , College Valley Survey: Mounthooly, (1994), 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