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Two medieval shielings on south bank of White Lyne 230m north east of confluence with little Hare Grain

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: Two medieval shielings on south bank of White Lyne 230m north east of confluence with little Hare Grain

List entry Number: 1016394

Location

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

County: Cumbria

District: Carlisle

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Bewcastle

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 22-Dec-1997

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: 27795

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 two medieval shielings on the south bank of the White Lyne 230m north east of its confluence with Little Hare Grain survive reasonably well and are part of a larger group of shielings sited amongst the uplands and along the river valleys and tributaries of north east Cumbria which, taken together, will add to our knowledge and understanding of the wider border settlement and economy during the medieval period.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the upstanding and buried remains of two stone built medieval shielings located on the south bank of the White Lyne 230m north east of its confluence with Little Hare Grain. These shielings form part of a larger group of 24 shielings strung out for approximately 800m along the valley floor of the White Lyne which were surveyed by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England in 1970 prior to afforestation of the area. The most prominent and best preserved of the shielings is also the later of the two. It has been constructed on the site of the earlier shieling and is a rectangular single-roomed hut measuring 7.6m by 3.4m with its long axis aligned east-west and walls up to 1.5m high. There is an entrance in the south side with an in situ reused threshold stone. Also on the south side is a small stone built windbreak, while on the east side there is a small annexe approximately 3.5m square. The earlier shieling survives as boulder footings beneath the north and south walls of the later shieling. It was the larger of the two, measures 11m by 4.9m, and extends east and south of the later shieling as a debris platform. Documentary sources indicate that the Bewcastle Fells were first used by the Lords of Burgh on Solway in the 13th century to summer their cattle and build `shields and cabins'. This custom continued into the 17th century.

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), 18-31
'Gentleman's Magazine' in Gentleman's Magazine, , Vol. XXIV, (1754), 505-6
Denton, J, 'C&WAAS Tract Ser' in Accompot of the Most Consid Estates & Families in Cumberland, , Vol. II, (1887), 146
Other
Schofield,A.J., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Shielings, (1989)

National Grid Reference: NY 57694 80625

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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This copy shows the entry on 20-Nov-2017 at 01:39:04.

End of official listing