Shieling 150m south of Tinkler Crags


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017731

Date first listed: 31-Mar-1994

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Feb-1998


Ordnance survey map of Shieling 150m south of Tinkler Crags
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 16-Dec-2018 at 07:50:02.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cumbria

District: Carlisle (District Authority)

Parish: Kingwater

National Grid Reference: NY 63482 71237


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 shieling south of Tinkler Crags is well preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits and original features. It is one of a group of shielings situated along the River Irthing and its tributaries which, taken together, will add greatly to our knowledge and understanding of the wider Border settlement and economy during this period.


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


The monument includes the remains of a shieling of medieval date, situated immediately above the right bank of the steep sided King Water Burn. The shieling is attached to a 19th century stone sheep fold and until recently retained a roof of wood and turves. The shieling, orientated east to west, is visible as the lower courses of a rectangular stone building 4m by 2.5m. The walls of the shieling are 0.4m wide and those on the south and east stand to a maximum height of 2m. The shieling comprises a single room with an entrance through its south wall. There is a small opening above the door which is interpreted as a smoke vent. The roof of the shieling, which was last recorded in 1970, is no longer in place. This shieling is one of many in this area which is known to have formed part of the extensive summer pastures serving the permanent settlement of several local manors.

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: 28570

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Ramm, H G , Shielings and Bastles, (1970), 27, 14

End of official listing