Shieling 150m south of Tinkler Crags
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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This copy shows the entry on 13-Oct-2019 at 23:26:07.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Carlisle (District Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- NY 63482 71237
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.
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:
- Legacy System:
Books and journals
Ramm, H G , Shielings and Bastles, (1970), 27, 14
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