Ancient Monuments

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Medieval shieling south of Cow Green

A Scheduled Monument in Crosby Ravensworth, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.5008 / 54°30'2"N

Longitude: -2.5977 / 2°35'51"W

OS Eastings: 361389.0155

OS Northings: 511878.844

OS Grid: NY613118

Mapcode National: GBR BJ9D.DC

Mapcode Global: WH93B.248H

Entry Name: Medieval shieling south of Cow Green

Scheduled Date: 22 February 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007596

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22503

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Crosby Ravensworth

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Crosby Ravensworth St Lawrence

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument is a medieval shieling located south of Cow Green and situated
c.80m west-south-west of the southern end of the medieval dyke at Cow Green.
It is a rectangular single-roomed shieling measuring c.11m by 4m and is of
boulder construction standing one course high above ground level. It is one of
five shielings located in close proximity to a medieval deer park which was
enclosed in 1336 by the Threlkeld family of Crosby Lodge, then known as Crosby
Gill, and extends to about 700 acres. During medieval times it was owned
successively by the families of Pickering, Wilson and Rawlinson.

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.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

A medieval shieling is a hut, often within an enclosure, found singly or in
groups in areas which may be considered upland or marginal in relation to
their local environment. They served as temporary summer accommodation for
herdsmen and their families involved in transhumance, ie. the removal of stock
from permanent dwellings to areas of summer pasture some distance away, on
upland or in marshland or fen. Historical documents suggest the use of
medieval shielings was largely confined to a period up to the 15th century
although a few later examples are known. Shielings can be defined by an
enclosure or can be totally isolated. They are of dry-stone walling
construction, rectangular, square or ovoid in plan, and can be single-roomed
or two-roomed. Shielings comprise both above and below ground structures with
the main contexts for the preservation of finds being living floors inside the
huts and middens outside the hut. Finds include coins, pottery and metalwork.
Environmental evidence may be obtained from hearths and middens. Transhumance
has a complex history in the British Isles and finds from shielings, together
with an understanding of the chronological development within groups of
shielings and the arrangement of activities within and surrounding the
structures, will assist any study of the medieval exploitation of marginal
The medieval shieling south of Cow Green will retain evidence of its living
floor, hearth and internal structures. Additionally it will offer the
opportunity for assessing its contemporaneity with the nearby dyke system of
the medieval deer park.

Source: Historic England


Schofield,J., MPP Single Monument Class Description, (1989)

Source: Historic England

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