Ancient Monuments

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Shieling on north bank of Lewis Burn

A Scheduled Monument in Falstone, Northumberland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.1981 / 55°11'53"N

Longitude: -2.5786 / 2°34'42"W

OS Eastings: 363266.531

OS Northings: 589472.562502

OS Grid: NY632894

Mapcode National: GBR B8FB.JF

Mapcode Global: WH8ZV.CLBW

Entry Name: Shieling on north bank of Lewis Burn

Scheduled Date: 7 December 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010042

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25127

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Falstone

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Falstone with Greystead and Thorneyburn

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle

Details

The monument includes the remains of a shieling of medieval date situated on a
level terrace on the north bank of the Lewis Burn. The shieling is well
defined and is visible as the foundations of a rectangular dry stone building
measuring 6.5m east to west by 3.5m north to south. It is bounded by stone
walls spread to 1.5m and standing to a height of 0.5m. A semicircular platform
2m wide is attached to the east side of the shieling defined by an arc of
regular stones, and is included in the scheduling.

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.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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 on the Lewis Burn is reasonably well preserved and retains
significant archaeological deposits.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Long, B, List Of Ancient Monuments- The Kielder Forests, (1988)

Source: Historic England

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