Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Medieval shieling 160m north west of Clough Fold

A Scheduled Monument in St John's Castlerigg and Wythburn, Cumbria

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »
Street or Overhead View
Contributor Photos »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.

Coordinates

Latitude: 54.6033 / 54°36'11"N

Longitude: -3.0365 / 3°2'11"W

OS Eastings: 333141.585676

OS Northings: 523613.098761

OS Grid: NY331236

Mapcode National: GBR 7H76.DN

Mapcode Global: WH81D.BK9F

Entry Name: Medieval shieling 160m north west of Clough Fold

Scheduled Date: 19 June 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012651

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23789

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: St John's Castlerigg and Wythburn

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: St John's in the Vale and Wythburn

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle

Details

The monument includes a medieval shieling located on St John's Common 160m
north west of Clough Fold and a short distance south of the Old Coach Road. It
is a single-roomed shieling measuring 11.7m by 7m externally, with walls of
drystone construction surviving up to 0.5m high. There are traces of a narrow
ditch up to 0.5m wide and 0.1m deep around three sides of the shieling.

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 foundations of the shieling 160m north west of Clough Fold survive well,
allowing its full ground plan to be reconstructed. It is one of a group of ten
shielings in the vicinity, some of which have different ground plans. Some
have external structures, and some are located in pairs. Together they provide
evidence of the occupation and exploitation of this upland area during the
medieval period. Further analysis of these sites would provide information on
any chronological development of the transhumance system to which they relate
and also on any differences between the individual shielings.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Schofield,A.J., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Shielings, (1989)

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments

AncientMonuments.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact AncientMonuments.uk for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself.

AncientMonuments.uk is a Good Stuff website.