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Three shielings on Foulbog Rigg; the westernmost of a group of seven

A Scheduled Monument in Askerton, Cumbria

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.0921 / 55°5'31"N

Longitude: -2.6051 / 2°36'18"W

OS Eastings: 361475.311339

OS Northings: 577683.042133

OS Grid: NY614776

Mapcode National: GBR B97K.SF

Mapcode Global: WH90D.Y8MP

Entry Name: Three shielings on Foulbog Rigg; the westernmost of a group of seven

Scheduled Date: 13 March 1964

Last Amended: 11 March 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014053

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25170

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Askerton

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Gilsland St Mary Magdalene

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle

Details

The monument includes the remains of three shielings of medieval or
post-medieval date which form part of a group situated in the valley of the
Red Sike, a tributary of the River Irthing. Two of the shielings have been
overlain by the third and are therefore earlier in date. The most westerly
shieling appears as the footings of a rectangular building 6.8m by 3.1m with
walls 0.5m thick. It is orientated east to west and is immediately adjacent to
a second shieling of similar dimensions to the first but is orientated north
to south. Only the eastern side of this shieling is now visible. These two
shielings are both overlain by a third which is orientated east to west and
has maximum dimensions of 6.6m by 3.1m. The shieling is divided by a wall into
two rooms and there is an entrance through the centre of the south wall giving
access to the larger of the two rooms. Attached to the western end there is a
small annexe. A document of 13th century date indicates that the area was
being used for sheep pasture, and further documents of the late 16th century
describe a shielding system on the moor of which these shielings formed a
part.

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 shielings on Foulbog Rigg are reasonably well preserved and retain
significant archaeological deposits. They form part of a larger group of
shielings in this valley which taken together will add greatly to our
knowledge and understanding of the wider Border settlement and economy during
this period.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Ramm, H G , Shielings and Bastles, (1970), 14
Ramm, H G , Shielings and Bastles, (1970), 28
Ramm, H G , Shielings and Bastles, (1970), 15

Source: Historic England

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