Ancient Monuments

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Shieling on Foulbog Rigg; one of a group of seven

A Scheduled Monument in Askerton, Cumbria

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Latitude: 55.0919 / 55°5'30"N

Longitude: -2.6045 / 2°36'16"W

OS Eastings: 361516.681407

OS Northings: 577666.160745

OS Grid: NY615776

Mapcode National: GBR B97K.YH

Mapcode Global: WH90D.Y8YS

Entry Name: Shieling on Foulbog Rigg; one of a group of seven

Scheduled Date: 13 March 1964

Last Amended: 11 March 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014055

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25173

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


The monument includes the remains of a shieling of medieval or post-medieval
date which forms part of a group situated in the valley of the Red Sike,
a tributary of the River Irthing. The shieling appears as the footings
of a rectangular building orientated east to west measuring 6.4m by 4m. It is
divided into two rooms by a partition wall and there is a doorway through the
centre of the south wall. Attached to the eastern end of the shieling there is
an annexe with tapering sides measuring 3.4m from east to west. A document of
13th century date indicates that the area was being used for sheep pasture and
further documents of the late 16th century attest to a shielding system on the
moor of which these shielings formed a part.

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.

Although the shieling on Foulbog Rigg is today ill-defined it is reasonably
well preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits. It is part of
a larger group of shielings in the area which taken together will add greatly
to our knowledge and understanding of the wider Border settlement and economy
during this period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Ramm, H G , Shielings and Bastles, (1970), 14
Ramm, H G , Shielings and Bastles, (1970), 27
Ramm, H G , Shielings and Bastles, (1970), 11, 15

Source: Historic England

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