Ancient Monuments

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Two shielings on Foulbog Rigg; part of a group of seven

A Scheduled Monument in Askerton, Cumbria

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Latitude: 55.0922 / 55°5'31"N

Longitude: -2.6043 / 2°36'15"W

OS Eastings: 361530.028213

OS Northings: 577697.711576

OS Grid: NY615776

Mapcode National: GBR B97K.ZD

Mapcode Global: WH90D.Z81L

Entry Name: Two shielings on Foulbog Rigg; part of a group of seven

Scheduled Date: 13 March 1964

Last Amended: 11 March 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014878

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25171

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 two 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. The first and smaller shieling is
visible as the footings of a rectangular building orientated east to west and
measuring 6.5m by 3.5m. It is divided by a wall into two rooms of equal size
with a doorway placed centrally through the south wall. This shieling is
partly overlain by the north wall of a second shieling which is orientated
north to south and has maximum dimensions of 11m by 4m. It has a doorway
through the southern part of the east wall. 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.

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 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


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

Source: Historic England

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