Three enclosed hut groups, Black Tor, Shipley Bridge
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1002505
Date first listed: 04-Dec-1957
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: South Hams (District Authority)
Parish: South Brent
National Park: DARTMOOR
National Grid Reference: SX 67806 63366, SX 67913 63375, SX 67999 63325
Three enclosures and stone hut circles forming part of a partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement 300m south-west of Black Tor.
Reasons for Designation
Dartmoor is the largest expanse of open moorland in southern Britain and, because of exceptional conditions of preservation, it is also one of the most complete examples of an upland relict landscape in the whole country. The great wealth and diversity of archaeological remains provide direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the early prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, major land boundaries, trackways, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains, gives significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time. Stone hut circles and hut settlements were the dwelling places of prehistoric farmers on Dartmoor. They mostly date from the Bronze Age, with the earliest examples on the Moor in this building tradition dating to about 1700 BC. The stone-based round houses consist of low walls or banks enclosing a circular floor area; remains of the turf or thatch roof are not preserved. The huts may occur singly or in small or large groups and may lie in the open or be enclosed by a bank of earth and stone. Although they are common on the Moor, their longevity and their relationship with other monument types provide important information on the diversity of social organisation and farming practices amongst prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period.
Pillow mounds are low oblong-shaped mounds of soil and/or stones in which rabbits or hares were kept and bred. They are usually between 15m and 40m long and between 5m and 10m wide. Most have a ditch around at least three sides to facilitate drainage. They probably date to between the 17th and the later 19th century.
The three enclosures and stone hut circles forming part of a partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement 300m south west of Black Tor, together with the later pillow mound survive well and will contain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, use and abandonment.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 5 November 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
This monument which falls into three areas includes three enclosures, stone hut circles and a pillow mound situated on a high ridge overlooking the valleys of the River Avon and the Bala Brook. The three roughly oval enclosures of varying size are defined by orthostatic and rubble built banks measuring up to 4m wide and 1m high. The eastern enclosure contains 15 stone hut circles of varying size. Five are attached to the enclosure wall, the rest are scattered within the interior towards the north and west. Two of the hut circles are conjoined and one of these has a dividing interior wall. A single pillow mound which survives as a low rectangular mound, surrounded by a partially buried ditch is situated within the eastern part of the enclosure. The northern enclosure contains three stone hut circles the largest is centrally positioned and measures 6m in diameter internally. The others lie to the west, one is attached to the enclosure wall. The southern enclosure contains a single stone hut circle attached to the northern wall. It has an internal diameter of 7m.
The remainder of the settlement survives within the vicinity of the monument, but is not included within the scheduling because it has not been formally assessed.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: DV 384
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, Volume Four – The South-East , (1993), 101-102
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing