Pounds and hut circles N of Saddlesborough
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1002517
Date first listed: 29-Jun-1960
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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: Shaugh Prior
National Park: DARTMOOR
National Grid Reference: SX 55750 63523
Partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement on the northern edge of Shaugh Moor.
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.
Despite limited excavation the partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement on the northern edge of Shaugh Moor survives well and excavations have already demonstrated that a great deal of archaeological and environmental evidence will be preserved within this important settlement indicating the functions of the various structures and their development. The position of the settlement just beyond the upper edge of a coaxial field system is of interest and will provide a crucial insight into the development of the settlement pattern on this part of the moor.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 3 November 2015. The 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.
The monument includes a partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement situated on a prominent hill known as Saddlesborough overlooking the Plym Valley. The settlement survives as 27 hut circles with approximately seven associated enclosures of various size and shape and other associated boundary walls. Up to 14 of the huts are attached to boundary walls and many of these are used to form parts of the outer boundaries of the various enclosures. The remaining hut circles are freestanding structures scattered between the enclosures. The hut circles vary in size from 3.4m up to 8.2m in diameter internally. The largest has a double wall. Partial excavations in 1960 – 63 produced a radiocarbon date for one hut of 1250 BC as well as charcoal, flint flakes, a scraper and interior post holes. Some of the enclosures appear to have no entrances and excavations nearby have shown that they may have been deliberately built in this way, possibly to keep livestock out. In one enclosure a granite trough has been worked into a square block in the southern wall.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: DV 428
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1994)
PastScape Monument Nos:- 439232, 439358, 439361, 439364, 439367, 439370, 439483 and 1106079
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