Hut circles and fields on Dendles Waste
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1002524
Date first listed: 30-Mar-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)
National Park: DARTMOOR
National Grid Reference: SX 61297 63194
An unenclosed stone hut circle settlement to the north west of Dendles Waste and 680m south west of Yealm Steps.
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.
The unenclosed stone hut circle settlement to the north west of Dendles Waste and 680m south west of Yealm Steps survives well. A stone hut circle settlement of this size which is unenclosed is unusual even for Dartmoor. It will contain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the construction, development and use of both the buildings and settlement as a whole as well as providing crucial information regarding its landscape context. The presence of a nearby tinwork may also indicate a potential link between prehistoric mineral exploitation and this type of settlement.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 4 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 an unenclosed stone hut circle settlement situated on a south facing slope forming the eastern side of the valley of the Broadall Lake. The settlement is defined to the north by the Penn Moor Reave which has been incorporated into the later moorland boundary wall. The monument survives as twenty three stone hut circles or hut platforms with some unconnected short lengths of boundary banks. Four of the stone hut circles are attached to the Penn Moor Reave, a number are submerged in peat and two lie a distance away from the main group. The walls of the huts are generally formed by single faced orthostats and measure approximately 0.7m wide and 0.5m high. The hut interiors range between 4.5m to 9m in diameter. Entrances to the hut circles generally face to the south east, several of the doorways are apparently defined by upstanding stone door jambs, one hut has an entrance porch. The huts are mainly terraced into the hill slope and have level interiors. A further settlement survives to the west and is the subject of a separate scheduling.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: DV 440
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1994)
PastScape Monument No:-442261
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