Enclosure and hut circles E of Huntingdon Ford
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1002536
Date first listed: 04-Sep-1961
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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: Dean Prior
National Park: DARTMOOR
National Grid Reference: SX 66697 66168
A stone hut circle settlement with enclosures and later tinner’s shelter 250m east of Huntingdon Cross.
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.
Shelters are small rectangular or oval buildings which provided temporary accommodation for a variety of moorland workers. Some were occupied seasonally and formed habitation for months at a time, whilst others were only used during work hours as shelters from inclement weather. Some probably had more than a single function, with parts of the structure being utilised for storage. The shelters vary considerably in size and most were built of drystone walling. A single building tradition appears to have been used by the different groups of workers who constructed shelters. A significant number were built within earlier ruined structures such as prehistoric stone hut circles. The function of each shelter can generally be ascertained by its proximity to other archaeological features. Shelters found within or close to tin works are generally considered to have been built and occupied by tinners.
Despite some stone robbing and rebuilding as a result of tinner’s activities the stone hut circle settlement with enclosures and later tinner’s shelter 250m east of Huntingdon Cross survive well and will contain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to settlement, agriculture and industrial practices.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 5 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 stone hut circle settlement, two enclosures and a tinner’s shelter situated on the lower south western facing slope of Hickaton Hill in the Avon Valley. The settlement survives as two enclosures with associated stone hut circles. The western enclosure which is known locally as Biller’s Pound is oval in shape and defined by a substantial bank which measures up to 1.5m high. It contains five small hut circles built against its inner wall and a further three more substantial ones attached to the outside. A small rectangular pen has also been added to the south western exterior wall. To the south a later two celled rectangular tinner’s shelter has been added to the edge of the enclosure and partially overlies a hut circle. The second enclosure lies to the west and only survives as an upstanding feature to the south, it has one hut attached to its exterior. There are up to seven hut circles scattered between the two enclosures, two of which are conjoined and a single outlying example to the south east of Biller’s Pound. The hut circles measure up to 6.7m in diameter internally.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: DV 466
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, Volume Four – The South-East , (1993)
PastScape Monument No:-441432, 441453, 441506 and 441509
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