Two hut circles S of Catstor Down
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1002548
Date first listed: 18-Mar-1965
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: West Devon (District Authority)
National Park: DARTMOOR
National Grid Reference: SX 54152 65438, SX 54245 65435
Part of a stone hut circle settlement within a coaxial field system on Wigford Down, 600m south west of Durance.
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 part of a stone hut circle settlement within a coaxial field system on Wigford Down 600m south west of Durance survives comparatively well and will contain environmental and archaeological evidence relating to its construction, development, use and context within an agricultural setting and as part of a larger settlement pattern within the coaxial field system.
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, which falls into two separate areas of protection, includes part of a stone hut circle settlement within a coaxial field system situated on the lower northern slopes of Wigford Down in the upper valley of a tributary to the River Meavy. The two stone hut circles are defined by low rubble walls measuring up to 2m wide and 0.5m high, which surround an internal circular area of up to 9m in diameter.
Further archaeological remains survive within the vicinity of the monument, some are scheduled, but others are not currently protected and these are not included within the scheduling because they have not been formally assessed.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: DV 561
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1994)
PastScape Monument No:-439071
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