Hut circles on Hedge Down
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1002620
Date first listed: 28-Feb-1972
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Teignbridge (District Authority)
Parish: Widecombe in the Moor
National Park: DARTMOOR
National Grid Reference: SX 73082 78549, SX 73109 78568
Two stone hut circles 430m south west of Hedge Barton.
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 some fallen orthostats in the south western hut circle the two stone hut circles 430m south west of Hedge Barton demonstrate different building techniques and survive well. They will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, use, relative chronologies, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 12 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.
eastern slopes of Honeybag Tor. The south western hut survives as a circular structure defined by large single orthostats, some of which have fallen, measuring up to 1m high and enclosing an interior which measures up to 6m in diameter. The north western hut circle is less substantially built and has some smaller orthostats and rubble walling with upright door jambs to the SSE and an internal diameter of up to 8m. The hut circles are both terraced into the hill.
Short lines of stones in the vicinity are possibly the remains of fields but these are not included in 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 857
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, Volume One - The East , (1991), 49
PastScape Monument No:-445054
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