Hut circles W of Higher Shapley
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1002651
Date first listed: 14-Jun-1977
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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 68075 84691, SX 68082 84751
Prehistoric settlement and associated field system 280m west of Higher Shapley.
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 and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.
The prehistoric settlement and associated field system 280m west of Higher Shapley survive comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to this area during the prehistoric period. The settlement lies on the interface between present day moorland and enclosed land and is an example of good survival within more intensively used farmland.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 17 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 prehistoric settlement and associated field system situated on a gentle east-facing slope overlooking the valley of the North Walla Brook. The prehistoric settlement includes at least four stone hut circles sitting within a field system. The stone hut circles survive as circular buildings denoted by rubble and orthostatic walling standing up to 1.4m high. The field system includes several lengths of boulder and rubble walling standing up to 0.7m high.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: DV 983
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
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