Part of a partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement, 840m SSW of the confluence of Hook Lake and River Erme.
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 partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement 840m SSW of the confluence of Hook Lake and River Erme survives comparatively well, and lies within the archaeologically rich Erme Valley. It is immediately associated with other settlement sites of similar date, ritual monuments and later medieval and post medieval industrial remains from tin working. The site clearly demonstrates a development from a purely open stone hut circle settlement to a partially enclosed one and as a result will contain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, use, social organisation, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements and landscape context through time.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 11 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.
The monument includes part of a partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement situated on the lower south eastern slopes of Stall Moor on the western valley side of the River Erme. The partially enclosed settlement survives as sixteen stone hut circles of varying size either incorporated into the defining walls or attached to the outside of three agglomerated enclosures of varying size and shape with three outlying freestanding stone hut circles to the south east. The stone hut circles vary in diameter internally from 2.3m up to 5.6m and are defined by low rubble built walls. The enclosure walls measure up to 2m wide and 0.5m high. In the south western corner two of the hut circles are attached to a small pound within an enclosure. Where visible the entrances to the hut circles generally face south.
Further stone hut circles which form part of this settlement lie to the north east, but these are not included in the scheduling because they have not been formally assessed, other nearby archaeological remains are subject to separate schedulings.