Hut circles SW of Wedlake
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1003195
Date first listed: 12-Sep-1974
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: West Devon (District Authority)
Parish: Peter Tavy
National Park: DARTMOOR
National Grid Reference: SX 54039 77254
Part of a partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement 300m south-east of Wedlake.
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. This monument forms part of a partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement 300m south east of Wedlake, which in its entirety is one of the largest on Dartmoor and has not been excavated. Partly as a result of its remoteness and the relative abundance of stone surrounding it, it is very well preserved, even those parts of the monument which fall within later enclosed fields. This settlement will contain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, use, development, relative chronologies, agricultural practices, social organisation, 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.
This monument includes part of a partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement situated on the lower north western slopes of Roos Tor. The settlement survives as a scattering of stone hut circles, some enclosed or linked by boundaries with a few small irregular shaped paddocks defined by boundary walls, although the majority of the buildings are free standing and unenclosed. To the south west the settlement is defined by a territorial reave and part of the settlement including approximately 10 stone hut circles and some small paddocks have been included within later enclosed fields. The later field boundaries are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included. On the open moor approximately 42 further stone hut circles survive, some are linked to paddocks, two pairs are conjoined but the majority are freestanding. One shows clear internal divisions. The stone hut circles range in size from 2m to 7m in diameter internally and are generally defined by stony walls, some double faced, measuring between 0.8m and 2m wide and on average 1.5m high. The entrances are generally to the south or south west where they are visible. The settlement is also cut by a series of tracks, any modern surfaces of which are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath these features is included.
Further archaeological remains survive within the immediate vicinity, some are scheduled but others are not because they have not been formally assessed.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: DV 870
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities Vol Two - The North, (1992), 86-87
PastScape Monument No:-439955
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