Hut circle at Tunhill Rocks

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1003286

Date first listed: 29-Aug-1956

Map

Ordnance survey map of Hut circle at Tunhill Rocks
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: Teignbridge (District Authority)

Parish: Widecombe in the Moor

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 73189 75796

Summary

Two enclosed stone hut circles at Tunhill Rocks.

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. Although partially excavated the two enclosed hut circles at Tunhill Rocks survive comparatively well and lie within and form an integral part of the Rippon Tor coaxial field system. They will contain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their landscape context.

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 5 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 two enclosed stone hut circles situated on the eastern side of Tunhill Rocks, overlooking the valley of the East Webburn River and forming part of the Rippon Tor coaxial field system. The settlement survives as a D-shaped enclosure measuring 26m long by 20m wide defined by stone and earth banks abutting Tunhill Rocks and part of a reave. Within the enclosure are two stone hut circles. The eastern hut circle survives as a double orthostatic wall surrounding a circular internal area. The interior measures 7m in diameter and is defined by a wall standing up to 1.5m wide and 0.5m high. The western hut circle is rectangular in plan and measures up to 3m long by 2m wide internally. It is defined by a rubble coursed wall measuring up to 0.7m wide. Both hut circles were excavated in 1896 and this revealed both to have south facing doorways. Finds included parts of a thick walled decorated and much used cooking pot, a drinking vessel, a flint scraper and flakes, charcoal and a piece of slate.

Further archaeological remains survive within the vicinity of this monument. Some are scheduled, but others are not because they have not been formally assessed.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: DV 353

Legacy System: RSM - OCN

Sources

Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, Volume One - The East , (1991), Map 9
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, Volume Five - The Second Millennium BC, (1997), 128
Other
PastScape Monument No:- 445121

End of official listing