Hut circles SE of Yar Tor
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1003291
Date first listed: 03-Jul-1964
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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 68171 73684, SX 68187 73670, SX 68266 73594, SX 68444 73502
Stone hut circle settlement within the Dartmeet coaxial field system, 660m south east of Yar Tor.
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.
Elaborate complexes of fields and field boundaries are some of the major features of the Dartmoor landscape. The reaves are part of an extensive system of prehistoric land division introduced during the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They consist of simple linear stone banks used to mark out discrete territories, some of which are tens of kilometres in extent.
Despite some interference with the buildings which make up the stone hut circle settlement within the Dartmeet coaxial field system 660m south east of Yar Tor in both prehistoric and medieval times they survive well and form part of a much larger settlement pattern and field system. They will contain important archaeological and environmental information relating to their construction, use, development, settlement patterns, re-use through a number of different time periods and the agricultural and climatic conditions which changed through time.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 5 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, which falls into four separate areas of protection, includes a stone hut circle settlement within the Dartmeet coaxial field system to the south east of Yar Tor on its lower south facing slopes. The settlement survives as four discrete stone hut circles. These are all defined by rubble built and orthostatic faced walls which are up to 2m wide and 1m high and vary internally in diameter from 5m up to 8m. They form an integral part of the Dartmeet coaxial field system which is also the basis for medieval fields in this area. One stone hut circle is enclosed by a small oval enclosure attached to a reave.
Further archaeological remains survive in the vicinity of this monument some are scheduled, but others are not included because they have not been formally assessed.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: DV 532
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape Monument No:- 442886, 442889 and 442895
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