Enclosure and fields N of Yar Tor

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1003292

Date first listed: 11-Jan-1965

Map

Ordnance survey map of Enclosure and fields N of Yar Tor
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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 67730 74473

Summary

An enclosed stone hut circle settlement with fields forming part of the Dartmeet coaxial field system 400m NNW 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. 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 re-use in the medieval period and the more recent cutting of the enclosure and insertion of a water pipe the enclosed stone hut circle settlement with fields forming part of the Dartmeet coaxial field system 400m NNW of Yar Tor survives comparatively well and will contain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, re-use, agricultural practices and climatic changes through time.

Details

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 includes an enclosed stone hut circle settlement with fields forming part of the Dartmeet coaxial field system situated on a north west facing slope of Yar Tor overlooking the valley of the East Dart River. The settlement survives as two stone hut circles incorporated into the walls of an oval enclosure with further rectangular fields beyond. Both stone hut circles are defined by rubble walls measuring up to 1.5m wide and 0.8m high which enclose circular areas with internal diameters of up to 9.5m. The walls of the enclosure have been cut by a trench for a water pipe. The surrounding rectangular fields form part of the coaxial field system and have been reused during the medieval period as the basis for a later field system.

Further archaeological remains survive in the vicinity, some are scheduled but others have not been included 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 533

Legacy System: RSM - OCN

Sources

Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991)
Other
PastScape Monument No:- 442877

End of official listing