Two enclosures on South Common
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1003298
Date first listed: 10-Mar-1969
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: North Devon (District Authority)
Parish: Lynton and Lynmouth
National Park: EXMOOR
National Grid Reference: SS 69646 44745, SS 69754 44764
Two enclosed stone hut circles 610m south of Woolhanger Farm.
Reasons for Designation
Exmoor is the most easterly of the three main upland areas in the south western peninsula of England. In contrast to the other two areas, Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor, there has been no history of antiquarian research and little excavation of Exmoor monuments. However, detailed survey work by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England has confirmed a comparable richness of archaeological remains, with evidence of human exploitation and occupation from the Mesolithic period to the present day. Stone hut circles and hut circle settlements were the dwelling places of prehistoric farmers. Most date from the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). The stone- based round-houses consist of low walls or banks enclosing a circular floor area; the remains of the turf, thatch or heather roofs 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 or stone. The longevity of use of hut circle settlements and their relationship with other monument types provides important information on the diversity of social organisation and farming practices amongst prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period.
Despite some reduction in the height of the western enclosed hut circle through cultivation the two enclosed stone hut circles 610m south of Woolhanger Farm survive well and are in an area rich with associated monuments such as barrows and a nearby henge, thus indicating their importance. Both are separately enclosed which is unusual. They will provide archaeological and environmental evidence regarding their construction and use, settlement, agricultural practices and the links with the nearby funerary and ritual monuments as well as information about their local landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 10 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 two separate areas of protection, includes two enclosed stone hut circles situated on the northern slopes of South Common between the valleys of two tributaries to the Barbrook River. The western enclosure is the smaller of the two and survives as an almost circular internal area measuring up to 31.4m in diameter, defined by a bank which measures up to 3.1m wide and 0.4m high. Inside is a circular platform measuring 6.8m in diameter and up to 0.4m high. The eastern enclosure is oval in plan, it measures up to 45.5m long by 30.3m wide internally and is defined by a coursed wall of up to 3.2m wide and 0.7m high. The internal hut circle measures up to 10.5m in diameter internally and is defined by a bank of up to 3.2m wide and 0.4m high. It has an entrance to the south east.
Further hut circles to the south are not included in the scheduling because they have not been formally assessed. Other archaeological remains in the vicinity are the subject of separate schedulings.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: DV 707
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape Monument No:-34742
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