Hut circles SE of Brisworthy
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1004585
Date first listed: 28-Jul-1960
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: West Devon (District Authority)
National Park: DARTMOOR
National Grid Reference: SX 56215 65020
Partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement 260m south east of Brisworthy.
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.
Despite being located within historic fields and having been partially cut by a farm leat and track, the partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement 260m south east of Brisworthy survives comparatively well and will contain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, use and landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 3 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, boundary bank and further hut circle situated to the south east of Brisworthy overlooking the Plym Valley. The settlement survives as a roughly oval enclosure measuring up to 40m long by 25m wide defined by a double orthostatic wall containing one stone hut circle, with an outlying hut circle linked to the enclosure by a short connecting wall. The stone hut circles are defined by double orthostatic walls measuring up to 1.5m wide and 0.7m high which surround their interiors and measure up to 8m in diameter internally. The enclosure is cut by a farm leat and track.
A further stone hut circle survives to the south but this is not included in the scheduling because it has not been formally assessed.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: DV 432
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape Monument No:- 438653
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