A partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement, a cairn, a warrener’s shelter and pillow mounds forming part of a warren on Huntingdon Warren.
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. They mostly date from the Bronze Age, with the earliest examples dating to about 1700 BC. The stone-based round houses consist of low walls or banks enclosing a circular floor area. 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. Their longevity and relationship with other monument types provide important information on the diversity of social organisation and farming practices amongst prehistoric communities.
Warrens are areas of land set aside for the breeding and management of rabbits or hares. They include a series of purpose-built breeding places, known as pillow mounds, low oblong-shaped mounds of soil and/or stones in which the animals lived. Most have a ditch around at least three sides to facilitate drainage. Inside are a series of narrow interconnecting trenches. Most of the surviving warren earthworks probably date to between the 17th century and the later 19th century.
Despite drainage ditches and some stone robbing as a result of the construction of the pillow mounds the partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement, cairn, warrener’s shelter and pillow mounds on Huntingdon Warren survive well and indicate the continuous use of Dartmoor for occupation and agriculture. Archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the construction, use, development, agricultural practices and landscape context will be preserved.
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 two separate areas of protection, includes a partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement with a cairn, a warrener’s shelter and pillow mounds lying on the lower south facing slope of Huntingdon Warren within the Avon Valley. The settlement survives as three discrete, massively built pounds of varying size defined by walls which measure up to 3m wide and over 1m high, all of which contain stone hut circles. A further seven stone hut circles lie outside these enclosures. There are up to 24 stone hut circles which vary in diameter internally from 2.2m to 7.2m. Seventeen of the huts are enclosed and of these 12 are attached to enclosure walls. One enclosure is cut by a drainage ditch. To the south west is a cairn which survives as an oval mound measuring 5m long by 4.7m wide and 1.2m high. To the north east is a warrener’s shelter which survives as a three-sided structure defined by walls measuring up to 0.7m wide and 1.1m high. There are up to five pillow mounds scattered throughout the settlement which survive as low rectangular mounds, two within different enclosures whilst the others are unenclosed. The warrener’s shelter and pillow mounds form part of the extensive Huntingdon Warren.
Further archaeological remains survive within the vicinity of the monument, some are scheduled, but others are not currently protected and these are not included within the scheduling because they have not been formally assessed.