Hut circles and fields on Buckland Common
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1004589
Date first listed: 02-Jan-1962
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Teignbridge (District Authority)
Parish: Buckland in the Moor
National Park: DARTMOOR
National Grid Reference: SX 73330 73886
An agglomerated enclosed stone hut circle settlement within part of the Rippon Tor coaxial field system, 530m south east of Ruddycleave.
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.
The agglomerated enclosed stone hut circle settlement within part of the Rippon Tor coaxial field system 530m south east of Ruddycleave survives well, and since it lies close to an extremely boggy area will contain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, use, agricultural practices and landscape context.
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 agglomerated enclosed stone hut circle settlement within the Rippon Tor coaxial field system, situated near the crest of a low ridge surrounding Ruddycleave Water on the edge of Buckland Common. The settlement survives as a series of 8 conjoined enclosures of varying size and shape, divided by a reave and cross reave and containing four stone hut circles. The enclosure walls are substantial and measure up to 1.2m high. The interior of the enclosures is relatively stone free and there are lynchets indicating past cultivation. The four surviving stone hut circles have substantially built walls of coursed rubble and orthostats measuring up to 1.5m wide and 1m high. The internal diameters of these huts range in size from 6.7m to 9.5m. Two are built into enclosure walls the others are freestanding.
Further archaeological remains survive within the vicinity of the monument, but these are not included within the scheduling because they have not been formally assessed.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: DV 511
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991)
PastScape Monument No:-445343
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