A complex landscape of multi-period sites 300m west of Northwood Farm.
Reasons for Designation
Bodmin Moor, the largest of the Cornish granite uplands, has long been recognised to have exceptional preservation of archaeological remains. The Moor has been the subject of detailed archaeological survey and is one of the best recorded upland landscapes in England. The extensive relict landscapes of prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval date provide direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the earliest prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, field systems, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains provides significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time. Stone hut circles were the dwelling places of prehistoric farmers on the Moor, mostly dating from the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). The stone-based round houses survive as low walls or banks enclosing a circular floor area. The huts occur singly or in small or large groups and may occur in the open or be enclosed by a bank of earth and stone. Although they are common on the Moor, their longevity of use and their relationship with other monument types including field systems and standing stones for example provides important information on the diversity of social organisation and farming practices among prehistoric communities. Long houses are one of several distinctive forms of medieval farmhouse. Rectangular in plan, usually with their long axis orientated downslope, the interior of long houses was divided into two separate functional areas, an upslope domestic room and a downslope stock byre. Long houses may be accompanied by ancillary buildings, separated slightly from the farmhouse itself, or by out shuts, attached to the long house and often extending one end of the structure. The earliest known long houses date to the 10th to 11th centuries AD, but their main period of construction was during the later 12th to 15th centuries AD. Together with their associated field systems they provide important information on the nature of settlement organisation and farming activity during the medieval period. The complex landscape of multi- period sites 300m west of Northwood Farm provides an insight of agricultural and domestic changes through time in this important palimpsest.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 9 December 2015. This 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.
This monument, which falls into three areas, includes a complex landscape of multi-period sites situated on a prominent ridge known as Mutton’s Downs overlooking the valley of a tributary to the River Fowey. The complex of sites include at least two discreet stone hut circle settlements with associated field systems, two separate outlying stone hut circles, a standing stone, a prehistoric field system which may have been extensively re-used in the medieval period and some medieval rectangular buildings which are thought to be long houses or stock pens. The first settlement survives as up to three stone hut circles of varying size defined by double faced orthostatic walls and associated with a field system bounded by stony lynchets, the second is a fairly dispersed settlement of at least 10 stone hut circles from 5.5m up to 10m in diameter internally and defined with double faced or rubble walls. Some form an open settlement with no obvious closely associated paddocks or field boundaries. Two further stone hut circles lie to the south east and south west. The western hut is up to 8m in diameter internally with an annexe to the west. The eastern hut has two orthostats in its entrance is 9.6m in diameter internally and stands up to 1.2m high. The standing stone is up to 2.8m high, 1.2m wide and 0.8m thick and is built into a field wall. The field system survives as a series of rectangular fields defined by stony banks of from 0.5m up to 0.8m high which may be prehistoric in origin but some ridge and furrow contained within some fields indicates medieval re-use. The two medieval rectangular structures which have been variously described as two conjoined long houses or a series of stock pens or barns both measure approximately 10.5m by 3.2m and are defined by coursed walls standing up to 0.8m high and both are levelled into the slope.