Four stone hut circles and an enclosure 100m north-east of Sharpitor summit

Overview

Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
1007419
Date first listed:
04-Nov-1993

Map

Ordnance survey map of Four stone hut circles and an enclosure 100m north-east of Sharpitor summit
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:
Devon
District:
West Devon (District Authority)
Parish:
Walkhampton
National Park:
DARTMOOR
National Grid Reference:
SX 56059 70378

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 and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

The stone hut circle settlement on the slopes of Sharpitor survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological structures, features and deposits in addition to environmental evidence which, combined, will provide an insight into settlement and agricultural practice on the western side of the Moor.

Details

This monument includes four stone hut circles and an enclosure situated on the north-east facing upper slope of Sharpitor overlooking the valley of the River Meavy. The settlement lies within an area of dense clitter which has only been partially cleared. All the huts are circular in plan and are composed of stone and earth walls between 0.4m and 0.8m high, which define an internal area of between 3.5m and 7m in diameter. The southern hut lies within the enclosure. The interior of the enclosure measures 30m north to south by 34m east to west and is defined by a rubble wall standing up to 1.5m wide and 0.7m high. The western boundary wall is no longer visible but may survive as a buried feature.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
22279
Legacy System:
RSM

Sources

Other
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57SE188,
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)

Legal

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

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