Four stone hut circles and an enclosure 100m north-east of Sharpitor summit
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1007419
Date first listed: 04-Nov-1993
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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 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.
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
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
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.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 22279
Legacy System: RSM
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57SE188,
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
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