Three stone hut circles with adjacent prehistoric field wall 660m north-west of Higher Langdon Farm
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1007471
Date first listed: 18-Feb-1994
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
Parish: St. Neot
National Grid Reference: SX 20120 73659
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; remains of a turf or thatch roof are not preserved. 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 provides
important information on the diversity of social organisation and farming
practices among prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative
of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are
considered worthy of protection.
These stone hut circles north-west of Higher Langdon Farm have survived well, with only minor disturbance evident to the western hut circle due to the modern hedgebank which crosses its wall. A broadly contemporary field wall lies in close proximity to the hut circles. The presence of thick peat deposits in the area of the hut circles is unusual and will preserve buried land surfaces and environmental evidence contemporary with their construction and use. The nearby prehistoric and medieval settlements and field systems on this spur place this monument in its wider context and demonstrate well the nature of farming practices among prehistoric communities and its development through the medieval period to the present day.
The monument includes three closely-spaced stone hut circles with an adjacent,
broadly contemporary field wall situated on the north-west slope of a broad
spur occupied by Higher Langdon Farm in the River Fowey valley on southern
The hut circles form the western part of a dispersed linear settlement of
seven hut circles which are arranged about an approximate east-west line over
134m of the hillslope and located around a hollow which contains thick, damp
peat deposits. Of the three hut circles contained in this monument, the
central and western hut circles are situated 3m apart on an east-west axis
while the central and eastern hut circles are situated 4m apart on a NW-SE
axis. Each hut circle survives with a wall of heaped rubble and boulders
defining a circular or near-circular internal area levelled into the
The western hut circle has a wall up to 1.25m wide and 0.4m high
enclosing an internal area 6m in diameter. A gap, 1m wide, in the wall's
eastern side marks the original entrance. The western sector of the hut circle
wall is over-ridden by a modern stone-faced hedgebank, 2m wide and 0.8m high,
running on a NNW-SSE axis.
The central hut circle has a wall up to 1.75m wide and 0.6m high enclosing an
internal area 5.3m in diameter. The levelling of the northern part of the hut
circle was achieved by building it out from the slope on a rubble platform,
complementing the cut into the slope to level the southern part.
The eastern hut circle has a wall up to 2m wide and 0.5m high, enclosing an
internal area measuring 6.3m NW-SE by 5.6m NE-SW. The wall has several edge-
set inner facing slabs, mostly quite small but the largest, on the south-east,
is 0.8m high and 1.2m wide.
The adjacent prehistoric field boundary is visible as a turf-covered, heaped
rubble wall, 1.5m wide and 0.5m high. The wall survives over 45m, passing 10m
north of the monument's central hut circle and curving northwards towards each
end, beyond which its course has been truncated by the wide valley-floor
excavations of medieval tin-miners.
The settlement containing these hut circles is located close to extensive
prehistoric and medieval settlement sites and field systems on the crown of
the spur and its eastern and southern flanks.
The modern post-and-wire fence is excluded from the scheduling but the ground
beneath, including the hedgebank, is included.
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: 15255
Legacy System: RSM
consulted 1993, Carter, A./Fletcher, M.J./RCHME, 1:2500 AP plot and field trace for SX 2073,
consulted 1993, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1224,
consulted 1993, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1224.01,
consulted 1993, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1224.02,
consulted 1993, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1224.03,
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