Stone hut circle settlement and enclosures 970m east of Ger Tor


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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

West Devon (District Authority)
Peter Tavy
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
SX 55647 83021

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 and enclosures 970m east of Ger Tor survive well within an area containing a number of broadly contemporary settlements, field systems, cairnfields and funerary monuments. The settlement contains archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the chronological development of the monument, the economy of its inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived. As such, it provides a valuable insight into the nature of Bronze Age occupation on the west side of the Moor. The earthwork evidence indicates that at least some of settlement is buried beneath peat which will have provided a protective covering. The two post-medieval shelters are of interest in that they represent reuse in the post-medieval period of earlier, prehistoric monuments.


This monument includes fifteen stone hut circles, four lengths of boundary wall and two post-medieval shelters situated amongst clitter on a steep west-facing slope overlooking Tavy Cleave. The huts are composed of stone and earth banks each surrounding an internal area. Eleven of the huts are circular in plan, and their internal diameters vary between 3.4m and 8.5m. The remaining four huts are oval in shape and their interiors vary between 3m and 4.5m long by 2m to 3m wide. The height of all the surrounding walls varies between 0.4m and 0.9m, with the average being 0.64m. Eight of the huts possess visible doorways, one hut is a three roomed structure, another has a straight porch and three are attached or linked to enclosure boundaries. Four lengths of enclosure boundary are visible within the settlement. The full extent and character of three of these boundaries remains unclear, because they survive partly as buried features. The western length of boundary bank is aligned from north to south, measures 210m long, 2m wide, stands up to 0.5m high and is lyncheted on its western side. The southern boundary forms three sides of an enclosure with minimum dimensions of 110m north west to south east by 115m north east to south west. This boundary includes a lyncheted bank measuring 1.2m wide and 0.6m high. A short length of boundary leads south eastward from this enclosure. The interior of the third enclosure measures 30m in diameter and is defined by a 1.4m wide and 0.5m high rubble bank. The fourth length of boundary wall is sinuous in character and links two stone hut circles. Two post-medieval shelters lie within the earlier settlement. The largest one has a drystone wall measuring 1m wide and up to 1m high surrounding a 6.2m diameter internal area. This shelter was constructed using the rubble walls of an earlier stone hut circle as foundations. The interior of the second shelter measures 2.5m in diameter and is defined by a 1.2m wide drystone wall standing up to 0.4m high.

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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 131
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX58SE23,
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,


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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