Unenclosed stone hut circle settlement, associated fields and a length of the Great Western Reave 500m south of Wedlake Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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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 54014 76872

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 unenclosed stone hut circle settlement with its associated fields 500m south of Wedlake Farm is the only large Prehistoric settlement on the west side of the Moor which was not excavated by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee. Important and informative archaeological structures, features and deposits therefore still survive intact. The close relationship between the fields and buildings provides an insight into agricultural practice. The multi-phase character of the site makes it a likely source of information relating to the development of upland settlements and agricultural techniques.


This monument includes twenty-one stone hut circles, a short length of the Great Western Reave, one medieval or post-medieval shelter and at least twelve fields situated on a gentle north-west-facing slope overlooking the valley of the Colly Brook. Together these form a large part of the unenclosed stone hut circle settlement on the north-western slopes of Roos Tor. Nineteen of the stone hut circles are attached to boundary walls. Eighteen of the huts are circular in plan and the internal diameters of these huts vary from 2m to 6.3m, with the average being 2.98m. Three huts are oval in plan and these measure between 4.9m and 2m long by 4.2 and 1.7m wide. The height of all the hut walls varies between 0.25m and 0.7m and the average is 0.39m. Seven huts have visible doorways and two are attached to each other. The field system associated with the settlement includes around twelve irregular fields. In most cases the boundaries abut the huts, suggesting that the fields were added at some date after the settlement was established. The Great Western Reave has a total length of 10 kilometres and is the longest known Prehistoric land division boundary on Dartmoor. Within the area of the scheduling it runs downslope in a north-westerly direction and upslope to the south-east. It is composed of loose rubble, measures 3.5m wide and stands up to 0.8m high. The field boundaries associated with the settlement appear to abut the reave and are therefore more recent. All the stone hut circles lie to one side of the reave and this indicates that the reave was respected as a land division boundary during the life of this settlement. The rectangular medieval or post-medieval shelter is attached to the eastern face of the Great Western Reave. The interior of the building measures 4m long by 2.3m wide and is defined by a 1.6m wide boulder 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)
Fleming, A, The Dartmoor Reaves, (1988)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57NW57, (1987)
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles,
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1981)
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
National Archaeological Record, SX57NW19, (1991)
National Archaeological Record, SX57NW30, (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

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