Prehistoric unenclosed hut circle settlement incorporating a medieval tin miners' cache and medieval shelter 1.285km north-west of Wardbrook Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008848

Date first listed: 07-Aug-1992


Ordnance survey map of Prehistoric unenclosed hut circle settlement incorporating a medieval tin miners' cache and medieval shelter 1.285km north-west of Wardbrook Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Linkinhorne

National Grid Reference: SX 24518 74111


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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.

This unenclosed hut circle settlement on the Langstone Downs has survived well and displays several unusual features, notably the ditches around some hut circles and the incorporated hollow way. The proximity of this settlement to other broadly contemporary settlement sites and field systems demonstrates well the nature of settlement and land use during the Bronze Age.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a small Prehistoric unenclosed settlement comprising two groups of hut circles linked by a hollowed trackway, situated near other, broadly contemporary, unenclosed settlements, field systems and boundaries on the lower western slope of the Langstone Downs on SE Bodmin Moor. One of the hut circles was later re-used as the site of a medieval tin-miners' cache, while another contains a small medieval or later shelter. The settlement contains five stone hut circles, arranged into two groups 62m apart on a NE-SW axis and linked by a well-defined trackway, visible as a broad turf-covered trough, up to 6.5m wide and a maximum 0.5m deep along its shallow `S-shaped' course down the hillside. The hut circles survive with circular boulder and rubble walls, up to 2m wide and 1m high, around levelled internal areas ranging from 5m to 10m in diameter. Their walls contain occasional inner and outer facing slabs, and entrance gaps are visible in two examples, facing south and SW respectively. One hut circle has a small annexe formed by a curved rubble wall, 4m long and 1.5m wide, built out from its northern side. Two of the three large hut circles forming the NE part of the settlement each have a ditch, up to 2.5m wide and 0.4m deep, outside their uphill, eastern, halves. A similar but slighter ditch is associated with the southern hut circle in the SW group. These ditches extend to join the hollow way linking two parts of the settlement. The southernmost hut circle also contains the surviving lower courses of a medieval tin miners' cache, a very small rectangular building of drystone rubble walling, 0.6m wide and measuring externally 1.75m long NW-SE by 1.75m wide and 0.3m high, with its SE side left open. Such structures are typical of medieval miners' concealed stores for ore and equipment. This example reflects the proximity of the medieval valley-floor streamworkings only 70m to the SW. The largest hut circle, at the centre of the NE part of the settlement, contains the lower drystone rubble courses of a small circular structure built against its south-eastern inner side. This structure has a wall 0.4m wide and 0.3m high around an internal area 1.5m in diameter, and is typical of medieval and later herdsmen's shelters.

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: 15130

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Fleming, A, The Dartmoor Reaves, (1988)
Sharpe, A, The Minions Area Archaeological Survey and Management (Volume 2), (1989)
CAU/RCHME, The Bodmin Moor Survey, Unpubl. draft text consulted 1993
consulted 9/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcriptions for SX 2473 & SX 2474,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1215,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1216.01 - .05,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1216.06,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1217,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1274,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1286.01,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1428,

End of official listing