Two stone hut circles and adjacent Prehistoric boundary wall 575m west of West Berriow Farm
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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This copy shows the entry on 22-Nov-2019 at 22:39:17.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
- North Hill
- National Grid Reference:
- SX 26554 75763
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 hut circles on the NE edge of Twelve Men's Moor have survived reasonably well, with the SW hut circle surviving completely undisturbed. Despite the removal of part of the walling from the NE hut circle, both will retain an extensive range of original features and old land surfaces relating to their construction and occupation, preserved beneath the deep hillwash and leafmould deposits. These deposits will also favour the preservation of environmental evidence contemporary with, and later than, the occupation of the hut circles. The adjacent field boundary, although truncated by modern activity, demonstrates the originally enclosed nature of these hut circles, whether within field or single enclosure. It preserves clear evidence for its construction technique, part of which is also buried beneath hillwash deposits, and an unusually fine and rare form of entrance in close proximity to the hut circles.
The monument includes two stone hut circles and an adjacent Prehistoric
boundary wall situated in enclosed, unimproved, pasture on the NE edge of
Twelve Men's Moor on eastern Bodmin Moor.
The two hut circles are centred 18.5m apart on a SW-NE axis. Both have deep
deposits accumulated against and over their uphill SW-facing sides as a
result of extensive hillwash on this steep slope since their construction.
This has been supplemented by a more recent, thick, leafmould layer from the
regenerating secondary woodland in this neglected pasture edge.
The SW hut circle survives with a wall of heaped rubble, up to 2m wide and 1m
high, around a circular internal area, 7.5m in diameter, levelled into the
hillslope. The levelling has led to the hut circle's NE edge being slightly
terraced out from the slope, the foot of the terrace extending to 3m from the
wall's inner face. Conversely the SW half of the hut circle floor is cut
deeply into the slope. Occasional edge-set facing slabs are visible along the
wall's inner face. The NE hut circle is of similar construction though the
gentler slope there has produced a less accentuated levelling of its 7m
diameter interior. Its rubble walling survives up to 1m wide and 0.6m high,
with three large edge-set inner facing slabs, one of which is 2m long. The NE
sector of this hut circle's wall has been removed by the ditch alongside a
modern drystone wall passing 1.5m to the NE.
The Prehistoric boundary survives as a wall of heaped rubble, up to 1.5m wide
and 0.6m high, incorporating edge-set facing slabs and end-set slabs, called
orthostats, forming continuous rows in several places and rising to 0.8m high.
The wall passes along a marked break of slope for much of its surviving
length, resulting in a scarp slope up to 2m wide and 1m high beyond its NE
side. The boundary survives over a length of 97.5m. Much of the NW half of
the boundary follows a curving course almost concentric with the SW hut
circle, passing 20m from its NW edge and 12m from its SW edge. The boundary's
SE half then adopts a south-easterly course for 40m, finally turning SSW for
its remaining 23m. The boundary incorporates a well-preserved original
entrance at a point 18m south of the SW hut circle; this is visible as two
large edge-set slabs, each 2m long and 0.5m high, placed transversely across
the line of the boundary to form a tapered gap, 1.5m wide on the northern side
and 2m wide to the south. The Prehistoric date for this boundary is indicated
both by its construction method and by the respect its course shows for the SW
Each end of the boundary is truncated by the ditches alongside modern drystone
field walls for the pasture and woodland beyond.
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
King, G, Sheppard, P, 'Cornish Archaeology' in Parochial Checklist of Antiquities 10: Parish of North Hill, , Vol. 18, (1979)
consulted 10/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1179,
consulted 10/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1179.1 (part),
consulted 10/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1179.1,
consulted 10/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1179.2,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1190,
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