Two stone hut circles and adjacent Prehistoric boundary wall 575m west of West Berriow Farm

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010218

Date first listed: 13-Oct-1992

Map

Ordnance survey map of Two stone hut circles and adjacent Prehistoric boundary wall 575m west of West Berriow Farm
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Location

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

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: North Hill

National Grid Reference: SX 26554 75763

Summary

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.

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.

History

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

Details

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 hut circle. 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.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 15143

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
King, G, Sheppard, P, 'Cornish Archaeology' in Parochial Checklist of Antiquities 10: Parish of North Hill, , Vol. 18, (1979)
Other
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,

End of official listing