Unenclosed stone hut circle settlement incorporating three enclosures and two cairns 1.06km WSW of East Castick Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010227

Date first listed: 07-Sep-1992


Ordnance survey map of Unenclosed stone hut circle settlement incorporating three enclosures and two cairns 1.06km WSW of East Castick 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: North Hill

National Grid Reference: SX 25490 76055


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 Hawk's Tor has survived well, complete with integral enclosures, cairns and walling, and with only limited damage due to the partial re-use of the area during the medieval period. The substantial build-up of deposits against the uphill sides of much of this monument's walling will preserve buried land surfaces and environmental evidence contemporary with, and subsequent to, its construction and use. The monument's proximity to other broadly contemporary settlement sites, enclosures, field systems and cairns demonstrates well the nature of farming practices and the organisation of land use during the Bronze Age.


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


The monument includes an unenclosed hut circle settlement incorporating three small enclosures and two cairns, situated on the lower SE flank of Hawk's Tor on eastern Bodmin Moor, near other broadly contemporary hut circle settlements, enclosures, field systems and cairns. The hut circle settlement contains ten stone hut circles dispersed over an area of 0.6 hectares on the lower slope of Hawk's Tor. The hut circles survive with walls of heaped rubble, up to 1m high and 2m wide, faced internally, and externally in several cases by spaced edge-set slabs, sometimes forming a lining of contiguous slabs. The walls define circular internal areas, levelled into the hillslope, ranging from 3.75m to 7.5m in diameter. Entrance gaps are visible in eight of the hut circles, facing southerly directions ranging from SW to SE, and flanked by end-set slabs, called orthostats, in three examples. One hut circle, at the NE end of the settlement, has a small ovoid, rubble-walled annexe built against its SW edge. Several of the hut circles have substantial accumulations of deposits against their uphill, northern and NW sides, washed down the hillslope since their construction. Near the centre of the settlement, rubble walling up to 1.5m wide and 0.75m high, with occasional facing slabs, defines an oval enclosure measuring 31m east-west by 23m north-south internally. The enclosure incorporates three of the settlement's hut circles in the line of its wall on its northern and western sides. Similar rubble walling defines a near-circular enclosure, 11.5m in internal diameter, which forms a subdivision of the oval enclosure's eastern sector. A third small, sub-rectangular enclosure, measuring 17.5m NW-SE by 11.5m SW-NE and incorporating another hut circle into its SW walling, abuts the SW side of the oval enclosure. The settlement also includes other lengths of similar rubble walling, though not forming coherent enclosures. The longest of these walls follows a sinuous course along the northern and north-western periphery of the settlement. This wall has several large facing slabs in its downhill, southern side, while its uphill side is largely masked by deposits washed down the slope since its creation. It incorporates two hut circles at the NE edge of the settlement and two small cairns at the NW edge. Around the settlement's SW periphery, this wall was altered by adoption as a field wall during the medieval period, raising it to an earth and stone bank 1m high, with a slight ditch alongside. The characteristic sinuous course of the Prehistoric wall is maintained by the medieval wall until its junction with another medieval and later wall 22m south of the settlement's enclosures, beyond which the line of the Prehistoric wall is not traceable. A short length of Prehistoric rubble walling links the NW side of the oval enclosure to the western part of the peripheral wall. Another length of Prehistoric wall, only 0.6m wide and incorporating small edge-set slabs 0.1m high, links the two hut circles at the settlement's extreme western edge and extends to define three sides of a rectangle, forming a small plot measuring 16m NW-SE by 17.5m NE-SW. The two small cairns incorporated in the NW part of the peripheral wall are centred 16.5m apart on a NNE-SSW axis and are visible as mounds of heaped stone rubble, 4m in diameter and 1m high. This hut circle settlement also forms the focus for thirteen outlying hut circles beyond this monument, dispersed up to 130m to the WSW and 200m to the ENE, at a similar level along the lower slope of Hawk's Tor.

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: 15151

Legacy System: RSM


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, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcription for SX 2576,
consulted 10/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1178,
consulted 10/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1183,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1014,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1190,

End of official listing