Agglomerate enclosure and ten stone hut circles 500m west of Cawsand Beacon

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010790

Date first listed: 02-Mar-1995

Map

Ordnance survey map of Agglomerate enclosure and ten stone hut circles 500m west of Cawsand Beacon
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Location

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

County: Devon

District: West Devon (District Authority)

Parish: South Tawton

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 63115 91552

Summary

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

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. Within the landscape of Dartmoor there are many discrete plots of land enclosed by stone walls or banks of stone and earth, most of which date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC), though earlier and later examples also exist. They were constructed as stock pens or as protected areas for crop growing and were sometimes subdivided to accommodate stock and hut circle dwellings for farmers and herdsmen. The size and form of enclosures may therefore vary considerably depending on their particular function. Their variation in form, longevity and relationship to other monument classes 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 agglomerate enclosure and ten stone hut circles 500m west of Cawsand Beacon survive well within an area containing a large number of similar monuments. Deep peat deposits within the settlement protect archaeological remains and contain environmental evidence relating to the monument, the economy of its inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived. As such, this provides a valuable insight into the nature of Bronze Age occupation on the north side of the Moor. The multi-phase character of the settlement will provide information concerning the changing domestic and agricultural requirements of an upland Bronze Age society.

History

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

Details

This monument includes ten stone hut circles and an agglomerate enclosure lying on a north west facing slope of Cawsand Hill (also known as Cosdon Hill) overlooking the valley of the River Taw. The monument forms part of a discrete group of settlements lying on the lower slopes of Cawsand and White Hill. The agglomerate enclosure includes at least three separate enclosed areas. The two smaller enclosures are earlier than the larger one which links them all together. The southern enclosure is irregular in shape and includes a 1.6m wide and 0.5m high rubble bank surrounding an area measuring 40m north east to south west by 32m north west to south east. A stone hut circle linked to this boundary bank is probably earlier than the enclosure and another attached to the outer face of the boundary is later than the enclosure. The north eastern enclosure is oval in shape, is defined by a rubble wall and has interior dimensions of 54m east to west by 38m north to south. These two enclosures are linked together by a third, larger and later enclosure which measures 94m north east to south west by 67m north west to south east and is defined by a rubble bank which is lynchetted in places. A gap in the western wall of the large enclosure is probably an original entrance. Seven stone hut circles survive within the agglomerate enclosure and a further three lie a short distance to the south west. These huts are composed of stone and earth banks surrounding internal areas. Eight of the huts are circular in shape and the internal diameters of these buildings vary from 3m to 5.2m, with the average being 3.91m. Two of the huts are oval in shape and the internal dimensions of these are 5.5m long by 6m wide and 4m long by 5m wide. The heights of all the surrounding walls vary from 0.4m to 0.8m, with the average being 0.53m. The interiors of the huts vary in area from 7.06 to 33 square metres. Three of the huts have visible doorways, four huts are linked to the enclosure boundary walls and three are attached to the enclosure.

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: 24140

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 2, (1990), 201-203
Other
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX69SW46, (1985)
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,
Title: SX69SW Source Date: 1965 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: 1:10000

End of official listing