Agglomerate enclosure and 15 stone hut circles 560m west of Cawsand Beacon


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Agglomerate enclosure and 15 stone hut circles 560m west of Cawsand Beacon
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

West Devon (District Authority)
South Tawton
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
SX 63058 91445

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 15 stone hut circles 560m 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.


This monument includes 15 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, although a short length of boundary bank within the largest enclosure may suggest that it was once further subdivided. The earliest enclosure is the small irregular shaped south western one, which includes a 1.7m wide and 0.5m high rubble bank surrounding an area measuring 44m north east to south west by 28m north west to south east. The relative dates of the two remaining enclosures could not be established by earthwork evidence alone. The north western enclosure is defined by a rubble wall, lynchetted in places, surrounding an area measuring 60m north to south by 36m east to west. The boundary wall links four stone hut circles and this strongly suggests that the huts were built before the enclosure. The eastern enclosure is the largest within the settlement and measures internally 82m north to south by 67m east to west. Gaps in the northern and southern circuits of this enclosure may be original entrances. Thirteen stone hut circles survive within the agglomerate enclosure and a further two lie a short distance to the west. These huts are composed of stone and earth banks surrounding circular internal areas. The internal diameters of these buildings vary from 3m to 7.3m, with the average being 4.82m. The heights of the surrounding walls vary from 0.4m to 0.8m, with the average being 0.59m. The interiors of the huts vary in area from 7.06 to 41.82 square metres. Seven of the huts have visible doorways, eight huts are linked to the enclosure boundary walls and two 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.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 2, (1990), 203
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX69SW46, (1985)
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,
Plate 16, Greeves, T A P, The Archaeology of Dartmoor from the Air, (1985)


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