Nine huts, five post-medieval shelters and a field boundary forming part of an unenclosed stone hut circle settlement 1180m south of North Hessary Tor

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011177

Date first listed: 16-Jul-1974

Date of most recent amendment: 20-Jun-1994

Map

Ordnance survey map of Nine huts, five post-medieval shelters and a field boundary forming part of an unenclosed stone hut circle settlement 1180m south of North Hessary Tor
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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: Walkhampton

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 57687 73062

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. Stone hut circles and hut settlements were the dwelling places of prehistoric farmers on Dartmoor. They mostly date from the Bronze Age, with the earliest examples on the Moor in this building tradition dating to about 1700 BC. The stone-based round houses consist of low walls or banks enclosing a circular floor area; remains of the turf or thatch roof are not preserved. The huts may occur singly or in small or large groups and may lie in the open or be enclosed by a bank of earth and stone. Although they are common on the Moor, their longevity and their relationship with other monument types 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 unenclosed stone hut circle settlement 1180m south of North Hessary Tor survives comparatively well and, despite limited reuse during the post-medieval period, important and informative archaeological structures, features and deposits still survive. Such evidence will provide a valuable insight into the economy of the site's inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived.

History

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

Details

This monument includes nine stone hut circles, four post-medieval shelters and a field boundary forming part of an unenclosed stone hut circle settlement lying on the lower south-facing slope of North Hessary Tor, overlooking the valley of the River Meavy. The stone hut circles are composed of stone and earth banks surrounding an internal area. Of the nine hut circles, one is oval in plan, another is triangular and the remainder are circular. The internal diameter of the circular buildings vary from 3.1m to 8m, with the average being 5.5m. The height of all the walls varies between 0.4m and 1.1m, with the average being 0.71m. One hut has an annex, seven have visible doorways, five have later structures built within them and one is attached to a boundary wall. This wall measures 36m long, 2.5m wide and 0.3m high. Three small stone-built shelters lie within earlier stone hut circles, and a further two are attached to the outer face. These structures are probably post-medieval temporary shelters constructed during military training or tinworking in the neighbourhood. A fragmentary field system lies south west of the monument but this is not included because, with the exception of the short length of boundary bank lying within the settlement, not enough of the fields are visible to establish their character and extent.

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: 22324

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Fleming, A, The Dartmoor Reaves, (1988), 76
Fleming, A, The Dartmoor Reaves, (1988), 72-82
Fleming, A, The Dartmoor Reaves, (1988), 74-82
Other
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57SE1,
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,

End of official listing