Enclosed stone hut circle settlement 260m north of Deadlake Foot

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011233

Date first listed: 11-Jan-1965

Date of most recent amendment: 04-Nov-1993

Map

Ordnance survey map of Enclosed stone hut circle settlement 260m north of Deadlake Foot
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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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: Dartmoor Forest

County: Devon

District: West Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Lydford

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 56202 84257

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 enclosed stone hut circle settlement 260m north of Deadlake Foot survives well within an area containing a number of broadly contemporary settlements. The settlement contains archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument, the economy of its inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived. The evidence suggests that this is a complex multi-phase settlement in which evidence for the evolution and development of a Bronze Age upland community survives.

History

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

Details

This monument includes two enclosures, sixteen stone hut circles and a tinners' building situated on an east-facing valley side overlooking the Rattle Brook. The smaller western enclosure measures 48m long by 37m wide and is defined by a double-faced wall, 1m wide and 0.4m high. Five stone hut circles are linked to this enclosure wall, which is of a more recent date than the huts. The second larger enclosure is defined by a 1m wide and 0.3m high rubble wall along its northern edge, the Rattle Brook along its eastern and southern edges and by a steep clitter slope on its short west side. The stratigraphic relationship between the two enclosures no longer survives above ground level, though the difference in wall construction suggests that they may belong to different periods. There are ten free-standing stone hut circles within this enclosure and another is linked to the boundary wall. The enclosure boundary clearly deviates to include this hut in its circuit suggesting that the enclosure was constructed sometime after the hut. The linear distribution of many stone hut circles within the enclosure strongly suggests that they may have once been linked by a palisade or similar structure which now partly survives as a buried feature. The stone hut circles are composed of stone and earth banks surrounding an internal area. The internal diameter of the huts varies between 2m and 6.8m with the average being 3.7m. The height of the surrounding wall varies between 0.3m and 0.7m, with the average being 0.47m. Six of the huts are attached to visible boundary walls and five have identifiable doorways. The tinners' building includes a rectangular one-roomed structure measuring 2m long by 1.5m wide, defined by a 1m wide and 1m high orthostatic wall. This building is similar in character to others found in close proximity to tinworks and it is believed that they were used for the storage of tools and other materials.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 22238

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Gerrard, G A M, The Early Cornish Tin Industry, (1986), 165-166
Other
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX58SE15,
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,

End of official listing