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An enclosure, six stone hut circles, a length of reave and several prospecting pits 170m north-east of Leather Tor

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: An enclosure, six stone hut circles, a length of reave and several prospecting pits 170m north-east of Leather Tor

List entry Number: 1011247

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: West Devon

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Walkhampton

National Park: DARTMOOR

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 21-Sep-1993

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 20294

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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 enclosure, six stone hut circles, length of reave and several prospecting pits 170m north-east of Leather Tor survive well within an area containing a variety of archaeological monuments. The settlement contains archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument, the economy of its inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived and, as such, provides a valuable insight into the nature of Bronze Age occupation on the west 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. In addition to the enclosure, the monument includes a length of reave, which forms part of a coaxial field system. The reaves are part of an extensive system of prehistoric land division introduced during the Bronze Age (c.2000- 700 BC). They consist of simple linear stone banks used to mark out discrete territories, some of which are tens of kilometres in extent. The systems are defined by parallel, contour and watershed reaves, dividing the lower land from the grazing zones of the higher moor and defining the watersheds of adjacent river systems. Occupation sites and funerary or ceremonial monuments are often incorporated in, or associated with, reave complexes. Their longevity and their relationship with other monument types provide important information for the diversity of social organisation, land divisions and farming practices amongst prehistoric communities. They show considerable longevity as a monument type, sometimes surviving as fossilised examples in medieval field plans. They are an important element in the existing landscape and, as such, a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

History

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

Details

This monument includes an irregular shaped enclosure, six stone hut circles, a length of reave and several prospecting pits situated on a gentle east-facing slope overlooking the valley of the River Meavy. The interior of the enclosure measures 120m north to south by 76m east to west and is defined by a rubble wall, up to 2.6m wide and 0.7m high on the north, lynchets standing up to 2m wide and 0.8m high on the east and west, and a 2m wide and 0.4m high reave on the south. Five stone hut circles lie within the enclosure and another is attached to the outer face at the north-east corner, where a boundary bank leads downslope away from the enclosure. The stone hut circles are composed of circular stone and earth banks surrounding an internal area. The internal diameter of the huts varies between 2.9m and 4m with the average being 3.26m. The height of the surrounding wall varies between 0.4m and 0.9m with the average being 0.62m. The length of reave denoting the southern side of the enclosure forms part of the Leather Tor reave. The enclosure is attached to the reave, and this relationship strongly suggests that the reave is earlier in date than the enclosure. Several prospecting pits lie within the enclosure surviving as small rectangular pits with an associated crescent-shaped bank on the downslope side. These pits were excavated by tinners searching for tin ore during the medieval or post-medieval period. A layer of overlying peat has provided a protective blanket for the sensitive underlying archaeological deposits as well as being a source of contemporary environmental information.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Fleming, A, The Dartmoor Reaves, (1988), 50
Other
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57SE187,
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,
Raymond, F, Single Monument Class Description - Coaxial Field Systems, (1987)

National Grid Reference: SX 56414 70156

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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This copy shows the entry on 14-Dec-2017 at 04:25:31.

End of official listing