Stone hut circle settlement 360m north-east of Leather Tor
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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This copy shows the entry on 22-Oct-2019 at 06:47:30.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- West Devon (District Authority)
- National Park:
- National Grid Reference:
- SX 56547 70273
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.
Despite afforestation during the early part of the twentieth century, the stone hut circle settlement 360m north-east of Leather Tor survives comparatively well and forms part of a widely scattered group of broadly contemporary settlements. The location of the monument at the interface between an extensive area of open grazing and enclosed land will provide information regarding aspects of Bronze Age agriculture.
This monument includes a stone hut circle settlement situated on an east-
facing slope of Leather Tor. The settlement contains at least twelve stone hut
circles and seven associated enclosures or garden plots. These enclosures are
composed of rubble bank walls measuring 1.2m wide and 0.4m high, each defining
an internal area. Many of these boundaries form lynchets where they lie along
the contour of the hillslope. Seven of the stone hut circles are attached to
boundary walls and one has an annexe.
The stone hut circles are composed of stone and earth banks surrounding a
circular internal area. The internal diameter of the huts varies between 2.5m
and 6m with the average being 4m. The height of the surrounding wall varies
between 0.2m and 0.8m with the average being 0.45m.
Post-medieval field boundaries to the east and south of the monument represent
a fossilised prehistoric field system, but these are not included within the
scheduling as they are not of national importance.
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:
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57SE151,
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,
Oral with Dr T.A.P. Greeves,
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