Prehistoric regular aggregate field system with two incorporated stone hut circles 850m north-east of Siblyback Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011316

Date first listed: 10-Nov-1993


Ordnance survey map of Prehistoric regular aggregate field system with two incorporated stone hut circles 850m north-east of Siblyback Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: St. Cleer

National Grid Reference: SX 24215 73108


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

Reasons for Designation

Bodmin Moor, the largest of the Cornish granite uplands, has long been recognised to have exceptional preservation of archaeological remains. The Moor has been the subject of detailed archaeological survey and is one of the best recorded upland landscapes in England. The extensive relict landscapes of prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval date provide direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the earliest prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, field systems, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains provides significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time.

Elaborate complexes of fields and field boundaries are a major feature of the Moor landscape. Regular aggregate field systems are one such method of field layout known to have been employed in south-west England during the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). Regular aggregate field systems comprise a collection of field plots defined by boundaries laid out in a consistent manner, along two axes set at right angles to each other. A single regular aggregate field system may contain several contiguous blocks of such plots and each block may differ slightly in the orientation of the axes used in its layout. Regular aggregate field systems often incorporate or are situated near stone hut circles, the dwelling places of prehistoric farmers on the Moor, mostly also dating from the Bronze Age. The stone-based round houses survive as low walls or banks enclosing a circular floor area; the remains of a turf or thatch roof are not preserved as visible features. The huts may occur singly or in small or large groups and may occur in the open or be enclosed by a bank of earth and stone. Prehistoric field systems and hut circles are important elements of the existing landscape and provide important evidence on the nature and organisation of farming practices and settlement among prehistoric communities. The relatively unintensive post-medieval land use of upland areas which has allowed the preservation of much of the surviving prehistoric settlement evidence has also favoured the survival of a diversity of medieval monuments which often impinge on those earlier, prehistoric, remains. Such medieval monuments frequently include various forms of field boundary and cultivation ridging. This monument on north-west Craddock Moor has survived well. The monument's evidence for successive phases in the prehistoric field system's construction demonstrates well the nature and development of farming practices and social organisation during the Bronze Age, while the proximity of the monument to other broadly contemporary field systems gives a rare opportunity to observe this sequence across a wider geographical area. The proximity of the monument to the major concentration of Bronze Age ceremonial and funerary monuments on Craddock Moor shows well the nature of land use and the wider relationship to settlement and ritual activity among Bronze Age communities.


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


The monument includes a prehistoric regular aggregate field system with two incorporated hut circles situated on the west side of a broad ridge extending north from the north-west edge of Craddock Moor on south-east Bodmin Moor. The monument also includes parts of a medieval ditched boundary bank which re-uses the outer walls of the prehistoric field system. The regular aggregate field system survives with field plot walls of heaped rubble and boulders, up to 1.7m wide and 0.5m high, incorporating occasional end-set slabs, called orthostats, up to 0.75m high. Where the walling runs across the slope, its upper side is partly masked by a build-up of soil, called a lynchet, resulting from a combination of natural soil creep and prehistoric cultivation on the slope. The regular aggregate field system is visible as a sub-rectangular block of field plots, measuring up to 160m WSW-ENE by 182m NW-SE, extending north-east from the modern hedgebank defining the uphill limit of recent pasture clearance and improvement. The block is bisected by a NW-SE prehistoric wall, producing a single large plot of 1.12 ha across the north-east half of the field system block. The south-west sector of the block, occupying 1.05 ha, is further subdivided into seven strip-like plots by six ENE-WSW walls running downslope at intervals of 15m-24m from or near the bisecting wall. An additional, earlier, prehistoric wall runs obliquely, NE-SW, across the central plot, robbed of stone at each end before reaching the plot walls. The plots within the field system's south-west sector show evidence for their successive construction south-eastwards across the slope; slight staggers in the line of the wall bisecting the overall field system block indicate that the three north-western plots were initially laid out as one unit, followed by the three plots to their south-east, followed finally by the addition of the south-eastern plot. These plots in the south-west sector of the field system incorporate two stone hut circles. The hut circles survive with circular walls of heaped rubble and boulders defining internal areas levelled into the hillslope. The larger hut circle is situated near the north-east end of the central plot and has a wall up to 2.3m wide and 0.7m high about an internal area 11.3m in diameter. The hut circle wall adjoins the plot's south-east wall and has a 2m wide entrance gap facing south-east. The smaller hut circle is situated 50m to the WNW, two plots to the north-west of the larger hut circle, and has a wall up to 1.3m wide and 0.4m high, about an internal area 7.6m in diameter. Its wall has both inner and outer facing slabs, up to 0.8m high, and an entrance gap 0.75m wide, facing west. The hut circle wall veers outwards slightly on the southern side of the entrance, producing a slight porch, at the inner side of whose end is a single tapered orthostat 1.6m high. Much later, medieval, farming enclosed a network of large field plots along the edge of the Moor by ditched earthen boundary banks. The outer wall of the prehistoric regular field system in this monument was re-used to form one such block, which reveals its prehistoric origin by the termination on its boundary of unmodified prehistoric walling and by its rounded moor-edge corners, uncharacteristic of the angular corners displayed by the medieval blocks beyond the monument. The re-use of the prehistoric field system's outer wall results in its survival as an earthen bank, up to 1.5m wide and 0.2m high, with a ditch, up to 1m wide and 0.2m deep, along the outer side of the block. Beyond the monument, to the south, are further prehistoric settlements with regular and irregular aggregate field systems on the periphery of Craddock Moor. Beyond these, to the south-east near the centre of Craddock Moor, is one of the largest concentrations of broadly contemporary ritual and funerary monuments on Bodmin Moor. All post-and-wire fences are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

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: 15244

Legacy System: RSM


consulted 1992, Carter, A./ Quinnell, N.V./RCHME, 1:2500 AP plot and field trace for SX 2473,
consulted 1992, Carter, A./ Quinnell, N.V./RCHME, 1:2500 AP plot and field trace for SX 2473,
consulted 1992, Carter, A./Quinnell, N.V./RCHME, 1:2500 AP plots and field traces for SX 2471-3,
consulted 1992, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP plot and field trace for SX 2473,
consulted 1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1241,
consulted 1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1241.01,
consulted 1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1241.02,
consulted 1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1290,
consulted 1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1362,

End of official listing