Prehistoric regular aggregate field system with incorporated stone hut circles and enclosure 450m east of Siblyback Farm
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1011319
Date first listed: 10-Nov-1993
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This copy shows the entry on 16-Dec-2018 at 14:49:21.
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 23946 72553
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, and enclosures, mostly also dating from the Bronze Age. Hut circles, 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. Enclosures are discrete plots of land enclosed by stone walls or banks of stone and earth. They were constructed as stock pens or as protected areas for crop-growing and were sometimes subdivided to accommodate animal shelters and hut circle settlements for farmers or herders. The size and form of enclosures may therefore vary considerably depending on their particular function. Prehistoric field systems, hut circles and enclosures are important elements of the existing landscape and provide important evidence on the nature and organisation of farming practices and settlement among prehistoric communities. This monument on north-west Craddock Moor has survived well. The evidence for successive phases in the prehistoric field system's construction and its incorporated hut circles and enclosure demonstrate 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 in its wider prehistoric context. 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
incorporating four hut circles, one with a nearby annexe, and a small
sub-circular enclosure. The monument is situated on a west-facing slope
descending from the north-west edge of Craddock Moor on south-east Bodmin
The regular aggregate field system survives with field plot walls of heaped
rubble and boulders, up to 2m wide and 1m high, though generally about 1.5m
wide, 0.5m high and largely turf-covered. Where the walling runs across the
slope, its upper side, and sometimes the whole width of the rubble wall, is
submerged beneath a build-up of soil, called a lynchet, resulting from a
combination of natural soil creep and prehistoric or later cultivation on the
The regular aggregate field system is visible as a series of small contiguous
sub-rectangular field plots, ranging in size from 0.15 to 0.45 ha each and
surviving over an area of 7.7 ha. The field system is articulated by
a series of near-parallel walls, 30-75m apart and running downslope, roughly
east-west. The individual field plots are then defined by lynchetted walls
running along the contour linking the downslope walls. The field system's
downslope walls undergo occasional staggered shifts in their courses,
sometimes accompanied by slight changes in their axis, indicating stages in
the field system's successive expansion up the slope.
Near the foot of the slope, the field system contains a small ovoid enclosure,
visible with a lynchetted rubble wall, up to 1.5m wide and 0.8m high on its
outer side, defining an internal area measuring 15m NW-SE by 10m NE-SW. The
wall rises only 0.3m above the enclosure's inner surface due to the
lynchetting. Although a modern field wall runs NNE-SSW across the enclosure's
eastern side, prehistoric walling in the modern fields to each side indicate
that this enclosure was formerly situated at the upper end of a prehistoric
The field system incorporates four stone hut circles, two near the north-east
corner of the monument and two near the south-east corner. One of the
north-eastern hut circles has a small separate annexe nearby. The hut circles
and annexe survive with walls of heaped rubble and boulders, defining circular
internal areas levelled into the hillslope.
The north-eastern pair of hut circles are centred 32m apart on a WSW-ENE axis.
The ENE hut circle has a wall up to 1.2m wide and 0.6m high, defining an
interior 9.6m in diameter. The wall has inner and outer facing slabs rising to
1m high and its northern edge touches the base of a modern field wall on an
east-west axis, considered to overlie a prehistoric predecessor bounding the
northern side of the field system. A small sub-circular annexe is situated 7m
south-east of this hut circle and survives with a boulder wall, up to 1m wide
and 0.8m high, defining the eastern side of a levelled area 4.5m in
diameter. The western side of the annexe wall has been robbed of stone,
probably for the nearby modern field wall. The WNW hut circle of the
north-eastern pair survives with a wall 1m wide and 0.4m high, incorporating
large boulders, up to 0.8m high and 1.4m long, and defining an internal area
9m in diameter.
The south-eastern pair of hut circles are centred 55m apart on a NNW-SSE axis.
The northern hut circle has a wall up to 1.75m wide and 0.4m high about an
internal area 9m in diameter. A modern field wall deviates slightly from its
course to incorporate the northern sector of the hut circle wall, while the
scarp of a prehistoric field wall passes 6m west of this hut circle's wall.
The southern hut circle has a wall up to 1.6m wide and 0.6m high,
incorporating both inner and outer facing slabs and defining an internal area
8.5m in diameter.
Beyond the monument, to north, east and south, are further extensive
prehistoric regular and irregular aggregate field systems with incorporated
settlement sites on the periphery of Craddock Moor. Beyond these, to the south
and south-east towards the centre of Craddock Moor, is one of the largest
concentrations of broadly contemporary ritual and funerary monuments on Bodmin
All post-and-wire fences are excluded from the scheduling but 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: 15247
Legacy System: RSM
consulted 1992, Carter, A./Fletcher, M.J./RCHME, 1:2500 AP plot and field trace for SX 2372 & SX 2472,
consulted 1992, Carter, A./Fletcher, M.J./RCHME, 1:2500 AP plot and field trace for SX 2372,
consulted 1992, Carter, A./Fletcher, M.J./RCHME, 1:2500 AP plots and field traces for SX 2372 & SX 2472,
consulted 1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1252,
consulted 1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1252.01,
consulted 1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1252.02,
consulted 1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1252.03,
consulted 1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1252.04,
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