Stone hut circle settlement with incorporating prehistoric irregular aggregate field system 600m SSE of Carkeet Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Stone hut circle settlement with incorporating prehistoric irregular aggregate field system 600m SSE of Carkeet Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 22-Sep-2019 at 10:57:26.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
St. Cleer
National Grid Reference:
SX 22178 72588

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. Irregular 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). Irregular aggregate field systems comprise a collection of field plots, generally lacking in conformity of orientation and arrangement, containing fields with sinuous outlines and varying shapes and sizes bounded by stone or rubble walls or banks, ditches or fences. Irregular 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. The settlement's four stone hut circles in this scheduling on the Carkeet Downs have survived well, displaying clearly their architectural details. The surviving walling of the prehistoric field system, despite being truncated downslope by modern pasture improvement, provides important evidence for the broadly contemporary physical and economic context within which the well-preserved settlement operated. The nearby prehistoric regular aggregate field system places this monument in its wider context of prehistoric land allotment, demonstrating well the nature of farming practices among prehistoric communities. The proximity of the monument to the cairn group on the summit of the Carkeet Downs shows well the wider relationship between settlement, farming and ritual activity during the Bronze Age.


The monument includes four out of five stone hut circles forming a hut circle settlement incorporated within a broadly contemporary irregular aggregate field system on the upper western slope of the Carkeet Downs bordering the River Fowey valley on south-east Bodmin Moor. The hut circle settlement contains a group of five stone hut circles arranged in a `Y-shaped' pattern over 0.3 hectares of the western slope of the Downs. The north-western hut circle of the settlement, the lowest on the slope, is separated from the four hut circles in this monument by a 31m wide area of modern improved pasture and a sunken farm track and forms the subject of a separate scheduling. The settlement's four hut circles in this scheduling are spaced 4.5m-23m apart and survive with circular or slightly ovoid walls of heaped rubble and small boulders, up to 1.5m wide and 0.7m high, defining internal areas ranging from 4.5m to 6.25m in diameter, levelled into the hillslope. All of the hut circles have edge-set inner and outer facing slabs, ranging from 0.1m to 0.6m high, forming contiguous rows in many sectors of the walling. The hut circle at the centre of the settlement also has an erect end-set slab, 0.5m high, within its interior's southern half. This hut circle settlement is enclosed within the northern of two broadly contemporary adjoining field plots which have survived from the upper edge of a prehistoric irregular aggregate field system whose former extent downslope and north of the monument has been destroyed by modern pasture improvement. The field plots are defined by walls of heaped rubble and boulders, up to 1.75m wide and 0.7m high, incorporating occasional edge-set slabs, also up to 0.7m high. Where the walling runs along the contour, its upper side is masked by an accumulation of soil resulting from the combined effects of cultivation and gravity on the hillside, a process called lynchetting. The surviving south-east half of the northern plot, containing the hut circle settlement, is of sub-rectangular shape, bounded by almost straight prehistoric walls, enclosing an area of at least 135m NNW-SSE by 100m WSW-ENE. An internal wall curves south-west from the plot's east wall to join the north-east hut circle in the settlement. The south-west corner of this plot is indented to accommodate the northern end of the adjoining southern plot. This is defined by more sinuous, heavily lynchetted walling enclosing an irregular area measuring 170m north-south by up to 62m wide above the modern limit of improvement. Beyond this monument, from 35m further south along the hillside, is a broadly contemporary regular aggregate field system incorporating a stone hut circle, while a group of three broadly contemporary funerary cairns is located on the broad summit of the Carkeet Downs, from 175m to the east. The surfaces of the modern farm tracks 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:
Legacy System:


consulted 1993, Carter, A./Fletcher, M.J./RCHME, 1:2500 AP plot and field trace for SX 2272,
consulted 1993, Cornwall SAMR entry for PRN 1257.05,
consulted 1993, Cornwall SMR entries for PRN 1257.03 & 1257.05,
consulted 1993, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1257,
consulted 1993, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1257.02,
consulted 1993, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1257.03,


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

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