Enclosed stone hut circle settlement and kerbed boulder 300m WNW of White Tor summit
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1011461
Date first listed: 02-Sep-1993
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: West Devon (District Authority)
Parish: Peter Tavy
National Park: DARTMOOR
National Grid Reference: SX 53959 78733
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.
The enclosed stone hut circle settlement and kerbed boulder 300m WNW of White Tor summit survive well. The settlement contains archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the development of the monument, the economy of its inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived. As such, it provides a valuable insight into the nature of Bronze Age occupation on the west side of the Moor. Only two other kerbed boulders have previously been identified in south-west England, both in close association with Bronze Age settlements in Cornwall. The kerbed boulder on the western slope of White Tor is at present the only known example of this type of site in Devon.
This monument includes an enclosed stone hut circle settlement and kerbed
boulder situated on the west-facing slope of White Tor overlooking the valley
of the Colly Brook. Nine stone hut circles can be identified within the
settlement. Eight of the huts are circular in plan and measure between 2.2m
and 4m in diameter. The remaining hut is oval and measures 2.4m long by 2m
wide. The walls of all the huts are composed of stone and earth and measure
between 0.1m and 0.7m high. Two of the huts are attached to the inner face of
the enclosure boundary and a third is attached to the outer face. Four huts
have visible doorways.
The enclosure wall links a number of small granite outcrops and defines in
internal area measuring 80m north-west to south-east by 52m south-west to
north-east. The wall varies from 1.8m to 2.4m wide and from 0.4m to 0.6m high
and is composed of turf-covered stones and boulders.
The kerbed boulder lies in the eastern part of the enclosure and includes a
large granite earthfast rock surrounded by nine smaller upright stones. This
feature measures 4m in diameter and stands up to 0.4m high. The date and
function of these structures is not currently known, but others identified in
Cornwall are associated with areas of Bronze Age settlement.
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: 22211
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991)
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 91
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
Hooley, D, (1992)
National Archaeological Record, SX57NW32,
National Archaeological Record, SX57NW4,
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