A double stone hut circle forming part of the unenclosed stone hut circle settlement at Watern Oke
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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This copy shows the entry on 26-May-2019 at 04:39:15.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- West Devon (District Authority)
- Dartmoor Forest
- National Park:
- National Grid Reference:
- SX 56551 83326
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 unenclosed stone hut circle settlement at Watern Oke is one of the largest on Dartmoor and, despite partial excavation, important and informative archaeological structures, features and deposits still survive. Such evidence will provide a valuable insight into the economy of the site's inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived.
This monument includes a double stone hut circle situated on a gentle south
facing slope overlooking the valley of the River Tavy and forming part of the
large unenclosed stone hut circle settlement at Watern Oke. The hut
circle consists of two rooms defined by stone and earth walls terraced into
the hillslope. The western room measures 6.5m long by 4.5m wide and is defined
by a 1.3m wide wall standing up to 1.3m high. The doorway faces WNW and is
defined on its northern side by a substantial earthfast boulder. The eastern
room measures 4.2m in diameter and the surrounding wall is 1.4m wide and 1m
Excavations carried out by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee in June 1905,
revealed hearths at the eastern and northern sides of the western room along
with a pile of cooking stones and a flint artefact. In the eastern room, a
hearth was found against the east wall. This double hut circle forms part of
one of the largest unenclosed stone hut circle settlements on Dartmoor.
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:
Books and journals
Anderson, I K, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in Hut Circle Settlement at Watern Oke, , Vol. 38, (1906), 110-111
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
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