A double stone hut circle forming part of the unenclosed stone hut circle settlement at Watern Oke

Overview

Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
1011564
Date first listed:
19-Jan-1962
Date of most recent amendment:
17-Aug-1993

Map

Ordnance survey map of A double stone hut circle forming part of the unenclosed stone hut circle settlement at Watern Oke
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

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

County:
Devon
District:
West Devon (District Authority)
Parish:
Dartmoor Forest
National Park:
DARTMOOR
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.

Details

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 high. 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.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
20359
Legacy System:
RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Anderson, I K, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in Hut Circle Settlement at Watern Oke, , Vol. 38, (1906), 110-111
Other
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)

Legal

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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