Five stone hut circles forming part of an unenclosed settlement at Watern Oke

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011567

Date first listed: 24-Aug-1993

Map

Ordnance survey map of Five stone hut circles forming part of an unenclosed settlement at Watern Oke
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1011567 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 17-Oct-2018 at 13:31:43.

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 56909 83378

Summary

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

This monument includes five stone hut circles situated on a gentle south facing slope overlooking the River Tavy and forming part of the large unenclosed stone hut circle settlement at Watern Oke. Of the five huts, four are circular in plan and the internal diameters of these huts vary from 2.6m to 3.2m. The remaining hut is a two-roomed structure with the compartments measuring 2.7m and 3.1m in diameter. The average height of all the walls is 0.72m. One hut has a porch and three have doorways. This monument forms part of one of the largest unenclosed stone hut circle settlements on Dartmoor. During June and July 1905 these stone hut circles were partially excavated by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee. Artefacts found include cooking and rubbing stones and a piece of glass. Further stone hut circles probably survive in the area north of the monument, but these are not included in the scheduling because they are buried below peat and have not yet been identified.

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: 20362

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Anderson, I K, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in Hut Circle Settlement at Watern Oke, , Vol. 38, (1907), 112
Anderson, I K, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in Hut Circle Settlement at Watern Oke, (1906), 112
Anderson, I K, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in Hut Circle Settlement at Watern Oke, (1906), 112
Other
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)

End of official listing