Two adjacent transhumance huts on Caradon Hill, 450m north of East Caradon Farm


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


Ordnance survey map of Two adjacent transhumance huts on Caradon Hill, 450m north of East Caradon Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. 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 - 1011900 .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 22-Oct-2019 at 11:54:06.


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

Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SX 27694 70629

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.

Transhumance huts are small, seasonally occupied herdsman's huts built to provide shelter while tending herds grazing summer pasture on uplands or marshland. These huts reflect a system called transhumance, whereby stock was moved in spring from lowland pastures about the permanently occupied farms to communal upland grazing during the warmer summer months. Settlement patterns reflecting transhumance are known from the Bronze Age (c2000 - 700 BC) onwards, but the construction of herdsman's huts in a form distinctive from the normal dwelling houses of farmers only appears from the early medieval period onwards (from AD 450), when the practice of transhumance is also known from documentary sources, notably place-name studies. Their construction generally comes to an end by the 16th century. Transhumance huts are typically small, up to 10m long by 5m wide externally, but commonly much smaller, and may occur singly or in groups of over 15. They have a simple sub-rectangular or ovoid plan, normally defined by drystone walling though occasional turf-built structures are known, and the huts are occasionally surrounded by a ditch. Most examples have a single, undivided interior, though some two-roomed examples are known. Some transhumance huts have adjacent ancillary structures, such as pens, and may be associated with a midden. Some are also contained within a small ovoid enclosure. Other upland activities, including mining and hunting, may in some instances have produced similar shelters, employing the same construction tradition. At least 250 transhumance huts are known nationally of which at least 50 are recorded from Bodmin Moor, though this number is expected to increase with future recognition. Transhumance huts represent a significant component of the surviving remains of medieval upland landscapes, providing important information on the nature of settlement and farming practices during the medieval period. Those examples which survive well and which help illustrate the use of land in the medieval period are considered worthy of protection.

These transhumance huts on Caradon Hill have survived well, with no visible or recorded disturbance, and are typical of the smaller groupings of such huts. Their proximity to other transhumance huts at a similar level on Caradon Hill demonstrates well the nature of farming practices in this terrain during the medieval period.


The monument includes two adjacent transhumance huts situated near other similar huts about the centre of the eastern slope of Caradon Hill on SE Bodmin Moor. The two huts are centred 12m apart on an east-west axis, the western hut being directly upslope of the eastern one. The western hut survives with a largely turf-covered wall of heaped rubble, up to 0.5m high and 0.6m wide, defining a sub-rectangular internal area measuring 2m north-south by 1.6m east-west. The interior is levelled into the hillslope and an entrance is provided by a 1m wide gap in the eastern wall. The eastern hut is similarly constructed, though its wall, up to 0.4m high and 0.6m wide, shows traces of coursed rubble exposed through the turf-cover. Its levelled internal area measures 1.75m north-south by 1.5m east-west, with an entrance gap 1.25m wide facing south. These huts are typical of early medieval stock-herders' huts on Bodmin Moor occupied during summer pasturing of stock on the uplands, the result of seasonal movement of herds called transhumance.

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
Sharpe, A, The Minions Area Archaeological Survey and Management (Volume 2), (1989), 388-9
consulted 1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 14073,
consulted 1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 14073.03-4,
Forthcoming; draft text consulted, CAU, RCHME, The Bodmin Moor Survey (Volume 1), The Prehistoric and Historic Landscape,


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

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].