Enclosure west of Shell Top


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011953

Date first listed: 27-Nov-1991


Ordnance survey map of Enclosure west of Shell Top
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: South Hams (District Authority)

Parish: Shaugh Prior

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 58969 63916

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. This enclosure is a well-preserved example with hut circles. It provides important insight into farming practices on the Moor during the prehistoric period.


The Dartmoor landscape includes many discrete plots of land enclosed by stone walls or earth and stone banks, which acted as stock pens or protected areas for crop growing. Some of them were subdivided to accommodate hut dwellings for farmers and herdsmen. Many examples date to the Bronze Age (c.2500 - 500 BC), though earlier and later ones also exist. This sub-circular enclosure lies on the south-west slope of Lee Moor and is 50m in length and 40m in width and defined by a rubble wall up to 2m in width and 0.75m in height. It has an entrance through the west side and another possible entrance in the south-east wall, close to one of the two huts built into the wall. The huts are D-shaped, the western one is 6m by 5m with a wall 1.5m in thickness and 0.4m in height; the eastern one is 6m in length and width and has a wall 1m in thickness and up to 0.4m in height. The western hut has a possible entrance into the enclosure.

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: 10613

Legacy System: RSM


Devon County SMR SX 56 SE-097,

End of official listing