Prehistoric enclosure with three adjacent hut circles 700m NNE of Minions


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012049

Date first listed: 26-Jun-1992


Ordnance survey map of Prehistoric enclosure with three adjacent hut circles 700m NNE of Minions
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Linkinhorne

National Grid Reference: SX 26259 72000, SX 26262 71942


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

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. Within the landscape of Bodmin Moor are many discrete plots of land enclosed by stone walls or banks of stone and earth, most of which date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC), though earlier and later examples also exist. They were constructed as stock pens or as protected areas for crop growing and were sometimes subdivided to accommodate animal shelters and hut circle settlements for farmers or herders. The size and form of enclosures may therefore vary considerably, depending on their particular function. Their variation in form, longevity and relationship to other monument classes provides important information on the diversity of social organisation and farming practices among prehistoric communities. They are highly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are worthy of protection.

This enclosure on Rillaton Moor and its incorporated and contained hut circles have survived well, the only disturbance being small and well-defined breaks in two parts of the enclosure wall. The monument has not been excavated and will preserve contemporary deposits and land surfaces beneath the hill-wash covering its western sides. Its proximity to other broadly contemporary hut circles, enclosures, field systems and cairns on Rillaton Moor and Stowe's Hill demonstrates well the pattern of land use during the Bronze Age.


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


The monument includes a sub-rectangular Prehistoric enclosure containing one stone hut circle and incorporating two other hut circles in its wall. The monument is situated on the east slope of Rillaton Moor on SE Bodmin Moor and is divided into two separate constraint areas. The enclosure survives as a wall of stone rubble and edge-set slabs, up to 2m wide and 0.6m high, enclosing a subrectangular area measuring 108m, NNW-SSE 58m ENE-WSW. A gap 4m wide in the northern half of the enclosure's east wall marks the original entrance. A stone wall runs WSW from the southern side of the entrance gap, marking off the northern third of the enclosure. Two conjoined stone hut circles are built into the line of the enclosure's west wall at the point where it is met by the subdividing wall. Each of these hut circles has a levelled internal area 5m diameter bounded by a stone rubble wall 1.5m wide and up to 0.75m high. They are separated only by a single wall thickness where they meet. The west wall of the southern hut circle is formed by a single massive ground-fast boulder, 3m long. The northern hut circle's wall has internal facing slabs in its north and NW side. A third hut circle is situated within the enclosure's curved SW corner, its wall 1m from the enclosure wall on that side. This hut circle has stone rubble walls up to 1.75m wide and 0.75m high, with both internal and external facing slabs. Its wall encloses a circular internal area, 6m diameter, levelled into the hillslope. An entrance gap, 1m wide, faces south, flanked by a small upright stone, called an orthostat, at each side. The walls of the enclosure and the hut circles are extensively buried beneath soil deposits washed down the hill-slope on their western, uphill, side, but on their exposed eastern sides numerous stones and boulders can be seen, placed or roughly piled against the walls, resulting from stone-clearance in the enclosure. Later activities have produced limited disturbance to the monument in the form of two near-parallel channels, averaging 8.5m apart and passing NW-SE through the northern half of the enclosure. The smaller, south-western, of these derives from a tin-miners' water-course, called a leat, visible as a narrow channel, 1m wide and 0.4m deep. The other channel is a dismantled 19th century mineral tramway, producing a cut 5.5m wide and 1.25m deep. Because the tramway has destroyed all archaeological deposits along its course, it is not included in the scheduling and the monument is divided by it into two separate constraint areas.

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: 15081

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Sharpe, A, The Minions Area Archaeological Survey and Management (Volume 2), (1989), 316,465
consulted 3/1991, amended by ADH 7/91, Carter, A./RCHME, amended from MPP visit, 1:2500 AP transcription, SX 2671,
consulted 3/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcription, SX 2671,
consulted 3/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcriptions, SX 2671 & SX 2672,
consulted 3/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1415,

End of official listing