Enclosure and stone hut circle 535m south-west of Beardown Man forming part of the dispersed settlement on the eastern slope of Conies Down Tor


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012546

Date first listed: 02-Mar-1993


Ordnance survey map of Enclosure and stone hut circle 535m south-west of Beardown Man forming part of the dispersed settlement on the eastern slope of Conies Down Tor
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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 59122 79365

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 enclosure and stone hut circle 535m south-west of Beardown Man survive comparatively well as an example of a form of settlement relatively rare on Dartmoor. They form part of a discrete but more extensive dispersed settlement pattern in the upper Cowsic valley, including two large enclosed settlements, four small enclosures with single huts and a number of unenclosed stone hut circles.


This monument includes a rectangular enclosure with a single stone hut circle built across the northern line of the boundary wall situated on a steep slope immediately west of the River Cowsic. The interior of the enclosure measures 24m east to west by 32m north to south and is defined by rubble walling 1.5m thick and 0.3m high except on the northern side where a rock outcrop provides a natural barrier. A gap in the south-western length of the wall may indicate the position of the entrance. The stone hut circle is composed of a stone and earth wall 1.2m wide and 0.6m high defining an internal area measuring 3.5m in diameter. The southern wall comprises a large earthfast boulder and the doorway faces north-east.

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: 22255

Legacy System: RSM


Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)

End of official listing