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