Prehistoric enclosure and field system, two hut circles and parts of a medieval field system 350m south east of Sparretts Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013216

Date first listed: 15-Apr-1997


Ordnance survey map of Prehistoric enclosure and field system, two hut circles and parts of a medieval field system 350m south east of Sparretts Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: St. Cleer

National Grid Reference: SX 23983 71630


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 and the adjacent irregular aggregate field system and hut circles on Craddock Moor have survived reasonably well and have not been excavated. Their proximity to other broadly contemporary hut circles, enclosures and cairns demonstrates well the nature and development of land use during the Bronze Age.


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


The monument includes a subrectangular prehistoric enclosure, containing a single hut circle and an adjoining prehistoric field system with a nearby unenclosed hut circle, together with overlying parts of a medieval field system and a tin miners' leat on the south western edge of Craddock Moor on Bodmin Moor. The enclosure survives as a well preserved stone wall up to 1.5m wide and 1m high enclosing a subrectangular area measuring 75m NNE-SSW by 70m ESE-WNW. Occasional upright inner facing slabs are present in the NNE sector of the wall and elsewhere it includes large boulders up to 1.5m across. A small, damaged hut circle is built into the enclosure's north east corner, visible as a levelled stance 4m in internal diameter, bounded by a ruined stone rubble wall. The hut circle wall is only well preserved near its junction with the enclosure wall where it is 1.5m wide with external facing slabs up to 0.5m high. Around its southern corner, the enclosure wall has been partly taken down in antiquity and joined by two near parallel boundary walls of similar boulder and rubble construction running south, 15m apart, along the contour of the hill. These form part of a prehistoric field system enclosing those portions of three irregularly shaped fields that survive above the modern enclosure boundaries. The wall joining at the enclosure's southern corner formed the eastern boundary of the highest, eastern field; it only survives for 22m before it is disrupted by a medieval miners' ditched water-course. The other wall bounded the east and south east side of the adjoining field down the slope; it extends in a slightly sinuous course south from the enclosure for 105m, then turns at right angles to the west and runs downslope for 40m to form a `T'-junction with another fragment of similar wall that formerly enclosed the rounded eastern end of a third irregular field, the remainder of which has been obliterated by the modern field system. The surviving pattern of prehistoric fields preserved by these boundaries is called an irregular aggregate field system. The uphill, eastern side of the field system and the enclosure walls are largely buried beneath soil slumped down the hill slope by its disturbance during early cultivation, a process called lynchetting, and by natural soil creep on the steep slope. A well preserved stone hut circle is situated within the prehistoric field system, 36m south west of the enclosure's southern corner and 11.5m west of the longer surviving field boundary. The hut circle survives with a stone rubble wall, 1.5m-2m wide and 0.5m high, with an entrance gap to the south and facing slabs both internally and occasionally externally. The wall encloses a levelled circular internal area 6.5m in diameter. The monument also contains parts of at least four parallel stone boundary walls, 6m-26m apart on an east-west axis, from a larger medieval field system which extends beyond the monument east and south of the prehistoric enclosure and field system. The walls are each 1m wide, 0.1m high; at least four pass through the enclosure where they are associated with slight traces of the parallel ridges and furrows of medieval cultivation which also extends beyond the monument. The eastern edge of the prehistoric enclosure also contains the northern terminal of a tin miners' water-course, called a leat, visible as a slight ditch running north-south, 1.5m wide and 0.2m deep with upcast on its west side. The leat forms part of later medieval land use of this hillside, cutting through the enclosure wall and both the earlier medieval and prehistoric field systems.

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: 15077

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Sharpe, A, The Minions Area Archaeological Survey and Management (Volume 2), (1989)
7/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcription for SX 2471,
consulted 6/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1299,
consulted 6/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1356,
consulted 6/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 14113,
consulted 9/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcription for SX 2371,
consulted 9/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcriptions for SX 2371 & SX 2471,
Information told to MPP fieldworker by Peter Herring, CAU, (1993)

End of official listing