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An enclosure, stone hut circle, rectangular building and `V'-shaped gully 410m east of Trowlesworthy Warren House

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: An enclosure, stone hut circle, rectangular building and `V'-shaped gully 410m east of Trowlesworthy Warren House

List entry Number: 1014472

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: South Hams

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Shaugh Prior

National Park: DARTMOOR

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 03-Jul-2000

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 22358

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

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.

Lying within the enclosure are two features of historic date. The first is a small rectangular building. Buildings such as this are relatively common on the Moor and although establishing their function from field evidence alone is rarely possible, they are considered to form the major source of archaeological information regarding historic activity on the open moorland. The `V'-shaped gully is a feature which has been identified only within the Upper Plym valley. They are always associated with warrens and therefore may be considered as a distinctive component of the warrens in this part of the Moor. They are generally accepted as being drains excavated to carry surface water around a small area which would therefore be drier and more suitable for habitation by rabbits. They may, however, also have been built as animal runs leading to vermin traps. Either way, these gullies will contain information relating to the exploitation and management of the warrens within the Upper Plym valley and as such are considered worthy of protection. The enclosure, stone hut circle, rectangular building and `V'-shaped gully 410m east of Trowlesworthy Warren House survive comparatively well despite limited damage caused by the construction of a leat. Together, these features provide information regarding the exploitation of the Moor at different dates and form part of an extremely well preserved complex multi-period landscape extending over much of the Upper Plym valley.

History

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

Details

This monument includes an enclosure, stone hut circle, rectangular building and `V'-shaped gully forming part of a complex multi-period archaeological landscape on the western slope of Trowlesworthy Tor overlooking the valley of the Blacka Brook. The enclosure is sub-rectangular in shape, measures 42m long by 36m wide and is defined by a 2m wide and 0.3m high rubble bank. Part of the eastern circuit of the enclosure underlies a later bank thrown up during the construction of a leat. The enclosure wall is attached to a stone hut circle which appears to predate the enclosure. The stone hut circle is composed of a 2m wide and 0.6m high stone and earth bank surrounding a 4.9m diameter internal area. A rectangular building situated immediately to the west of the leat embankment also lies within the enclosure, but is considered to be of historic date. The interior of this building measures 5.5m long by 3.9m wide and is defined by a 1.4m wide and 0.5m high rubble wall. A 1.1m wide gap in the western wall may represent a doorway. Lying immediately west of this building is a `V'-shaped gully which cuts the enclosure wall in two places. The northern arm measures 50m long, 1m wide by 0.2m deep and the bank of material thrown up during its construction lies downslope and measures 1m wide and up to 0.15m high. The southern arm measures 50m long, 0.4m wide and 0.3m deep and the associated bank measures 1.3m wide and 0.15m high. Gullies such as this are generally considered to be drains, although their location on steep well drained slopes suggests that some at least may have served as animal runs leading to vermin traps or snares. Vermin approaching their quarry tend to seek a route that provides visual cover and gullies such as this could have been excavated to control their movement. Further archaeological features within the vicinity of this monument are the subjects of other schedulings. This monument is in the care of the Secretary of State.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Selected Sources

Other
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, (1995)
National Archaeological Record, SX56SE20,
Thackray, C., The Upper Plym Valley: The management of an historic landscape, 1994, Archaeological Site Inventory
Thackray, C., The Upper Plym Valley: The management of an historic landscape, 1994, Archaeological Site Inventory
Thackray, C., The Upper Plym Valley: The management of an historic landscape, 1994, Archaeological Site Inventory
Thackray, C., The Upper Plym Valley: The management of an historic landscape, 1994, Archaeological Site Inventory

National Grid Reference: SX 57176 64707

Map

Map
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This copy shows the entry on 22-Nov-2017 at 10:13:21.

End of official listing