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Grimspound, a partially enclosed prehistoric settlement with field system and two post-medieval caches between Hookney Tor and Hameldown Tor

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: Grimspound, a partially enclosed prehistoric settlement with field system and two post-medieval caches between Hookney Tor and Hameldown Tor

List entry Number: 1014667

Location

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

County: Devon

District: Teignbridge

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Manaton

County: Devon

District: Teignbridge

District Type: District Authority

Parish: North Bovey

National Park: DARTMOOR

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 26-Nov-1928

Date of most recent amendment: 07-Aug-1996

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 22212

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.

Grimspound prehistoric enclosed settlement survives well and is the most visited of all archaeological monuments on the Moor. The excavations carried out at Grimspound by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee in 1894, represent the starting point of the first concerted academic attempt to examine Dartmoor's archaeology. These excavations, however, were only partial and therefore archaeological and environmental information still survives. The stone hut circles, field system and clearance areas lying outside the enclosure survive comparatively well and form an integral part of this prehistoric settlement.

History

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

Details

This monument includes a partly enclosed stone hut circle settlement and field system and two post-medieval caches situated below the crest of a saddle between Hameldown Tor and Hookney Tor overlooking the valley of the West Webburn River. The enclosure, which is known as Grimspound, survives as a stone and earth wall measuring between 2.5m and 3.5m wide, standing up to 1.25m high, surrounding an internal ovoid area of 1.45ha, containing at least 24 stone hut circles, several lynchets and rubble banks. The original enclosure entrance cuts through the south eastern side of the surrounding wall and survives as a 2m wide gap flanked by walls standing up to 2m high. The northern side wall is a continuous face formed by two massive edge set slabs, with a boulder balanced on top and coursed walling of smaller stones to each side of the slabs. The southern face survives as large horizontally laid slabs. The entrance was reconstructed following an excavation by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee in 1894. The ground within the entrance passage and the area immediately outside is roughly paved. The 1894 excavations carried out within the entrance revealed three steps in the paving leading down to the lower interior. Two other breaches in the enclosure wall are probably not original features and instead relate to the bridle path which cuts through the enclosure. The enclosure appears to have been sited to take advantage of the Grim's Lake stream which flows through the northern part of the enclosure and which was allowed access through a purpose built culvert. Within the enclosure, 24 stone hut circles are visible and include banks of stone and earth each surrounding a circular or oval internal area. These may be later in date than the enclosure. Twenty of the stone circles are circular in shape and their internal diameter varies between 2m and 5m with the average being 3.17m. The remaining huts are oval in shape and their internal dimensions varies between 4.9m and 2.8m long by 4.2m and 2m wide. The height of all the surrounding walls varies between 0.2m and 0.9m with the average being 0.57m. Sixteen of the huts were partly excavated by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee in 1894. This work revealed a variety of features, structures and artefacts including: porches; doorways; raised benches; paved floors; hearths; cooking holes; charcoal; anvil stones; pottery; flint flakes; flint scrapers and cooking stones. Following the excavation the huts were partly restored using the debris removed from the buildings. In addition to the 24 stone hut circles, low rubble banks defining at least four small internal paddocks or garden plots survive against the western wall of the enclosure. Whilst these clearly postdate the enclosure wall, it is likely that they are contemporary with the settlement. A small number of lynchets also survive within the enclosure and may represent the remains of stock control boundaries. Immediately south east of the enclosure at least nine stone hut circles survive together with lengths of field boundary wall and distinct areas from which stone has been cleared. The stone hut circles within this area are all linked to rubble banks forming part of a field system. Eight of the huts are circular in shape and their interior's vary between 3.2m and 5.3m in diameter, with the average being 4.16m. The interior of the remaining building is oval, measures 3m long by 2.5m wide and is surrounded by a 1.3m wide wall standing up to 0.5m high. One hut has a visible doorway and two are conjoined. The boundary banks linking the hut circles survive as rubble banks averaging 1.2m wide and 0.4m high. Together they form at least four discrete partly enclosed areas or fields. In addition to those areas defined by the rubble banks there are a number of areas from which surface stone has been cleared, presumably to facilitate cultivation. Field evidence for reuse of the settlement is provided by two small caches. The first is built against the inner face of the south western circuit of the enclosure wall and survives as a 1.5m wide and 0.4m high drystone wall on three sides, the fourth side being formed by the enclosure wall. The interior of the structure is rectangular in shape and measures 1.3m long by 1.2m wide. The second cache is built within the eastern length of the enclosure wall and survives as a 1.4m long, 1.1m wide and 1.3m deep oval shaped hollow created by removing stones from the core of the enclosure wall. The size of these structures suggests that they were probably used for storage purposes rather than as shelters.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Pattison, P et al, Grimspound, Manaton Parish, West Devon District, Devon, (1991)
Pattison, P et al, Grimspound, Manaton Parish, West Devon District, Devon, (1991)
Pattison, P et al, Grimspound, Manaton Parish, West Devon District, Devon, (1991)
Pattison, P et al, Grimspound, Manaton Parish, West Devon District, Devon, (1991)
Pattison, P et al, Grimspound, Manaton Parish, West Devon District, Devon, (1991), 4
Pattison, P et al, Grimspound, Manaton Parish, West Devon District, Devon, (1991), 3-6
Pattison, P et al, Grimspound, Manaton Parish, West Devon District, Devon, (1991)
Pattison, P et al, Grimspound, Manaton Parish, West Devon District, Devon, (1991)
Pattison, P et al, Grimspound, Manaton Parish, West Devon District, Devon, (1991)
Pattison, P et al, Grimspound, Manaton Parish, West Devon District, Devon, (1991)
Pattison, P et al, Grimspound, Manaton Parish, West Devon District, Devon, (1991)
Pattison, P et al, Grimspound, Manaton Parish, West Devon District, Devon, (1991)
Pattison, P et al, Grimspound, Manaton Parish, West Devon District, Devon, (1991)
Pattison, P et al, Grimspound, Manaton Parish, West Devon District, Devon, (1991)
Pattison, P et al, Grimspound, Manaton Parish, West Devon District, Devon, (1991)
Pattison, P et al, Grimspound, Manaton Parish, West Devon District, Devon, (1991)
Pattison, P et al, Grimspound, Manaton Parish, West Devon District, Devon, (1991)
Pattison, P et al, Grimspound, Manaton Parish, West Devon District, Devon, (1991)
Pattison, P et al, Grimspound, Manaton Parish, West Devon District, Devon, (1991)
Pattison, P et al, Grimspound, Manaton Parish, West Devon District, Devon, (1991)
Pattison, P et al, Grimspound, Manaton Parish, West Devon District, Devon, (1991)
Pattison, P et al, Grimspound, Manaton Parish, West Devon District, Devon, (1991)
Pattison, P et al, Grimspound, Manaton Parish, West Devon District, Devon, (1991)
Baring Gould, S et al, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in The Exploration Of Grimspound, , Vol. 26, (1894), 109,111
Baring Gould, S et al, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in The Exploration Of Grimspound, , Vol. 26, (1894), 110-111
Baring Gould, S et al, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in The Exploration Of Grimspound, , Vol. 26, (1894), 109
Baring Gould, S et al, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in The Exploration Of Grimspound, , Vol. 26, (1894), 110
Baring Gould, S et al, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in The Exploration Of Grimspound, , Vol. 26, (1894), 111-114
Baring Gould, S et al, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in The Exploration Of Grimspound, , Vol. 26, (1894), 108
Baring Gould, S et al, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in The Exploration Of Grimspound, , Vol. 26, (1894), 109
Baring Gould, S et al, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in The Exploration Of Grimspound, , Vol. 26, (1894), 111,113
Baring Gould, S et al, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in The Exploration Of Grimspound, , Vol. 26, (1894), 110-111
Baring Gould, S et al, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in The Exploration Of Grimspound, , Vol. 26, (1894), 111
Baring Gould, S et al, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in The Exploration Of Grimspound, , Vol. 26, (1894), 112,114
Baring Gould, S et al, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in The Exploration Of Grimspound, , Vol. 26, (1894), 110
Baring Gould, S et al, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in The Exploration Of Grimspound, , Vol. 26, (1894), 112-114
Baring Gould, S et al, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in The Exploration Of Grimspound, , Vol. 26, (1894), 111,115
Baring-Gould, S et al, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in The wall of Grimspound, , Vol. 27, (1895), 82-3
Other
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57SW49-05, (1992)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX78SW11, (1992)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX78SW48-18, (1992)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX78SW49, (1992)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX78SW49-04, (1992)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX78SW49-06, (1992)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX78SW49-07, (1992)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX78SW49-08, (1992)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX78SW49-09, (1992)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX78SW49-10, (1992)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX78SW49-11, (1992)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX78SW49-12, (1992)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX78SW49-15, (1992)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX78SW49-16, (1992)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX78SW49-17, (1992)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX78SW49-19, (1992)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX78SW49-20, (1992)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX78SW49-21, (1992)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX78SW49-23, (1992)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX78SW49-25, (1992)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX78SW49-26, (1992)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX78SW49-27, (1992)
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, (1995)

National Grid Reference: SX 70073 80739

Map

Map
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1014667 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 25-Nov-2017 at 09:40:57.

End of official listing