This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement, a round cairn and a boundary stone 760m WSW of Shell Top

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: Partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement, a round cairn and a boundary stone 760m WSW of Shell Top

List entry Number: 1015749

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: 16-Oct-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: 28789

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.

The round cairn lying within the settlement is of interest since it is likely to contain further information concerning the use of this area during the prehistoric period. Cairns lying within settlements are not uncommon, but they are likely to provide contrasting information to those found within the well defined Dartmoor ritual areas. Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (about 2000-700 BC). They were constructed as rubble mounds, may cover single or multiple burials and are sometimes surrounded by an outer ditch. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major visual element in the modern landscape. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provides important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. It is also considered that round cairns have sometimes been used as contemporary boundary markers and it is therefore perhaps significant that this particular mound also appears to have been reused as a boundary marker in the post-medieval period, when a stone was erected at the foot of the mound to denote some form of territorial boundary. The partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement, round cairn and boundary stone 760m WSW of Shell Top survive comparatively well and together with a rich array of nearby features form part of a particularly important multi- period archaeological landscape.

History

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

Details

This monument, which falls into four areas of protection, includes a partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement, a round cairn and a post-medieval boundary stone situated on a south west facing slope overlooking the Whitehill Yeo and Cholwichtown China Clay Works. The partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement includes two simple enclosures and ten stone hut circles. The western enclosure survives as a 44m long by 34m wide area defined by a boulder wall measuring 1m wide and standing up to 0.8m high, except on the north east side where no walling is visible. This enclosure may therefore never have been completed or has been partially robbed. Two stone hut circles lie within this enclosure and both survive as a stone and earth bank each surrounding a circular or oval internal area. The eastern enclosure contains one hut and survives as a 35m long by 22m wide area defined by a boulder wall measuring 1.6m wide and standing up to 0.6m high. A 1m wide gap in the north eastern sector which is flanked by large faced boulders may represent an original entrance. Lying outside the enclosures are seven stone hut circles. These all survive as earth and stone banks each surrounding an internal area which varies between 3.14 sq m and 24.3 sq m. The round cairn lies north west of the western enclosure and survives as an 8.5m long (north to south) by 7m wide (east to west) mound standing up to 1.1m high. Two separate hollows dug into the mound suggest partial early excavation or robbing. The recumbent post-medieval boundary stone lies at the WSW foot of the mound and it may have once stood upright on the cairn. This stone measures 1.55m long by 0.57m wide and is lozenge shaped. On its upper surface the letters BC, one above the other in the apex at the eastern end are visible. The letter C could represent Cholwich Town/Manor or Cornwood Parish, while the B could denote Blandford Manor. 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
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
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 58970 63766, SX 59084 63757, SX 59125 63691, SX 59272 63657

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

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 - 1015749 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 24-Nov-2017 at 05:03:19.

End of official listing