Prehistoric settlement at North End, Lundy


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016029

Date first listed: 17-Jun-1970

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Jun-1998


Ordnance survey map of Prehistoric settlement at North End, Lundy
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This copy shows the entry on 15-Dec-2018 at 11:59:03.


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

County: Devon

District: Torridge (District Authority)

National Grid Reference: SS 13294 47721


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

Reasons for Designation

Lundy is a small, steep sided island in the Bristol Channel, 16m north of Hartland Point, north Devon. Aligned north-south, it is 6km long by 1km wide and supports a predominately moorland vegetation. The 100m high cliffs and tabular form give it a striking appearance, visible in clear weather from parts of south west England and south Wales. Lundy's remoteness and (until the 19th century construction of the Beach Road) its inaccessibility, combined with a lack of shelter and cultivable soils, has meant that it has escaped more recent occupation or development. It therefore preserves a remarkable variety of archaeological sites from early prehistory (c.8000 BC) onwards, representing evidence for habitation, fortification, farming and industry. There are also archaeological remains in the waters surrounding the island - over 150 shipwrecks are already recorded. Most of the island's archaeology is well documented from detailed survey in the 1980s and 1990s.

Stone hut circles and hut circle settlements were the dwelling places of prehistoric farmers. Most date from the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). The stone- based round-houses consist of low walls or banks enclosing a circular floor area; the remains of the turf, thatch or heather roofs 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 or stone. Frequently traces of their associated field systems may be found immediately around them. These may be indicated by areas of clearance cairns and/or the remains of field walls and other relationship with other monument types provides 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 stone hut circle settlement at North End survives well as a series of foundations and linking orthostat walls, indicating the extent of Bronze Age settlement, and providing information about the living conditions and farming regime of its inhabitants. The soil around and beneath these features will contain evidence of the environmental conditions at the time of occupation.


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


The monument includes an extensive area of prehistoric remains at the north end of the island. The remains consist of hut circles, relict field walls, small enclosures or stock pounds and burial cairns. In addition, one of the largest cairns has a Civil War lookout hut set on top of it. At the south end of the settlement are the foundations of a 19th century summer house set among the field walls. The settlement remains extend from the northern end of the Trinity House track for 480m to the south and are 350m from east to west at the widest point. There are two groups of remains. The northern group consists of a large hut circle, 15m in diameter, and one large cairn, 20m in diameter, 80m to the south east. Four smaller cairns are adjacent to this cairn on its south side. The southern group of remains has a cairn to the north of an area of hut circles and relict walls which extends over the width of the island. There are five hut circle complexes, each with an annexe or attached enclosure. Field walls link the settlements and in the southern half of the area is a series of terraces which were enclosed by low walls. Two of these hut circles have been part excavated in the past and Bronze Age pottery found at each site. The largest cairn in the northern sector has a stone hut foundation set into the top which measures 8m by 4m. This is thought to have been set up as a lookout during the fortification of the island during the Civil War. It is now known as John O'Groat's House. One of the southernmost terraces support the remains of the foundations of a summer house built by the Heaven family who owned the island during the 19th century. This terrace is 23m long and overlooks Gannets' Combe. Associated with the settlement is a detached hut circle 300m to the south east which is the subject of a separate scheduling.

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


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

Legacy System number: 30356

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Langham, A M, Lundy Bristol Channel, (1960), 83
Thackray, C, The National Trust Archaeological Survey, (1989)
Thackray, C, The National Trust Archaeological Survey, (1989)

End of official listing