Two partially enclosed stone hut circle settlements and a round cairn on the eastern slope of Oke Tor


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016640

Date first listed: 02-Jul-1999


Ordnance survey map of Two partially enclosed stone hut circle settlements and a round cairn on the eastern slope of Oke Tor
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: West Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Dartmoor Forest

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 61318 89945, SX 61402 89938, SX 61449 89844, SX 61462 89776, SX 61503 89677, SX 61599 89577, SX 61633 89345, SX 61695 89501


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 two partially enclosed stone hut circle settlements and round cairn on the eastern slope of Oke Tor survive well and form part of a group of at least three settlements situated within the upper reaches of the Taw River. Deep peat deposits covering much of the monument have preserved the sensitive archaeological deposits and structures, whilst also containing important environmental information. Settlements such as these provide valuble insights into Bronze Age activity on the high moorland. The very well preserved cairn lying midway between the settlements probably performed a land division function at the local level as well as providing a funerary role.


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


The monument, which falls into eight areas, includes two partially enclosed stone hut circle settlements and a round cairn situated on the eastern slope of Oke Tor overlooking the valley of the River Taw. The northern settlement survives as two enclosures and four stone hut circles. The northern enclosure links two huts, whilst the southern enclosure has one hut. The fourth hut lies between the two enclosures. A length of broadly contemporary reave leads towards the northern enclosure. The southern settlement includes at least six enclosures together with four stone hut circles. Most of the enclosures are agglomerated and are partially sealed by the peat deposits which cover this area. The stone hut circles within both settlements survive as circular or oval banks each surrounding an internal area which varies from 6 to 32 square metres, with the average being 13 square metres. The height of the surrounding walls varies between 0.3m and 0.8m, with the average being 0.46m. Two of the huts have an annex, one has a visible doorway, four are butted by enclosure walling, and they all are of single orthostatic or rubble bank construction. Lying midway between the two settlements is a 4.9m diameter flat topped cairn standing up to 0.7m high. A kerb formed by at least eight edge set stones surrounds the mound, which does not appear to have been investigated by antiquarians.

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: 28723

Legacy System: RSM


MPP Fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1998)

End of official listing