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Stone alignment, hut circle settlement, medieval long house and post-medieval farmstead at Assycombe

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: Stone alignment, hut circle settlement, medieval long house and post-medieval farmstead at Assycombe

List entry Number: 1017981

Location

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

County: Devon

District: West Devon

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Dartmoor Forest

National Park: DARTMOOR

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 22-Nov-1965

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Jul-1998

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 28655

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 alignments or stone rows consist of upright stones set in single file or in avenues of two or more parallel lines, up to several hundred metres in length. They are often physically linked to burial monuments, such as small cairns, cists and barrows, and are considered to have had an important ceremonial function. The Dartmoor alignments mostly date from the Late Neolithic period (c.2400-2000 BC). Some eighty examples, most of them on the outer Moor, provide over half the recorded national population. Due to their comparative rarity and longevity as a monument type, all surviving examples are considered nationally important, unless very badly damaged.

Lying within close proximity to the stone alignment is a dispersed stone hut circle settlement and evidence relating to historic exploitation of this area. Taken together this gives an insight into how exploitation of this area has developed over at least 4000 years. Despite afforestation and some excavation, the stone alignment, hut circle settlement, medieval long house and post-medieval farmstead at Assycombe survive well and contain archaeological structures, features and deposits relating to prehistoric funerary, ritual and agricultural exploitation of this area, together with further evidence relating to historic occupation and farming practices.

History

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

Details

The monument, which falls into three areas, includes a stone alignment, dispersed stone hut circle settlement, medieval long house and post-medieval farmstead situated on a west facing slope overlooking the Assycombe Brook. The stone alignment includes two parallel lines of upright stones leading downslope for 125m from an encircled cairn. The lower end of the alignment is denoted by a blocking stone. Midway along the alignment a length of reave crosses the row and leads towards two stone hut circles situated to the south. Another hut circle lies close to the western end of the alignment and a further seven lie along the foot of the slope forming Assycombe Hill. The stone hut circles within the settlement all survive as banks each surrounding an internal circular area which varies from 11.33 to 51.5 square metres with the average being 28.26 square metres. The height of the surrounding walls vary between 0.5m and 0.9m, with the average being 0.71m. Six of the huts have visible doorways, two are attached to each other, one has an annex and the orthostatic, rubble bank and coursed walling building traditions are all represented. The medieval long house survives as a 7.5m long and 4m wide rectangular earthwork complete with drystone walling along the northern side and a well preserved fire place at the upper end. The post-medieval farmhouse includes a three roomed building with drystone and orthostatic walls standing up to 2m high. Surrounding the farmhouse are at least four yards each defined by low drystone walls and beyond these are several small fields.

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
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 167
Other
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SE15,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SE15.1,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SE16,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SE17,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SE18,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SE20,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SE21.1,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SE38,
Haynes, R.G., Ruined Sites on Dartmoor - Middleworth, 1966, Unpublished Manuscript
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1997)

National Grid Reference: SX 65929 82705, SX 65932 82453, SX 66052 82473

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.
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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 - 1017981 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 19-Nov-2017 at 04:32:04.

End of official listing