An enclosed prehistoric settlement 230m east of Higher Tor

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017987

Date first listed: 24-Jul-1998

Map

Ordnance survey map of An enclosed prehistoric settlement 230m east of Higher Tor
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

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

County: Devon

District: West Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Belstone

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 61517 91696

Summary

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 enclosed prehistoric settlement 230m east of Higher Tor survives well and contains archaeological structures, features and deposits relating to prehistoric exploitation of this area. The settlement overlooks the large valley basin formed by the River Taw and the substantial broadly contemporary settlement complex on the lower slopes of Cosdon Hill.

History

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

Details

The monument includes an agglomerated enclosure containing six stone hut circles and a post-medieval shelter situated on a south east facing slope of Higher Tor overlooking the valley of the River Taw. The agglomerated enclosure includes two enclosed areas, each defined by rubble bank and orthostatic walling. The western enclosure is earliest, has a clearly defined entrance, contains three free standing hut circles and two others are butted by the enclosure wall. The eastern enclosure, is smaller and its wall butts the sixth hut. The stone hut circles within the settlement all survive as banks each surrounding an internal circular area which varies from 7 to 12.56 square metres with the average being 9.69 square metres. The height of the surrounding walls vary between 0.3m and 0.5m, with the average being 0.42m. One of the huts has a visible doorway and all of them are of either single orthostatic or rubble bank construction.

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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 28675

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1997)

End of official listing