Partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement 780m south west of Metherall

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017990

Date first listed: 23-Jun-1967

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Jul-1998

Map

Ordnance survey map of Partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement 780m south west of Metherall
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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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: Dartmoor Forest

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 66537 83668

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.

Despite afforestation, the partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement 780m south west of Metherall survives well and contains archaeological structures, features and deposits relating to later prehistoric settlement in the area of the moor. One of the stone hut circles is particularly well preserved and forms an obvious visual amenity in this part of the forest.

History

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

Details

The monument includes an enclosure and four stone hut circles situated on a north facing slope overlooking Fernworthy Reservoir. The enclosure includes an area measuring up to 120m long north east to south west by 60m wide, defined by a 1.8m wide and 0.7m high orthostatic and rubble bank which is double faced in places. A second length of walling leads off from the south eastern side of the main enclosure. The stone hut circles within the settlement all survive as banks each surrounding an internal circular area which varies from 16.6 to 73.86 square metres with the average being 42.76 square metres. The height of the surrounding walls vary between 0.65 and 1.45m, with the average being 1.1m. Two of the huts have visible doorways, one has a bench, all of them are of orthostatic construction and one has a length of boundary wall leading from it. The surface of the forestry track leading through the monument is excluded, although the ground beneath is included.

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: 28678

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SE179,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SE187,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SE29,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SE30,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SE37,

End of official listing