Stone hut circle settlement 600m ENE of Great Trowlesworthy Tor

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018356

Date first listed: 14-Mar-1962

Date of most recent amendment: 09-Apr-2001

Map

Ordnance survey map of Stone hut circle settlement 600m ENE of Great Trowlesworthy Tor
© 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: South Hams (District Authority)

Parish: Shaugh Prior

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 58540 64611

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 stone hut circle settlement 600m ENE of Great Trowlesworthy Tor survives well, and together with other nearby settlement sites, ceremonial monuments and land division boundaries provides an insight into the nature of Bronze Age occupation on the south western side of the Moor.

History

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

Details

This monument includes two agglomerate enclosures and a cluster of stone hut circles lying on a gentle west facing slope of Lee Moor overlooking the valley of Spanish Lake. The northern agglomerate enclosure includes two elements and covers 0.25ha. The western enclosure is the earliest, measures 32m long by 18m wide and is defined by a 2m wide and 0.75m high partly faced rubble wall. Five stone hut circles survive within this enclosure and all of them are linked to the surrounding boundary wall. The interior of the eastern and later enclosure measures 40m long by 32m wide and is defined by a partly faced rubble wall. Two stone hut circles lie within this enclosure and both are linked to the boundary wall. The stone hut circles within the northern agglomerate enclosure survive as banks of stone and earth each surrounding a circular internal area. The internal diameters of these huts vary between 2m and 3.3m, with the average being 2.8m. The heights of the surrounding walls vary between 0.4m and 0.7m, with the average being 0.54m. Two of these huts have visible doorways and two are attached to each other. The second agglomerate enclosure forms the southern edge of the settlement and includes three elements covering 0.13ha. The northern enclosure is the earliest, measures 20m in diameter and is defined by a 1.5m wide and 0.5m high rubble bank. A stone hut circle which survives as a 2m wide and 0.6m high bank of stone and earth surrounding a circular internal area measuring 2m in diameter is linked to the eastern wall of this enclosure. The relative dates of the remaining two enclosures could not be established from the earthwork evidence alone. The interior of the southern enclosure measures 28m long by 26m wide and is defined by a low, partly lynchetted rubble bank measuring 1.8m wide and 0.3m high. The eastern enclosure lies immediately next to the northern example, measures 15m long east to west by 10m wide north to south and is defined by a curving 1.2m wide rubble bank standing up to 0.3m high. Lying between the agglomerate enclosures are eight stone hut circles, four of which are connected to each other by lengths of rubble walling. Three of these huts are circular in shape and their internal diameters vary between 2.5m and 3.6m, with the average being 2.9m. The remaining five are oval in shape and their internal lengths vary between 3m and 4m, whilst their widths are between 1.9m and 2.7m. The heights of the surrounding walls vary between 0.4m and 0.6m, with the average being 0.43m. The fragments of walling running between some of these huts may represent either part of a field system or further enclosures. This monument is in the care of the Secretary of State.

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: 24119

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Mercer, R J, Wilson, J G, An Archaeological Field Survey of the Upper Plym Valley, etc, (1986)
Other
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX56SE-017, (1992)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX56SE-092, (1972)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX56SE-093, (1972)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX56SE327, (1992)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX56SE92, (1972)
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
MPP Fieldwork by S. Gerrard, (1993)
MPP Fieldwork by S. Gerrard, (1993)

End of official listing