An agglomerated enclosure and two stone hut circles 580m west of Laughter Hole Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018513

Date first listed: 21-Jan-1999


Ordnance survey map of An agglomerated enclosure and two stone hut circles 580m west of Laughter Hole Farm
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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 65210 75935


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 partial afforestation, the agglomerated enclosure and two stone hut circles 580m west of Laughter Hole Farm survive well and together with other nearby broadly contemporary settlement sites and ceremonial monuments provides an important insight into the nature of Bronze Age occupation and exploitation in the central part of Dartmoor. Relatively deep peat and soil deposits cover this monument and these will contain evidence of environmental conditions from the Bronze Age onwards.


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


The monument includes an agglomerated enclosure and two stone hut circles situated on the north west facing upper slope of Laughter Tor. The agglomerated enclosure survives as at least four irregular shaped areas each defined by boulder and rubble walling. Two stone hut circles survive within the enclosure and one of these is attached to the enclosure walling. The western stone hut circle lies in the centre of one of the enclosures and survives as a 4.4m diameter circular area surrounded by a 1.8m wide orthostatic wall standing up to 0.8m high. The interior of the second hut measures 4.3m in diameter and the surrounding orthostatic wall is up to 2.4m wide and 0.9m high.

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: 28690

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 47

End of official listing