Prehistoric stone hut circle settlement 630m south of Hemstone Rocks


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018709

Date first listed: 19-Mar-1999


Ordnance survey map of Prehistoric stone hut circle settlement 630m south of Hemstone Rocks
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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 64669 82886


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 prehistoric stone hut circle settlement 630m south of Hemstone Rocks survives well and together with other nearby broadly contemporary settlement sites, ceremonial monuments and land division boundaries provides an important insight into the nature of Bronze Age occupation and exploitation on the eastern fringes of the northern moor. Relatively deep peat and soil deposits cover this monument and these will contain information about past environmental conditions.


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


The monument includes an enclosed stone hut circle settlement lying on a north facing steep slope within Great Stannon Newtake overlooking the valley of the River South Teign. At least three enclosures survive within the settlement. The western enclosure is sub oval in shape, measures 72m long by 44m wide and is denoted by a 1m wide rubble bank standing up to 0.3m high. One stone hut circle lies within the northern part of the enclosure and another is butted by the enclosure wall. The central enclosure links two stone hut circles, measures 30m long by 20m wide and is defined by a low rubble bank. The third enclosure survives as two separate lengths of rubble walling whose original extent is now partly hidden by peat accumulation. The stone hut circles within the settlement all survive as banks each surrounding an oval or circular internal area which varies from 8 square metres to 13.85 square metres with the average being 11.77 square metres. The height of the surrounding walls varies between 0.3m and 0.4m. The hut walls appear to be of rubble bank construction, although soil accummulation makes positive identification difficult.

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: 28682

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 158

End of official listing