Three agglomerated enclosures containing stone hut circles, a cairn cemetery, post-medieval fields and tinworks on Chagford Common

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018926

Date first listed: 07-Jun-2000

Map

Ordnance survey map of Three agglomerated enclosures containing stone hut circles, a cairn cemetery, post-medieval fields and tinworks on Chagford Common
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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: Chagford

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 67939 83008

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 three agglomerated enclosures containing stone hut circles, a cairn cemetery, post-medieval fields and tinworks on Chagford Common survive very well and together represent an important and visually impressive range of archaeological sites relating to the three major periods of activity on Dartmoor.

History

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

Details

The monument includes three agglomerated enclosures containing stone hut circles, a cairn cemetery, post-medieval fields, an openwork, streamworks, and a tin mine situated on an east facing slope of Chagford Common overlooking the Walla Brook. The northern agglomerated enclosure includes at least five elements denoted by boundary banks, some of which contain large numbers of substantial orthostats. There are six stone hut circles within the enclosure and another lies a short distance to the east. The central agglomerated enclosure includes at least eleven elements and contains six stone hut circles. The southern agglomerated enclosure which has been partially overlain by a post-medieval field system containing ridge and furrow is associated with at least five stone hut circles. The stone hut circles survive as circular or oval banks each surrounding an internal area which varies from 6 sq m to 78.5 sq m, with the average being 34.6 sq m. The height of the surrounding walls varies between 0.6m and 1.05m, with the average being 0.74m. Six of the huts have visible doorways, nine are attached to field boundary banks and they are all of orthostatic or rubble bank construction. The cairn cemetery includes five mounds, some of which may have been excavated by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee in 1900. Four of the mounds are circular in shape and vary between 4.3m and 7.5m in diameter and stand between 0.4m and 0.8m high. The remaining mound is oval in shape, measuring 5m long by 4.5m wide and standing 0.5m high. The historic field system includes two fields denoted by substantial ditches. The southern field contains ridge and furrow and is denoted on the southern side by an openwork. There are several other tinworks within the monument and amongst these are an openwork, prospecting gully, shafts, a whim platform, areas of alluvial and eluvial streamworking and a 19th century tin mine known as West Vitifer Mine.

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: 28728

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 29
Other
MPP Fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1999)
MPP Fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1999)

End of official listing