Two prehistoric settlements 1280m SSW of The Grey Wethers


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019071

Date first listed: 03-Mar-1977

Date of most recent amendment: 05-Jan-2001


Ordnance survey map of Two prehistoric settlements 1280m SSW of The Grey Wethers
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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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 63436 82080, SX 63561 81913, SX 63658 81577, SX 63676 81844


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 two prehistoric settlements 1280m SSW of The Grey Wethers survive well and together with other nearby broadly contemporary settlement sites, ceremonial monuments and land division boundaries provide 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, which falls into four areas of protection, includes two prehistoric settlements containing stone hut circles, two simple enclosures, an agglomerated enclosure and a round cairn lying on the lower east facing slope of Winney's Down. The northern settlement includes 20 stone hut circles lying in three separate clusters. The northern cluster includes six stone hut circles and a simple enclosure. The central cluster has five huts and another enclosure. The southern cluster includes nine stone hut circles and an agglomerated enclosure with at least two elements, measuring overall 58m by 32m. On the western edge of this cluster is a small cairn measuring 3.2m in diameter and 0.6m high. The southern settlement lies 170m to the south of the first and includes three unenclosed stone hut circles sitting on a small natural terrace on an otherwise very steep slope. The stone hut circles within the two settlements all survive as banks each surrounding an oval or circular internal area which varies from 3.46 sq m to 36.29 sq m with the average being 14 sq m. The heights of the surrounding walls vary between 0.2m and 0.8m, with the average being 0.48m. The orthostatic and rubble bank walling building traditions are both represented. Eight of the huts have visible doorways, three have porches and one has an annex.

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: 28691

Legacy System: RSM


MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1998)
Title: Duchy Farms Report - Great Stannon Newtake Source Date: 1990 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: 1:10,000 Map

End of official listing