Enclosed stone hut circle settlement and cairn 460m north east of Rough Tor

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019571

Date first listed: 09-Mar-2001

Map

Ordnance survey map of Enclosed stone hut circle settlement and cairn 460m north east of Rough Tor
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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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: Dartmoor Forest

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 60866 80214

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 enclosed prehistoric settlement 460m north east of Rough Tor survives well and, at 500m above sea level, represents one of the highest on the Moor. Information relating to the exploitation of the high upland pastures together with environmental data survives within this settlement. The small cairn south of the enclosures will contain further information concerning the character of the inhabitants of this upland settlement and their burial tradition.

History

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

Details

The monument includes an enclosed stone hut circle settlement and cairn situated on a narrow shelf at the foot of a steep east facing slope overlooking the West Dart River. The settlement includes two irregular shaped enclosures attached to each other at one point. The northern enclosure measures up to 32m long by 32m wide, is earliest and contains at least three stone hut circles. The southern enclosure walling links together three stone hut circles. Both enclosures are denoted by rubble walling standing up to 0.6m high and 2m wide. The stone hut circles survive as banks each surrounding a circular or oval internal area of between 7m sq m and 12 sq m, with the average being 9.44 sq m. The hut walls are of single orthostatic or rubble bank construction and their heights vary between 0.3m and 0.75m, with the average being 0.53m. Two of the huts have visible doorways, two have annexes and all of them are connected to enclosure boundary walling, although the precise relationship is sometimes unclear. Four of the huts were excavated by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee in 1898 and in one building, pottery sherds, cooking stones, charcoal and flints were recovered. To the south of the settlement is a small cairn which survives as a 3.5m diameter mound standing up to 0.4m high. A pit dug into this cairn indicates that it has been the subject of partial early excavation or robbing.

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: 24109

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
1:2500 GPS Survey, Riley, H and Probert, S, Dartmoor Royal Forest - Settlement NE of Rough Tor, (1994)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1994)
MPP Fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1998)

End of official listing