Two stone hut circles 570m south west of Down Tor


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019572

Date first listed: 09-Mar-2001


Ordnance survey map of Two stone hut circles 570m south west of Down Tor
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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: Walkhampton

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 57557 69114


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 stone hut circles 570m south west of Down Tor survive on the edge of a tin lode and may therefore contain information relating to the early exploitation of lode tin. This is one of the few sites on the Moor where unenclosed stone hut circles survive adjacent to a lode.


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


The monument includes two stone hut circles situated on a gentle south west facing slope of Down Tor overlooking the valley of the Narrator Brook. The interior of the western stone hut circle measures 8.9m in diameter and is surrounded by a 1.3m wide single orthostatic wall standing up to 0.8m high. A south facing gap in the wall may represent an original doorway. The southern half of the eastern building has been removed by a later tin openwork, but despite this, the original form of the building is clear. The remaining single orthostatic hut wall stands up to 1.2m high by 1.5m wide and surrounds an internal area measuring 8m in diameter. The tin openwork may have origins in the later prehistoric period, although its later expansion is demonstrated by the removal of part of the eastern hut circle.

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: 24111

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1994), 89

End of official listing