Partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement, two cairns and a route marker 325m north west of Yellowmeade Farm

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019574

Date first listed: 23-May-1974

Date of most recent amendment: 09-Mar-2001

Map

Ordnance survey map of Partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement, two cairns and a route marker 325m north west of Yellowmeade Farm
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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 56412 74478

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 partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement and cairns 325m north west of Yellowmeade Farm survive well and together represent an important source of environmental and archaeological information for the exploitation of the Moor in the later prehistoric period. The settlement overlooks the well known broadly contemporary ritual complex at Merrivale. The route marker forms one of a group which together alludes to the transport network on the Moor in the early post-medieval period.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a stone hut circle settlement, two cairns and a post- medieval route marker stone situated on a gentle west facing slope overlooking the valley of the River Walkham. The settlement includes an oval enclosure containing three stone hut circles, with a further nine huts lying outside. The stone hut circles survive as banks each surrounding a circular internal area of between 2.6m and 7.5m in diameter, with the average being 5.33m. The heights of the surrounding walls vary between 0.4m and 0.8m, with the average being 0.63m. Nine of the huts have visible doorways, one has an annex, another a courtyard and two have partitions. The stone hut circle at NGR SX 56507449 was in later years converted by the addition of a rubble bank wall, an annex and straight porch. This is a particularly complex structure displaying obvious chronological range. The enclosure forming the focus of the settlement survives as a substantial double faced wall standing up to 1m high surrounding an area measuring 53m long by 36m wide. A rubble bank leading between the two northern huts within the enclosure represents a later sub- division. The cairn on the south western edge of the settlement measures 5.5m in diameter and stands up to 1m high. The mound is composed of large rocks and two edge set stones in its centre represent the remains of a disturbed cist. The second cairn lies south of the settlement and survives as an oval mound measuring 4m long by 3.5m wide. A number of edge set stones protruding from the mound indicates that structural details survive within this cairn. The route marker stone is one of at least 13 known in this part of the Moor to have indicated the position of a road leading between Ashburton and Tavistock. The stone measures 1.66m high and bears the letter A on its eastern face and T on its western side. It is believed that this stone and its companions were raised around AD 1700.

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: 28775

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1994), 14
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1994), 15
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1994), 16
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1994), 17
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1994), 18
Other
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57SE123, (1982)
MPP Fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1999)

End of official listing