Enclosed prehistoric settlement and round cairn 880m south west of Venford Reservoir dam


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020095

Date first listed: 03-Feb-1976

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Sep-2001


Ordnance survey map of Enclosed prehistoric settlement and round cairn 880m south west of Venford Reservoir dam
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Oct-2018 at 18:42:12.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: South Hams (District Authority)

Parish: Holne

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 67991 70597, SX 68077 70558, SX 68080 70422, SX 68084 70628, SX 68106 70497


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 and round cairn 880m south west of Venford Reservoir dam survive well and contain environmental and archaeological information for the use and occupation of the monument. The settlement forms part of a group lying close to the substantial Dartmeet coaxial field system and will therefore provide contrasting eivdence to that available from the settlements more directly associated with the fields.


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


The monument, which falls into five seperate areas of protection, includes an enclosed prehistoric settlement and round cairn situated on a north east facing slope on Holne Moor overlooking Venford Reservoir. Most of the settlement lies on a promontory defined by two small valleys. The settlement includes at least four enclosures, each containing between one and three stone hut circles. The northern enclosure is agglomerated, includes at least three elements and is denoted by orthostatic walling except on the western edge where it survives as a 1.2m high lynchet. The northern side of the enclosure has been removed by later streamworking and the Holne Moor Leat cuts the walling in several places. Two stone hut circles within the enclosure survive as orthostatic walls each surrounding a circular internal area measuring 3.5m and 5m in diameter. The surrounding walls measure up to 1.2m high and one hut has a visible doorway. The western enclosure includes a single stone hut circle and fragmentary lengths of orthostatic walling. This enclosure is cut through by the Wheal Emma Leat. The central enclosure is oval in shape and abuts two earlier stone hut circles along its western circuit. A length of curving wall to the north east probably represents an outlying part of this enclosure. The cairn lies to the south east of the central enclosure and survives as a 6.7m diameter mound standing up to 0.8m high. A small hollow in the centre of the cairn suggests that it has been partially robbed or excavated. The final enclosure within the settlement sits on the southern edge of a steep sided valley formed by historic tin streamworking. The northern part of the enclosure has been removed by this later streamworking, but the remainder contains at least three stone hut circles. Cutting through the southern part of the enclosure is a length of the Wheal Emma Leat over which there is a small clapper bridge. The metal fencing denoting the edge of the forestry plantation around Venford Reservoir is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

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: 22373

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 4, (1993), 188

End of official listing