Enclosed prehistoric settlement and three round cairns 870m south east of Horn's Cross


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020096

Date first listed: 18-Sep-2001


Ordnance survey map of Enclosed prehistoric settlement and three round cairns 870m south east of Horn's Cross
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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 67588 70466, SX 67672 70502, SX 67767 70440


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 three round cairns 870m south east of Horn's Cross survive well and contain environmental and archaeological information for their occupation and use, as well as for funerary and ritual practices. The settlement forms part of a group lying close to the substantial Dartmeet coaxial field system and will therefore provide contrasting evidence 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 three seperate areas of protection, includes an enclosed prehistoric settlement and three round cairns situated on a gentle east facing slope on Holne Moor overlooking Venford Reservoir. The settlement includes at least two enclosures, each defined by a rubble bank. The eastern enclosure is irregular in shape and is denoted by a 2m wide bank standing up to 0.7m high. Within the northern part of this enclosure are two stone hut circles which survive as rubble banks each surrounding a circular internal area measuring 2.3m and 4.5m in diameter. The surrounding walls measure up to 0.6m high and one hut abuts the enclosure wall. A cairn built against the southern edge of the eastern stone hut circle measures 4.2m in diameter and stands 0.25m high. The western enclosure is denoted by a 1.5m wide and 0.3m high bank which abuts an earlier stone hut circle with an internal diameter of 4.3m. To the west of this enclosure lie two small cairns. The southern cairn measures 6.5m in diameter and stands 0.8m high. The northern cairn is 6.7m in diameter and also stands 0.8m high. Both cairns have hollows in their centre indicating partial robbing or early excavation. The monument lies within a later historic field system and, whilst most of this is not included within the scheduling, a length of boundary ditch following the western edge of the eastern enclosure does form part of the monument and survives as a 3m wide gully measuring up to 0.8m deep.

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: 22374

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 4, (1993), 129
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (2000)

End of official listing