Two stone hut circle settlements with an irregular aggregate field system east of Rival Tor, 900m south west of Buttern Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020366

Date first listed: 07-Jun-2000


Ordnance survey map of Two stone hut circle settlements with an irregular aggregate field system east of Rival Tor, 900m south west of Buttern Hill
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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: Gidleigh

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 64483 88071, SX 64504 87952, SX 64539 88275, SX 64567 88049


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 circle settlements and irregular aggregate field system east of Rival Tor, 900m south west of Buttern Hill survive very well. Peat accumulation within and around the monument has protected sensitive archaeological features, structures and deposits and also contains important environmental information. The settlements form part of a group of at least six settlements overlooking a substantial natural basin formed by the North Teign River, the Gallaven Brook and Walla Brook.


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


The monument, which falls into four areas of protection, includes two stone hut circle settlements, an irregular aggregate field system and at least three cairns lying on the lower east facing slope of Rival Tor overlooking the valley of the North Teign River. The northern settlement survives within the irregular aggregate field system and includes at least six stone hut circles. The stone hut circles survive as circular or oval banks surrounding an internal area which varies from 6 sq m to 26 sq m, with the average being 15 sq m. The heights of the surrounding walls vary between 0.35m and 0.6m, with the average being 0.44m. All of the huts have visible doorways, four are attached to field boundary banks and they are all of orthostatic or rubble bank construction. The irregular aggregate field system is defined by a series of sinuous low rubble banks, some of which are lynchetted and which together form at least nine fields, which have been added over a period of time. Within the field system are three cairns. Two of these were probably formed during the clearance of surface stone, but the third (NGR SX64538835) contains a cist which would have originally contained a burial. The southern settlement includes four widely spaced stone hut circles and and three lengths of rubble walling which may represent the visible element of a field system. The huts are very similar in size with their internal diameters varying between 5.4m and 6m. They are all composed of orthostatic walling which in places is buried beneath soil and peat which has accumulated over the years. One of the huts has an internal partition and another a doorway.

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: 28726

Legacy System: RSM


MPP Fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1998)

End of official listing