Prehistoric settlement, field system and rabbit warren south of Longaford Tor


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020876

Date first listed: 01-Aug-1973

Date of most recent amendment: 12-Mar-2003


Ordnance survey map of Prehistoric settlement, field system and rabbit warren south of Longaford Tor
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Dec-2018 at 23:59:04.


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 61291 76871, SX 61538 77032, SX 61554 77089, SX 61608 77257


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 prehistoric settlement, field system and rabbit warren south of Longaford Tor survive very well and will contain information relating to the monument and the surrounding landscape. The prehistoric settlement is amongst the largest on Dartmoor and thus provides an invaluable insight into the successful use and exploitation of upland Britain during the prehistoric period. The warren contains a large number of unusually shaped pillow mounds which may therefore contain information not available elsewhere.


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


This monument, which falls into four separate areas of protection, includes a prehistoric settlement, field system and rabbit warren situated on the west facing slopes of Longaford and Littaford Tors, overlooking the West Dart River. The stone hut circle settlement includes at least 101 stone hut circles, which survive as banks or walls each surrounding a circular or oval internal area which varies from 3.14 sq m to 52 sq m, with the average being 11.9 sq m. The surrounding walls vary between 0.25m and 1.2m in height, with the average being 0.54m. The hut walls vary considerably in character, with examples of orthostatic, rubble bank and coursed walling all present. At least 49 of the stone hut circles have visible doorways, 28 are linked to rubble walling, one has a porch, another a partition and attached to one is a courtyard. The huts are arranged along the contour, extend over 1400m from north to south and are associated with several lengths of rubble walling, enclosures and fields. In later years, much of the prehistoric settlement was incorporated into a rabbit warren. The warren survives on the western slopes of Longaford and Littaford Tors and includes at least 32 pillow mounds and a warreners' house. Within this monument there are at least 22 pillow mounds and these survive as rectangular, square, circular or oblong mounds many of which are flat-topped and surrounded on three sides by a ditch from which material was quarried during their construction. The two pillow mounds near Littaford Tors are much longer than the others, measuring 54m and 107m long, whilst the others are between 4m and 13m long. The mounds stand between 0.6m and 1.2m high and most are steep-sided. The warreners' house at NGR SX61167779 includes two separate rectangular earthwork buildings within a rectangular enclosure. A warren is known to have been established in this area in 1895 by James Saltroun of Powder Mills and was abandoned sometime before 1914. Some of the pillow mounds may however belong to an earlier undocumented warren.

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: 34451

Legacy System: RSM


MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (2002)
Title: Cherrybrook and Longaford Survey Source Date: 1989 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: 1:10000 plan

End of official listing