Stone hut circle settlement at Higher Tor


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021043

Date first listed: 08-Sep-2003


Ordnance survey map of Stone hut circle settlement at Higher Tor
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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: Belstone

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 61347 91730


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 stone hut circle settlement at Higher Tor survives well and contains important and informative archaeological structures, features and deposits relating to prehistoric exploitation of this area. The settlement overlooks the large valley basin formed by the River Taw and the substantial, broadly contemporary, settlement complex on the lower slopes of Cosdon Hill. Very few prehistoric settlements on Dartmoor are situated close to the summit of substantial hills and this example will therefore provide contrasting information.


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


The monument includes an unenclosed stone hut circle settlement situated near the summit of Higher Tor overlooking the valley of the River Taw. The stone hut circles within the settlement all survive as circular banks surrounding an internal area which varies between 4.1m and 5.5m in diameter. The height of the surrounding walls vary between 0.4m and 0.5m. One of the huts is of single orthostatic construction, whilst the character of the remainder could not be identified because the turf cover has obscured the detail. Three of the huts have visible doorways which face in a south easterly direction.

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: 34471

Legacy System: RSM


MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (2002)

End of official listing