Enclosed prehistoric settlement 650m south west of Longaford Tor


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021178

Date first listed: 27-Oct-1971

Date of most recent amendment: 22-Dec-2003


Ordnance survey map of Enclosed prehistoric settlement 650m south west of Longaford Tor
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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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: Dartmoor Forest

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 61003 77582


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.

Despite being cut through by the Devonport Leat, the enclosed prehistoric settlement 650m south west of Longaford Tor survives comparatively well. This settlement overlooks one of the largest prehistoric settlements on Dartmoor and thus provides a marked contrast to its neighbour. Much of the monument is covered in peat deposits which will contain environmental information and provide a protective cover for the archaeological remains. The agglomerated character of the enclosures together with the relationship between the stone hut circles and enclosure walling means that this settlement will contain information concerning the evolution of prehistoric settlements.


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


The monument comprises an enclosed prehistoric settlement lying on a steep east facing slope of Beardown Hill overlooking the valley of the West Dart River. The prehistoric settlement includes at least seven stone hut circles. The stone hut circles survive as circular or oval banks surrounding an internal area which varies between 6 sq m and 12.9 sq m. The height of the surrounding walls vary between 0.4m and 0.7m and two of the huts have visible doorways. The agglomerated enclosure associated with the settlement includes at least five elements and survives as a series of rubble banks which in places are lynchetted. This walling stands up to 0.75m high and 1.5m wide. Some of the huts within the settlement lie within the enclosures, others are linked to the walling and one abuts it. This detail confirms that this settlement evolved through time into its present form.

The Devonport Leat, its associated downslope bank and a small clapper bridge are totally excluded from the monument.

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: 34475

Legacy System: RSM


MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (2002)
Title: Duchy Farms Survey - Beardown Farm Source Date: 1988 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: 1:10000 plan

End of official listing