Two stone hut circles and field system, 590m south of Buttern, forming part of a coaxial field system on Buttern Hill

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021218

Date first listed: 29-Jan-1975

Date of most recent amendment: 22-Dec-2003

Map

Ordnance survey map of Two stone hut circles and field system, 590m south of Buttern, forming part of a coaxial field system on Buttern Hill
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Location

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 65837 88679

Summary

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. Elaborate complexes of fields and field boundaries are some of the major features of the Dartmoor landscape. The reaves are part of an extensive system of prehistoric land division introduced during the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They consist of simple linear stone banks used to mark out discrete territories, some of which are tens of kilometres in extent. The systems are defined by parallel, contour and watershed reaves, dividing the lower land from the grazing zones of the higher moor and defining the watersheds of adjacent river systems. Occupation sites and funerary or ceremonial monuments are often incorporated in, or associated with, reave complexes. Their longevity and their relationship with other monument types provide important information on the diversity of social organisation, land divisions and farming practices amongst prehistoric communities. They show considerable longevity as a monument type, sometimes surviving as fossilised examples in medieval field plans. They are an important element in the existing landscape and, as such, a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

The two stone hut circles and field system, 590m south of Buttern, forming part of a coaxial field system on Buttern Hill survive comparatively well and will contain information relating to the use of this area during the prehistoric period. The field system is one of three major blocks of coaxial fields surviving on this part of Dartmoor and provides a useful contrast to its larger neighbours.

History

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

Details

The monument includes part of a coaxial field system and two associated stone hut circles situated on the east facing slope of Buttern Hill. The coaxial fields form part of the Buttern Hill coaxial field system and survive as rubble banks which in places have been modified during the construction of later historic fields. There are at least three parallel reaves within the monument, from which other boundaries lead, creating a number of smaller fields and enclosures. Within the field system there are at least two stone hut circles which survive as circular orthostatic walls surrounding an internal area. The northern stone hut circle measures 10.1m in diameter and is denoted by a 2m wide double orthostatic wall standing up to 1.2m high. A 1.1m wide SSE facing gap represents an original doorway protected by a crude straight porch. The southern stone hut circle measures 4.4m in diameter and survives as a 1.3m wide earthwork with occasional protruding orthostats standing up to 0.5m high.

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.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 34482

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 143
Other
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (2002)

End of official listing