Broadun prehistoric enclosed settlement, 780m NNW of Archerton

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021333

Date first listed: 03-Mar-1977

Date of most recent amendment: 22-Jun-2004

Map

Ordnance survey map of Broadun prehistoric enclosed settlement, 780m NNW of Archerton
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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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: Dartmoor Forest

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 63541 79928

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. Within the landscape of Dartmoor there are many discrete plots of land enclosed by stone walls or banks of stone and earth, most of which date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC), though earlier and later examples also exist. They were constructed as stock pens or as protected areas for crop growing and were sometimes subdivided to accommodate stock and hut circle dwellings for farmers and herdsmen. The size and form of enclosures may therefore vary considerably depending on their particular function. Their variation in form, longevity and relationship to other monument classes 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.

Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-7000BC). They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, the latter predominating in areas of upland Britain where such raw materials were locally available in abundance. Round cairns may cover single or multiple burials and are sometimes surrounded by an outer ditch. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major visual element in the modern landscape. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a mounument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. Dartmoor provides one of the best preserved and most dense concentrations of round cairns in south-western Britain. Despite later reuse of the enclosure, partial excavation of some of the stone hut circles and the cutting of a leat through the lower part of the settlement, the Broadun prehistoric enclosed settlement, 780m NNW of Archerton survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to this area during the prehistoric period. The enclosure is one of the largest on Dartmoor and forms the focus for a number of similar, although much smaller settlements within this area.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a prehistoric enclosed settlement, a cairn, a short length of leat and post-medieval walling situated on a south facing slope overlooking the valley of the East Dart River. The enclosure survives as a circular shaped area denoted by a rubble bank measuring up to 5m wide and standing up to 0.5m high. The interior of the enclosure measures 300m north east-south west by 260m north west-south east and contains at least 36 stone hut circles varying between 2.5m and 6.6m in internal diameter. Eleven of the huts have visible doorways and two are attached to the outer face of the enclosure. Eleven of the huts within the settlement were partially excavated by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee in 1894 and this work revealed hearthstones, charcoal, flints, rubbing stones and pot boilers. The inner face of the enclosure wall is surmounted by a post-medieval drystone wall along much of its circuit and this stands up to 1.5m high. Against the northern wall is a small drystone-built animal pen. Adjacent to the southern side of the enclosure is a cairn. This survives as a 5.5m diameter stony mound standing up to 0.8m high. This cairn is clipped on its northern side by a leat carrying water to the gunpowder mills at Cherry Brook.

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: 34492

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 39-40
Other
NMR, English Heritage, NMR Monument Report SX 67 NW 220, (2003)

End of official listing