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Pound and hut circles north of Hawk's Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Shaugh Prior, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.4477 / 50°26'51"N

Longitude: -4.0388 / 4°2'19"W

OS Eastings: 255346.206889

OS Northings: 62859.713666

OS Grid: SX553628

Mapcode National: GBR Q1.W6FF

Mapcode Global: FRA 27FW.2D9

Entry Name: Pound and hut circles N of Hawk's Tor

Scheduled Date: 29 June 1960

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002516

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 422

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Shaugh Prior

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Summary

An enclosure and stone hut circles forming part of a stone hut circle settlement within the Shaugh Moor coaxial field system 390m north of Hawk’s Tor.

Source: Historic England

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 3 November 2015. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument includes an enclosure, two stone hut circles and part of a coaxial field system situated on Shaugh Moor overlooking the Plym Valley. The two stone hut circles are enclosed by a rectangular enclosure, with part of the Shaugh Moor coaxial field system adjoining the north east. The enclosure survives as a strongly constructed bank which measures up to 1.5m high and is internally revetted with large stones, beyond which are traces of a partially buried outer ditch. The substantial nature of the enclosure suggests it has been the subject of later re-use. There is an entrance to the south west and the interior is level and noticeably clear of stone. Within the enclosure are two terraced stone hut circles with internal diameters of 6m and 8m both defined by rubble built walls measuring up to 1m wide and 0.3m high. To the north east, part of the coaxial field system survives as two parallel reaves with cross banks which are all constructed of large orthostats.

Further archaeological remains survive within the vicinity of the monument, some are scheduled, but others are not currently protected and these are not included within the scheduling because they have not been formally assessed.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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.

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.

The enclosure and stone hut circles forming part of a stone hut circle settlement within the Shaugh Moor coaxial field system 390m north of Hawk’s Tor survive well, and show successive adaptive re-use, which serves to reinforce their longevity and landscape significance and will provide important evidence relating to development and change.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1994)
Other
PastScape Monument Nos:- 439256 and 439328

Source: Historic England

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