Ancient Monuments

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Hut circles and fields on Dendles Waste

A Scheduled Monument in Cornwood, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.4522 / 50°27'7"N

Longitude: -3.9549 / 3°57'17"W

OS Eastings: 261310.61945

OS Northings: 63198.451052

OS Grid: SX613631

Mapcode National: GBR Q5.FXJJ

Mapcode Global: FRA 27LV.R1P

Entry Name: Hut circles and fields on Dendles Waste

Scheduled Date: 30 March 1960

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002524

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 440

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Cornwood

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Summary

An unenclosed stone hut circle settlement to the north west of Dendles Waste and 680m south west of Yealm Steps.

Source: Historic England

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 4 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.

The monument includes an unenclosed stone hut circle settlement situated on a south facing slope forming the eastern side of the valley of the Broadall Lake. The settlement is defined to the north by the Penn Moor Reave which has been incorporated into the later moorland boundary wall. The monument survives as twenty three stone hut circles or hut platforms with some unconnected short lengths of boundary banks. Four of the stone hut circles are attached to the Penn Moor Reave, a number are submerged in peat and two lie a distance away from the main group. The walls of the huts are generally formed by single faced orthostats and measure approximately 0.7m wide and 0.5m high. The hut interiors range between 4.5m to 9m in diameter. Entrances to the hut circles generally face to the south east, several of the doorways are apparently defined by upstanding stone door jambs, one hut has an entrance porch. The huts are mainly terraced into the hill slope and have level interiors.

A further settlement survives to the west and is the subject of a separate scheduling.

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.

The unenclosed stone hut circle settlement to the north west of Dendles Waste and 680m south west of Yealm Steps survives well. A stone hut circle settlement of this size which is unenclosed is unusual even for Dartmoor. It will contain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the construction, development and use of both the buildings and settlement as a whole as well as providing crucial information regarding its landscape context. The presence of a nearby tinwork may also indicate a potential link between prehistoric mineral exploitation and this type of settlement.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1994)
Other
PastScape Monument No:-442261

Source: Historic England

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