Ancient Monuments

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Hut circles east of Southway

A Scheduled Monument in Widecombe in the Moor, Devon

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Latitude: 50.576 / 50°34'33"N

Longitude: -3.795 / 3°47'41"W

OS Eastings: 272997.7225

OS Northings: 76674.845

OS Grid: SX729766

Mapcode National: GBR QF.K2TW

Mapcode Global: FRA 27YJ.TM6

Entry Name: Hut circles E of Southway

Scheduled Date: 13 June 1973

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002621

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 858

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Widecombe in the Moor

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Widecombe-in-the-Moor St Pancras

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


Two stone hut circles 205m north-east of Torcroft.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 12 November 2015. This 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 which falls into two areas includes two stone hut circles situated on the western slopes of Top Tor close to the sources of several tributaries to the East Webburn River. The stone hut circles survive as circular interior areas of up to 8.5m in diameter defined by orthostatic walls which measure up to 2.5m wide and 1.2m high.

Further archaeological remains in the immediate area are not included in 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. The two stone hut circles 205m north east of Torcroft survive well and are particularly large examples for Dartmoor, they are constructed from quite massive orthostats which adds to their feeling of permanence. Both will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, use, relative chronology, longevity, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, Volume One - The East , (1991), 60
PastScape Monument No:-445058

Source: Historic England

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