Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Two hut circles north of Lower Blackaton

A Scheduled Monument in Manaton, Devon

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.

Coordinates

Latitude: 50.5941 / 50°35'38"N

Longitude: -3.8458 / 3°50'44"W

OS Eastings: 269448.166939

OS Northings: 78777.43947

OS Grid: SX694787

Mapcode National: GBR QC.3V3N

Mapcode Global: FRA 27TH.KKD

Entry Name: Two hut circles N of Lower Blackaton

Scheduled Date: 21 May 1974

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002625

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 891

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Manaton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

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

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Summary

Two ring cairns 800m north of Lower Blackaton.

Source: Historic England

Details

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.

The monument, which falls into two areas, includes two ring cairns situated on a gentle north-facing slope overlooking the valley of the West Webburn River. The western ring cairn survives as a 2.4m wide circular bank surrounding a 6.1m diameter internal area. An edge-set stone within the south eastern part of the cairn may represent the remains of a kerb which survives elsewhere as a buried feature. An irregular shaped mound measuring up to 0.25m high in the centre of the cairn may represent a central mound. The eastern cairn survives as a 2m wide bank surrounding a 10m diameter internal area. A small number of edge set-stones within this bank suggests the survival of a kerb. A 4.9m wide slight hollow surrounding the outer edge of the cairn bank represents the quarry ditch from which material was removed during the construction of the cairn. Within the south eastern part of the ring cairn are a group of six upright slabs standing up to 0.6m high and denoting the outer edge of a rectangular hollow measuring 0.3m deep. This structure may represent the remains of a cist or chamber. A small mound measuring 4.2m in diameter and standing up to 0.7m high stands 0.6m from the north eastern edge of the ring cairn. A small central hollow may suggest an early partial excavation, but its position within the ditch surrounding the ring cairn suggests that it is more likely to be of more recent origin.

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. A ring cairn is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a circular bank of stones up to 20m in diameter surrounding a hollow central area. The bank may be kerbed on the inside, and sometimes on the outside as well, with small uprights or laid boulders. Ring cairns are found mainly in upland areas of England and are mostly discovered and authenticated by ground level fieldwork and survey, although a few are large enough to be visible on aerial photographs. They often occur in pairs or small groups of up to four examples. Occasionally they lie within round barrow cemeteries. Ring cairns are interpreted as ritual monuments of Early and Middle Bronze Age date. The exact nature of the rituals concerned is not fully understood, but excavation has revealed pits, some containing burials and others containing charcoal and pottery, taken to indicate feasting activities associated with the burial rituals. Many areas of upland have not yet been surveyed in detail and the number of ring cairns in England is not accurately known. However, available evidence indicates a population of between 250 and 500 examples. As a relatively rare class of monument exhibiting considerable variation in form, all positively identified examples retaining significant archaeological deposits are considered worthy of preservation.

The two ring cairns 780m north of Lower Blackaton survive well and contain archaeological and environmental information relating to this area during the prehistoric period. The western cairn, in particular, is unusual in having a surviving ditch and a cist or chamber. Both cairns form an outlying part of a cluster of large cairns situated in prominent positions within this part of Dartmoor. It is considered that as a group they formed important territorial markers.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
PastScape: 442463

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments

AncientMonuments.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact AncientMonuments.uk for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself.

AncientMonuments.uk is a Good Stuff website.