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Enclosures and hut circles north of White Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Peter Tavy, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.5913 / 50°35'28"N

Longitude: -4.0594 / 4°3'33"W

OS Eastings: 254326.249786

OS Northings: 78864.20194

OS Grid: SX543788

Mapcode National: GBR Q0.D156

Mapcode Global: FRA 27DH.LD1

Entry Name: Enclosures and hut circles N of White Tor

Scheduled Date: 11 January 1965

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003184

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 544

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Peter Tavy

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Summary

Stone hut circle settlement and a short length of the Great Western Reave on the north slope of White Tor.

Source: Historic England

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 5 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 enclosed stone hut circle settlement and a length of the Great Western Reave situated on a gentle north-facing slope of White Tor overlooking the valley of the Youldon Brook. Within the settlement, 28 stone hut circles are associated with three enclosures. The interior of the eastern enclosure measures 36m east to west by 37m north to south and is defined by a rubble wall 2.5m wide and up to 0.6m high. The enclosure boundary passes under the Great Western Reave and is therefore earlier in date than the reave, which is in turn contemporary with many other huts within the settlement. This monument is therefore of more than one date and the archaeological features visible represent a complex development of the site through the Bronze Age. The six stone hut circles associated with this enclosure are therefore likely to represent the earliest dwellings within the settlement, though it is possible that some of the smaller rubble built huts within the southern enclosure and an outlying hut and length of boundary wall to the west may have originally been associated with the earlier settlement. The interior of the southern enclosure measures 110m east to west by 76m north to south and is defined by a rubble wall between 3.2m and 4m wide standing up to 1.1m high. Eight free standing stone hut circles lie within the enclosure, two are attached to short lengths of field boundary and a further eight are attached to the enclosure wall. The interior of the western enclosure measures 54m north-east to south-west by 26m north-west to south-east and is defined by a rubble wall 2.5m wide standing up to 0.5m high. Two stone hut circles are attached to the western and northern walls of this enclosure and a further two are attached to the shared wall of the southern enclosure. Five of the 28 stone hut circles are oval in plan and measure between 2.2m and 3.8m long and 1.5m and 3.5m wide. The remainder are circular and measure between 2m and 4.2m in diameter. The walls of all the huts are composed of stone and earth and measure between 0.3m and 0.9m high. Two huts have an annexe, eighteen huts are attached to boundary walls and nine have visible doorways.

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. 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.

The stone hut circle settlement and length of the Great Western Reave on the north slope of White Tor survives well within an area containing a large variety of important archaeological monuments. The settlement contains archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument, the economy of its inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived and, as such, provides a valuable insight into the nature of Bronze Age occupation on the west side of the Moor.

Source: Historic England

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