Ancient Monuments

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Enclosed stone hut circle settlement and part of a field system 400m north of Bodrifty Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Madron, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.1638 / 50°9'49"N

Longitude: -5.5756 / 5°34'32"W

OS Eastings: 144736.734

OS Northings: 35425.4126

OS Grid: SW447354

Mapcode National: GBR DXM7.T0G

Mapcode Global: VH059.94RS

Entry Name: Enclosed stone hut circle settlement and part of a field system 400m north of Bodrifty Farm

Scheduled Date: 20 January 1953

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004481

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 367

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Madron

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Gulval

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes an enclosed stone hut circle settlement and part of a field system, situated on the lower western slopes of Mulfra Hill. The settlement survives as at least twelve stone hut circles of various sizes, within a large irregular shaped enclosure of approximately 1.2ha. The enclosure is subdivided by paddocks and garden plots connected to the stone hut circles. The hut circles have an average size of 7.5m in diameter and the walls, many with upright jamb stones in the doorways and orthostatic-faced walls stand to 1.2m high. A further two hut circles and a smaller enclosure lie outside the main enclosure, and the whole is contained within and partially overlain by a field system with stone banks, lynchets and clearance cairns which has been subject to several phases of re-use from prehistoric to medieval times and into the present.

Partial excavations between 1951-5 by Crofts and Dudley revealed drains, hearths, more than 3000 sherds of pottery, spindle whorls and sling stones. The original settlement dated to the 4th or 5th centuries BC and was an unenclosed with a large field system. These earlier features were re-used during the 2nd century BC when the large enclosure was constructed and many of the internal huts were rebuilt on earlier foundations. In 1985 the Cornwall Archaeological Unit undertook a survey of the whole farm.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-423786

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Stone hut circles and hut circle settlements were the dwelling places of prehistoric farmers. Most date from the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). The stone- based round-houses consist of low walls or banks enclosing a circular floor area; the remains of the turf, thatch or heather roofs 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 or stone. Frequently traces of their associated field systems may be found immediately around them. These may be indicated by areas of clearance cairns and/or the remains of field walls and other enclosures. The longevity of use of hut circle settlements and their relationship with other monument types provides important information on the diversity of social organisation and farming practices amongst prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period. The enclosed stone hut circle settlement and part of a field system 400m north of Bodrifty Farm is particularly important because the various surveys and excavations have been used to understand the development of different types of settlement in the South West of England and more importantly the differences between the developments in this type of settlement and the courtyard house types. The settlement north of Bodrifty Farm survives well, within a landscape heavily used through time. It will retain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to settlement, agriculture, social organisation, domestic arrangements and its development and change through time as well as its overall landscape history.

Source: Historic England

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