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Hut circles and fields on Buckland Common

A Scheduled Monument in Buckland in the Moor, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.5509 / 50°33'3"N

Longitude: -3.7894 / 3°47'21"W

OS Eastings: 273328.895343

OS Northings: 73880.528469

OS Grid: SX733738

Mapcode National: GBR QF.LQ8C

Mapcode Global: FRA 27YL.X4S

Entry Name: Hut circles and fields on Buckland Common

Scheduled Date: 2 January 1962

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004589

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 511

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Buckland in the Moor

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Ashburton St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Summary

An agglomerated enclosed stone hut circle settlement within part of the Rippon Tor coaxial field system, 530m south east of Ruddycleave.

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 agglomerated enclosed stone hut circle settlement within the Rippon Tor coaxial field system, situated near the crest of a low ridge surrounding Ruddycleave Water on the edge of Buckland Common. The settlement survives as a series of 8 conjoined enclosures of varying size and shape, divided by a reave and cross reave and containing four stone hut circles. The enclosure walls are substantial and measure up to 1.2m high. The interior of the enclosures is relatively stone free and there are lynchets indicating past cultivation. The four surviving stone hut circles have substantially built walls of coursed rubble and orthostats measuring up to 1.5m wide and 1m high. The internal diameters of these huts range in size from 6.7m to 9.5m. Two are built into enclosure walls the others are freestanding.

Further archaeological remains survive within the vicinity of the monument, but 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; 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. Elaborate complexes of fields and field boundaries are some of the major features of the Dartmoor landscape. The reaves are part of an extensive system of prehistoric land division introduced during the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They consist of simple linear stone banks used to mark out discrete territories, some of which are tens of kilometres in extent.

The agglomerated enclosed stone hut circle settlement within part of the Rippon Tor coaxial field system 530m south east of Ruddycleave survives well, and since it lies close to an extremely boggy area will contain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, use, agricultural practices and landscape context.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991)
Other
PastScape Monument No:-445343

Source: Historic England

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