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Eleven stone hut circles, a length of boundary wall and a field system forming part of an unenclosed settlement on the north-east slope of Sharpitor

A Scheduled Monument in Walkhampton, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.5169 / 50°31'0"N

Longitude: -4.0306 / 4°1'50"W

OS Eastings: 256137.612889

OS Northings: 70534.283132

OS Grid: SX561705

Mapcode National: GBR Q1.QVXW

Mapcode Global: FRA 27FP.RJM

Entry Name: Eleven stone hut circles, a length of boundary wall and a field system forming part of an unenclosed settlement on the north-east slope of Sharpitor

Scheduled Date: 8 November 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007435

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22272

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Walkhampton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Details

This monument includes eleven stone hut circles, a length of boundary wall and
a field system situated on the north-east facing slope of Sharpitor
overlooking the valley of the River Meavy. This monument forms the largest
part of an unenclosed stone hut circle settlement.
Of the huts, nine are circular in plan and measure between 2m and 8.3m in
diameter. The remaining huts are oval and measure 6m long by 3m wide and 3.3m
long by 2.8m wide. The walls of all the huts are composed of stone and earth
and measure between 0.3m and 0.7m high. The average diameter of the circular
huts is 4.45m and the average height of the walls is 0.5m. Seven of the huts
have visible doorways and five are attached to boundary walls. Four of these
huts are linked by a single length of lyncheted rubble wall curving through
180 degrees, which measures 45m long, 1.6m wide and 0.4m high.
The field system includes the boundaries of one complete field and this
measures 70m north to south by 55m east to west. On the northern side the
boundary consists of a 4m wide lynchet standing up to 1.3m high and elsewhere
it is visible as a low bank averaging 3m wide and 0.2m high. Further traces of
boundary banks are visible to the south-west of this field, but the shape of
the individual field-plots is not discernible because they survive largely as
buried features.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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 and a substantial proportion of
surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

The stone hut circle settlements and associated field system on the slopes of
Sharpitor survive comparatively well and will contain archaeological
structures, features and deposits in addition to environmental evidence which,
combined, will provide an insight into settlement and agricultural practice on
the western side of the Moor.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57SE28,
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)

Source: Historic England

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