Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Two stone hut circles 570m south-east of Roos Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Whitchurch, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5689 / 50°34'8"N

Longitude: -4.0509 / 4°3'3"W

OS Eastings: 254855.490592

OS Northings: 76360.187109

OS Grid: SX548763

Mapcode National: GBR Q0.FH9R

Mapcode Global: FRA 27DK.HNK

Entry Name: Two stone hut circles 570m south-east of Roos Tor

Scheduled Date: 10 February 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007546

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20376

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Whitchurch

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument includes two stone hut circles situated on a gentle east-facing
slope overlooking the valley of the river Walkham. Both buildings are
terraced into the hillslope, are composed of rubble walling and possess east
facing doorways. The interior of the southern structure measures 4.1m in
diameter and has 1.5m wide walls standing up to 0.7m high. The northern hut
measures 6.2m in diameter and has 2m wide walls standing up to 0.7m high.
Both huts lie in close proximity to a substantial Bronze Age field boundary
known as The Great Western Reave.

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 two stone hut circles 570m south-east of Roos Tor survive well and form
part of a scattered group of at least six stone hut circles situated on the
periphery of a fragmentary field system. In addition they lie in close
proximity to the Bronze Age field boundary known as The Great Western Reave.
They contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the
monument and the landscape in which it was constructed and, as such, provide a
valuable source of information concerning the nature of Bronze Age occupation
and land use on the west side of the moor.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Gerrard, S, Greeves, T, 'Dartmoor Tinworking Research Group Interim Report' in Excavation Of Upper Merrivale Tin Blowing And Stamping Mill, (1991), 7
Gerrard, S, Greeves, T, 'Dartmoor Tinworking Research Group Interim Report' in Excavation Of Upper Merrivale Tin Blowing And Stamping Mill, (1991), 7
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57NW39,
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)

Source: Historic England

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