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Stone hut circle settlement 580m north east of White Hill summit

A Scheduled Monument in Lydford, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.6388 / 50°38'19"N

Longitude: -4.068 / 4°4'4"W

OS Eastings: 253860.559532

OS Northings: 84158.341

OS Grid: SX538841

Mapcode National: GBR NZ.94Y2

Mapcode Global: FRA 27CD.2YX

Entry Name: Stone hut circle settlement 580m north east of White Hill summit

Scheduled Date: 26 April 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007662

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22350

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Lydford

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Details

This monument includes five stone hut circles and a length of boundary wall
situated at the foot of a long west-facing slope descending from Hare Tor and
overlooking the valley of the Walla Brook. The huts are composed of stone and
earth banks each surrounding an internal area. Four of the huts are circular
in plan, and their internal diameters vary between 4.2m and 7m. The remaining
hut is oval in shape, its interior measures 6m long by 5m wide and the
surrounding wall is 2m wide and 0.4m high. The average height of the hut walls
is 0.46m. One hut has a visible doorway and two have slight hollows within
their interiors which suggest partial early excavation, robbing or modern
military reuse. The linear distribution of the stone hut circles strongly
suggests that they may have once been linked by a palisade or similar
structure which may now partly survive as a buried feature. A sinuous length
of rubble walling measuring 100m long lying in the area immediately to the
north of the stone hut circles may represent a visible part of this original
linking wall. This wall is lyncheted along its entire length and survives as a
1.4m wide and 0.4m high rubble bank. The location and the alignment of this
boundary suggests that it is contemporary with the huts.

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 settlement 580m north east of White Hill summit survives
well within an area containing a number of broadly contemporary settlements,
field systems, cairnfields and funerary 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. As
such, it provides a valuable insight into the nature of Bronze Age occupation
on the west side of the Moor. The earthwork evidence indicates that at least
some of the settlement is buried beneath peat which will have provided a
valuable protective covering.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 131
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 131
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 2, (1993), 131
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North, , Vol. 2, (1991), 104
Other
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,

Source: Historic England

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