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Stone hut circle settlement and enclosures 970m east of Ger Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Peter Tavy, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6293 / 50°37'45"N

Longitude: -4.0422 / 4°2'32"W

OS Eastings: 255654.737844

OS Northings: 83056.697336

OS Grid: SX556830

Mapcode National: GBR Q0.9RJ7

Mapcode Global: FRA 27FD.T6J

Entry Name: Stone hut circle settlement and enclosures 970m east of Ger Tor

Scheduled Date: 18 March 1965

Last Amended: 21 April 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007666

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22355

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Peter Tavy

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument includes fifteen stone hut circles, four lengths of boundary
wall and two post-medieval shelters situated amongst clitter on a steep
west-facing slope overlooking Tavy Cleave. The huts are composed of stone and
earth banks each surrounding an internal area. Eleven of the huts are circular
in plan, and their internal diameters vary between 3.4m and 8.5m. The
remaining four huts are oval in shape and their interiors vary between 3m and
4.5m long by 2m to 3m wide. The height of all the surrounding walls varies
between 0.4m and 0.9m, with the average being 0.64m. Eight of the huts possess
visible doorways, one hut is a three roomed structure, another has a straight
porch and three are attached or linked to enclosure boundaries. Four lengths
of enclosure boundary are visible within the settlement. The full extent and
character of three of these boundaries remains unclear, because they survive
partly as buried features. The western length of boundary bank is aligned from
north to south, measures 210m long, 2m wide, stands up to 0.5m high and is
lyncheted on its western side. The southern boundary forms three sides of an
enclosure with minimum dimensions of 110m north west to south east by 115m
north east to south west. This boundary includes a lyncheted bank measuring
1.2m wide and 0.6m high. A short length of boundary leads south eastward from
this enclosure. The interior of the third enclosure measures 30m in diameter
and is defined by a 1.4m wide and 0.5m high rubble bank. The fourth length of
boundary wall is sinuous in character and links two stone hut circles.
Two post-medieval shelters lie within the earlier settlement. The largest one
has a drystone wall measuring 1m wide and up to 1m high surrounding a 6.2m
diameter internal area. This shelter was constructed using the rubble walls of
an earlier stone hut circle as foundations. The interior of the second shelter
measures 2.5m in diameter and is defined by a 1.2m wide drystone wall standing
up to 0.4m high.

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 and enclosures 970m east of Ger Tor survive
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
chronological development of 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 settlement is buried
beneath peat which will have provided a protective covering.
The two post-medieval shelters are of interest in that they represent reuse
in the post-medieval period of earlier, prehistoric monuments.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 131
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX58SE23,
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,

Source: Historic England

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