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Stone hut circle with adjacent prehistoric field walls and incorporated post-medieval peat mound 280m NNE of Tresibbet Farm

A Scheduled Monument in St. Neot, Cornwall

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.5526 / 50°33'9"N

Longitude: -4.5368 / 4°32'12"W

OS Eastings: 220387.930371

OS Northings: 75613.767654

OS Grid: SX203756

Mapcode National: GBR NB.GJH3

Mapcode Global: FRA 17DL.SF2

Entry Name: Stone hut circle with adjacent prehistoric field walls and incorporated post-medieval peat mound 280m NNE of Tresibbet Farm

Scheduled Date: 18 April 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007773

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15270

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Neot

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Altarnon with Bolventor

Church of England Diocese: Truro

Details

The monument includes a prehistoric hut circle with adjacent, broadly
contemporary, field walling situated on the south-west edge of Smith's Moor,
at the eastern crest of the upper River Fowey valley on southern Bodmin Moor.
The hut circle was re-used to retain a circular mound of peat during the
post-medieval period.
This hut circle is located at the centre of a settlement of five stone hut
circles dispersed along the west and south-west edges of Smith's Moor. The hut
circle survives with a wall of heaped rubble, at least 1.5m wide and 0.4m
high, defining a circular internal area measuring 9m in diameter. The hut
circle wall has six large, spaced, inner facing slabs, up to 1m long and 0.3m
high, and follows the perimeter of a stance levelled partly by terracing out
from the slope. Much of the hut circle and part of its wall are covered by an
ovoid mound of peat, deriving from the much later, post-medieval, re-use of
the hut circle to retain a storage heap of peat cut from the thick deposits in
the vicinity. The mound measures 13m WSW-ENE by up to 9m wide and is 0.75m
high, and overlies the hut circle interior from the inner edge of its wall at
the WSW, extending over and slightly beyond the hut circle's ENE walling.
The hut circle is linked to the northern arc of a broadly contemporary field
plot by a prehistoric wall which emerges from the eastern edge of the peat
mound and extends east for 28m to join the north-west sector of the field
plot. The curved wall of field plot is visible for 47m to the points at each
end where its continuation is masked by hillwash and thick peat. The walling
of the field plot and that linking it to the hut circle each survives as a
heaped rubble wall, up to 1.5m wide and 0.4m high, with occasional edge-set
and laid slabs, up to 0.5m high, against its sides. A marked build up of soil
and peat, called a lynchet, has accumulated up to 0.3m high against the uphill
sides of the walls. Several similar lengths of prehistoric walling occur on
this slope beyond this monument, deriving from a prehistoric field system
which incorporated a number of hut circles and which is now only
intermittently visible through the thick peat deposits that subsequently
blanketed this hillslope. Further such lengths of prehistoric wall are visible
from 45m north of the monument and from 155m to the south, where they
incorporate two more stone hut circles of this settlement.

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

Bodmin Moor, the largest of the Cornish granite uplands, has long been
recognised to have exceptional preservation of archaeological remains. The
Moor has been the subject of detailed archaeological survey and is one of the
best recorded upland landscapes in England. The extensive relict landscapes of
prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval date provide direct evidence for human
exploitation of the Moor from the earliest prehistoric period onwards. The
well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, field
systems, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains
provides significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land
use through time.

Stone hut circles were the dwelling places of prehistoric farmers on the Moor,
mostly dating from the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). The stone-based round
houses survive as low walls or banks enclosing a circular floor area; the
remains of a turf or thatch roof are not preserved as visible features. The
huts may occur singly or in small or large groups and may occur in the open,
they may be enclosed by a bank of earth and stone or they may be incorporated
into one of several types of contemporary field system. Although they are
common on the Moor, their longevity of use and their relationship with other
monument types provides important information on the diversity of social
organisation and farming practices among prehistoric communities. The
relatively unintensive post-medieval land use which has permitted the survival
of prehistoric monuments on the Moor also preserves features from later
activities. Among these are remains derived from peat-cutting, including
various hollowed, trenched and depressed areas from which the peat was cut,
and several types of feature resulting from the storage of cut peat, including
mounds of various forms and ditched storage platforms.
This monument on Tresibbet Farm has survived well. The hut circle shows
clearly its method of construction, while the distinctive manner of levelling
it by terracing out from the slope is a method known elsewhere in the vicinity
but is generally unusual. The adjacent prehistoric walling provides evidence
for the hut circle's wider context within a field system. The thick peat and
soil deposits built up against this walling will preserve environmental
evidence and buried land surfaces contemporary with and subsequent to the
construction and use of the wall and hut circle. The peat storage mound does
not disturb the prehistoric remains and is an unusual re-use of a hut circle
which underlines the changing nature of land use in this upland terrain since
the prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
consulted 1993, Carter, A./Fletcher, M.J./RCHME, 1:2500 AP plot and field trace for SX 2075,
consulted 1993, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1009,
consulted 1993, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1046,

Source: Historic England

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