Ancient Monuments

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Enclosed stone hut circle settlement 600m WSW of White Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Peter Tavy, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5881 / 50°35'17"N

Longitude: -4.0686 / 4°4'7"W

OS Eastings: 253659.724903

OS Northings: 78529.779796

OS Grid: SX536785

Mapcode National: GBR NZ.DBRM

Mapcode Global: FRA 27CJ.2Q2

Entry Name: Enclosed stone hut circle settlement 600m WSW of White Tor

Scheduled Date: 1 November 1972

Last Amended: 24 February 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007975

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22210

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Peter Tavy

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


The monument includes an enclosed stone hut circle settlement and a later
shelter situated on a gentle south-west facing slope overlooking the valley of
the Colly Brook. The interior of the enclosure measures 106m north to south
by 72m east to west and is defined by a wall of double orthostats with a
rubble infill. This wall measures 3m wide and stands up to 1m high with an
entrance on its west side. The eastern and western lengths of this boundary
wall are lynchetted. Six of the seven stone hut circles forming the
settlement lie within the enclosure and the other is attached to, and partly
overlain by, the boundary wall. The interiors of the hut circles measure
between 3.6m and 5.4m in diameter and are defined by walls with an average
width of 1.5m standing 0.6m high. The shelter survives as a small rectangular
platform measuring 4m long by 3.5m wide and standing up to 0.3m high and is
attached to the outer face of the enclosure wall. This structure clearly
abuts the Prehistoric enclosure wall and therefore this building is of more
recent date than the settlement.
At least three of the stone hut circles were excavated by the Dartmoor
Exploration Committee in 1899. Evidence of human occupation in the form of
fire and flint chips was recovered from the huts and one contained a sherd
of contemporary pottery.

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. Within the landscape of Dartmoor
there are many discrete plots of land enclosed by stone walls or banks of
stone and earth, most of which date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC), though
earlier and later examples also exist. They were constructed as stock pens or
as protected areas for crop growing and were sometimes subdivided to
accommodate stock and hut circle dwellings for farmers and herdsmen. The size
and form of enclosures may therefore vary considerably depending on their
particular function. Their variation in form, longevity and relationship to
other monument classes 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.

Despite partial excavation the enclosed stone hut circle settlement 600m WSW
of White Tor survives well, is visually impressive and represents a
particularly fine example of its class. The settlement contains
archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the 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 and land use on the west side of the Moor.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991)
Baring-Gould, S, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in Sixth Report of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee, , Vol. 31, (1899)
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
National Archaeological Record, SX57NW11,

Source: Historic England

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