Ancient Monuments

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Enclosed stone hut circle settlement on the south-east slope of Conies Down Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Dartmoor Forest, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5921 / 50°35'31"N

Longitude: -3.9907 / 3°59'26"W

OS Eastings: 259187.517558

OS Northings: 78823.291151

OS Grid: SX591788

Mapcode National: GBR Q3.Z0QG

Mapcode Global: FRA 27JH.P2X

Entry Name: Enclosed stone hut circle settlement on the south-east slope of Conies Down Tor

Scheduled Date: 11 January 1965

Last Amended: 24 February 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008014

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22223

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Dartmoor Forest

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Widecombe-in-the-Moor St Pancras

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This monument includes an enclosed stone hut circle settlement situated on the
south-east slope of Conies Down Tor on a terrace close to the River Cowsic.
Six stone hut circles are associated with two sub-oval enclosures. The
interior of the northern enclosure measures 65m long by 48m wide and is
defined by a low rubble wall standing up to 0.3m high and 0.8m wide. An
entrance survives in the northern length of the wall. A stone hut circle lies
within this enclosure and two others are attached to the southern wall. The
interior of the southern enclosure measures 62m long by 50m wide and is also
defined by a low rubble wall. This enclosure is subdivided by a boulder wall
into two main compartments. A stone hut circle lies within the enclosure,
another is attached to the southern wall and another lies immediately outside
the western wall.
The stone hut circles are all circular in plan and measure between 2.2m and
4.8m in diameter. The walls of all the huts are composed of stone and earth
and measure between 0.4m and 0.7m high. Two of the huts are freestanding and
the remainder are attached to the enclosure of boundary walls.

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 enclosed stone hut circle settlement on the south-east slope of Conies
Down Tor survives comparatively well and forms part of a scattered group of at
least five broadly contemporary settlements situated in the upper reaches of
the valley of the River Cowsic. Both the huts and enclosures 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 in this remote Dartmoor valley.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991)
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North, , Vol. 2, (1991), 125
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57NE26, (1983)
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
National Archaeological Record, SX57NE6,

Source: Historic England

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