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Stone hut circle 240m south of Down Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Sheepstor, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.5049 / 50°30'17"N

Longitude: -4.0042 / 4°0'15"W

OS Eastings: 257972.437002

OS Northings: 69148.76625

OS Grid: SX579691

Mapcode National: GBR Q2.YP7X

Mapcode Global: FRA 27HQ.HW8

Entry Name: Stone hut circle 240m south of Down Tor

Scheduled Date: 17 January 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008641

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24086

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Sheepstor

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Details

This monument includes a stone hut circle situated on a south facing slope of
Down Tor overlooking the valley of the Narrator Brook. This hut circle is
terraced into the hillside and is composed of a stone and earth wall
surrounding a circular internal area. The interior of the building measures
7m in diameter and the 1.5m wide wall stands up to 0.9m high. The doorway
survives as a gap in the surrounding wall and faces south.

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 240m south of Down Tor survives comparatively well and
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 south western part of the Moor.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX56NE485,
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1988)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,

Source: Historic England

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