Ancient Monuments

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Two enclosed stone hut circle settlements 300m south of Broad Hole

A Scheduled Monument in Dartmoor Forest, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5872 / 50°35'13"N

Longitude: -3.992 / 3°59'31"W

OS Eastings: 259084.781782

OS Northings: 78275.868491

OS Grid: SX590782

Mapcode National: GBR Q3.ZDD5

Mapcode Global: FRA 27JJ.2M6

Entry Name: Two enclosed stone hut circle settlements 300m south of Broad Hole

Scheduled Date: 11 January 1965

Last Amended: 27 September 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008657

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22250

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Dartmoor Forest

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument includes two enclosed stone hut circle settlements situated on
an east facing slope overlooking the River Cowsic. The western settlement
includes a small oval enclosure with a single stone hut circle built across
the line of the boundary wall. The interior of the enclosure measures 38m
north west to south east by 25m north east to south west and is defined by a
lyncheted rubble wall measuring up to 1.5m wide and 0.4m high. A gap in the
north eastern side of the enclosure wall may represent an original entrance.
Part of the southern length of the enclosure wall survives as a buried
feature. The stone hut circle attached to the northern length of the boundary
wall is situated on a small knoll and is composed of rubble and earth. The
interior of this structure measures 3m in diameter and is defined by a 2m wide
wall standing up to 0.4m high.
The eastern enclosed settlement includes an irregular shaped enclosure,
subdivided into two compartments and containing four stone hut circles. Three
of these huts are attached to the internal boundary wall and the fourth is
freestanding within the southern compartment. The easternmost hut also lies
across the line of the enclosure boundary. The internal diameter of all these
huts varies between 2.7m and 3.8m and the walls stand between 0.5m and 0.7m
high. The interior of the enclosure measures 75m from north to south by 48m
east to west and is defined by a rubble bank measuring up to 2m wide and 0.6m
high. The bank forms a lynchet along its eastern length, but survives largely
as a buried feature along the west side. The northern limit of the enclosure
is defined by a cairn measuring 4m in diameter and standing up to 1m 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 two enclosed stone hut circle settlements 300m south of Broad Hole survive
comparatively well and form part of a discrete but more extensive dispersed
settlement pattern in the upper Cowsic valley, including two large enclosed
settlements, four small enclosures with single huts and a number of unenclosed
stone hut circles.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North, (1991), 65
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North, (1991), 125
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57NE71,
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)

Source: Historic England

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