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Eight stone hut circles and two enclosures forming part of an unenclosed settlement 580m south of Leeden Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Walkhampton, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.5222 / 50°31'19"N

Longitude: -4.0299 / 4°1'47"W

OS Eastings: 256201.371791

OS Northings: 71120.907397

OS Grid: SX562711

Mapcode National: GBR Q1.QGPM

Mapcode Global: FRA 27FP.CT8

Entry Name: Eight stone hut circles and two enclosures forming part of an unenclosed settlement 580m south of Leeden Tor

Scheduled Date: 6 January 1972

Last Amended: 8 August 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008661

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22263

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Walkhampton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Details

This monument includes eight stone hut circles forming the largest part of an
unenclosed stone hut circle settlement, two enclosures, three lengths of
boundary wall, a post-medieval shelter and stone quarries. The monument is
situated on a gentle south west facing slope overlooking the valley of the
River Walkham.
All eight hut circles are circular in plan and measure between 2.6m and 10m in
diameter. The walls of the huts are composed of stone and earth and measure
between 0.3m and 1m high. One of the huts has an internal partition, four
have visible doorways and four are attached to boundary walls.
The southern of two enclosures is circular in plan, measures internally 65m in
diameter and is defined by a rubble wall 1.2m wide and 0.6m high. A single
stone hut circle lies in the centre of the enclosure and two boundary walls
lead a short distance from the south east side. The northern enclosure is
irregular in plan and is defined by a 1.2m wide and 0.4m high rubble wall
defining an internal area 42m north west to south east by 19m north east to
south west. A single stone hut circle lies in the centre of the enclosure and
two others are built across its boundary wall. The remaining four hut circles
are peripheral to the two enclosures.
A rectangular structure is butted against the exterior wall of the stone hut
circle in the centre of the large circular enclosure. The interior of this
building measures 4.3m long by 1m wide and is defined by a 1m wide and 0.3m
high rubble wall. This building may be a shelter associated with summer
grazing or perhaps more likely, it may be a quarry workers' shelter. A number
of small granite quarries can be identified within the northern part of the
monument and extend for some distance beyond it.

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 settlements on the southern slopes of Leeden Tor survive
comparatively well and form part of a rich and diverse archaeological
resource. Archaeological structures, features and deposits, in addition to
environmental remains, will survive intact and provide an insight into
settlement and agricultural practice on the western side of the moor.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
National Archaeological Record, SX57SE43,

Source: Historic England

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