Ancient Monuments

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Unenclosed hut circle settlement with incorporated enclosure 1.5km north-west of Wardbrook Farm

A Scheduled Monument in North Hill, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.5418 / 50°32'30"N

Longitude: -4.4796 / 4°28'46"W

OS Eastings: 224399.70264

OS Northings: 74272.90575

OS Grid: SX243742

Mapcode National: GBR NF.H75M

Mapcode Global: FRA 17HM.QM2

Entry Name: Unenclosed hut circle settlement with incorporated enclosure 1.5km north-west of Wardbrook Farm

Scheduled Date: 7 August 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008954

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15132

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: North Hill

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: North Hill

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a large unenclosed Prehistoric hut circle settlement
incorporating a small central enclosure, situated near other broadly
contemporary unenclosed hut circle settlements, linear boundaries and field
systems on the lower south-western slope of Kilmar Tor on eastern Bodmin Moor.
The settlement covers an area of nearly 1.5 hectares, visible as a
sub-triangular concentration of 25 stone hut circles, extending for 240m NW-SE
along the slope, but with the greatest aggregation of hut circles towards its
SE end where it extends up the slope, SW-NE, for 140m. The hut circles survive
with circular walls of rubble and boulders, largely heaped but coursed in some
cases, up to 2m wide and 1m high, around levelled internal areas ranging
generally from 4m to 9m in diameter. Two hut circles are exceptionally large
at 13.5m and 15m in internal diameter with walling up to 1.5m high. The hut
circle walls are commonly faced with both inner and outer edge-set slabs.
Entrance gaps are visible in twelve hut circles, mostly facing southerly
directions and lined in three examples by end-set slabs, called orthostats.
The entrance of one hut circle has an adjoining external wall extending for
4.5m and terminating at an orthostat. Four hut circles have small
rubble-walled annexes. Two have double annexes attached to one side: one has a
single adjoining annexe, while the other has a concentric annexe formed by a
boulder wall concentric with, and up to 3m beyond, the northern half of the
hut circle wall. The hut circles are generally separated from each other by
gaps of 2-10m, but some cluster to form discrete pairs or triple groups within
the overall spread of the settlement. Some hut circles adjoin others,
especially in the SE sector of the settlement, while several others are linked
by short lengths of rubble walling. At the centre of the aggregation of hut
circles in the SE half of the settlement is an ovoid enclosure whose rubble
walling, with inner and outer facing slabs, is of similar construction to the
hut circle walls. The enclosure has an oval inner precinct measuring 28m NW-SE
by 18m NE-SW, with a gap 13m wide in its SE sector. A concentric outer portion
of the enclosure is defined by a second wall running beyond the NW quarter of
the inner wall, 7.5m from it on the western side, rising to 21m on the north,
and linked to the west side of the inner enclosure by a short cross-wall. Hut
circles adjoin the enclosure's walling at both north and south, while from its
north-western sector, two short walls extend out to a nearby hut circle.
Smaller hut circle settlements of different character are situated on the same
slope, beyond this monument, 100m to the north and 100m to the south-east.

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

Bodmin Moor, the largest of the Cornish granite uplands, has long been
recognised to have exceptional preservation of archaeological remains. The
Moor has been the subject of detailed archaeological survey and is one of the
best recorded upland landscapes in England. The extensive relict landscapes of
prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval date provide direct evidence for human
exploitation of the Moor from the earliest prehistoric period onwards. The
well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, field
systems, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains
provides significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land
use through time. Stone hut circles were the dwelling places of prehistoric
farmers on the Moor, mostly dating from the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). The
stone-based round houses survive as low walls or banks enclosing a circular
floor area; remains of a turf or thatch roof are not preserved. The huts occur
singly or in small or large groups and may occur in the open or be enclosed by
a bank of earth and stone. Although they are common on the Moor, their
longevity of use and their relationship with other monument types provides
important information on the diversity of social organisation and farming
practices among prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative
of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are
considered worthy of protection.

This unenclosed hut circle settlement on the lower slope of Kilmar Tor has
survived well, displaying several unusual features including the coursed hut
circle walling, the integral enclosure and the exceptionally large hut
circles. The proximity of this large settlement to other broadly contemporary
settlement sites, linear boundaries and field systems demonstrates well the
nature of settlement and land use during the Bronze Age.

Source: Historic England


consulted 9/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcription for SX 2474,
consulted 9/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcriptions for SX 2473 & SX 2474,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1215,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1217,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1274 (SE wall -incompletely recorded),
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1287,

Source: Historic England

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