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Unenclosed hut circle settlement and adjacent Prehistoric linear boundary 800m SSE of Trewortha Farm

A Scheduled Monument in North Hill, Cornwall

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.5439 / 50°32'38"N

Longitude: -4.4785 / 4°28'42"W

OS Eastings: 224486.045589

OS Northings: 74505.125629

OS Grid: SX244745

Mapcode National: GBR NF.H1GR

Mapcode Global: FRA 17HM.K1P

Entry Name: Unenclosed hut circle settlement and adjacent Prehistoric linear boundary 800m SSE of Trewortha Farm

Scheduled Date: 7 August 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008958

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15133

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

Details

The monument includes a small unenclosed Prehistoric hut circle settlement,
incorporating two small enclosed plots, and an adjacent linear boundary
situated near other broadly contemporary unenclosed hut circle settlements,
linear boundaries and field systems on the lower western slope of Kilmar Tor
on eastern Bodmin Moor. The monument is divided into two separate areas.
The settlement covers an area of 0.15 hectares and includes four stone hut
circles; the southern three are arranged in a north-south line, approximately
along the contour and separated by gaps of 9m and 6m respectively, while the
northernmost hut circle adjoins its neighbouring hut circle on a NW-SE axis.
The hut circles survive with circular walls of heaped and coursed rubble and
some boulders, up to 1.75m wide and 1.2m high, around levelled internal areas
ranging from 5m to 9.5m in diameter. The hut circle walls are faced with both
inner and outer edge-set slabs. Entrance gaps, 0.4m-1m wide, survive in all
four hut circles, facing west in the three forming the north-south line, while
the northerly hut circle's entrance faces south. The southernmost hut circle
has a concentric porch of rubble walling, 1.3m from the hut circle wall and
extending for 6m around its NW sector. The settlement also incorporates two
small sub-circular walled plots, each attached to and extending from the hut
circles. The northern plot is 14m in internal diameter and extends NNE from
the adjoining northerly pair of hut circles, with a wall of contiguous
boulders and edge-set slabs, 0.4m wide and 0.8m high. The other plot is more
ovoid, measuring 22m north-south by 17m east-west, and includes the central
hut circle of the north-south line in its western half. This plot has rubble
walling with boulders, up to 1m wide and 0.75m high, incorporating edge-set
inner facing slabs. Immediately north of its included hut, this plot's wall
contains a single massive edge-set slab then undergoes a step in its course
indicating a blocked former entrance at this point. A surviving entrance gap
is located immediately south of the included hut circle's wall.
The northern edge of the settlement is situated 11m south of the western end
of the Prehistoric linear boundary. This boundary survives as a wall of heaped
rubble and boulders, up to 4m wide and 1.5m high, though generally 2m wide and
0.75m high. Its construction varies along its length, from a broad spread of
rubble to sections where the rubble is more neatly defined by edge-set slabs
along one or both sides. The boundary extends for a total of 572m across the
western and south-western slopes of Kilmar Tor. From its western terminal on a
slight natural scarp above the marshy valley floor of the Withey Brook, the
boundary runs eastwards, almost directly uphill, for 300m to the 320m contour
level, incorporating numerous minor curves that characterise its entire
course. From there it turns ESE and extends for a further 185m, reaching the
335m contour level and the edge of the broad shallow trough separating Kilmar
Tor from the Langstone Downs and Bearah Tor.
Near the centre of the latter section, an original gap in the boundary is
marked by a 10m wide break in the wall, whose WNW terminal curves sharply to
the NE for 14m. A more recent break, of 15m, is located towards the ESE end of
the same section, occasioned by a small, 19th century stone-splitters' quarry
at that point. Along its eastern 87m, the boundary turns to the SSE, running
along the western edge of the broad trough and terminating as a visible
feature at the edge of a deep peat bog. Along its terminal 43m, the wall is
accompanied by a second wall, of similar construction, which gradually
diverges from its NE side and runs straight across a slight curve in the
boundary's course, giving a maximum gap of 5m between the walls.
Hut circle settlements of different character are situated on the same slope,
beyond this monument, 500m to the north, and 100m and 200m to the SSE. Similar
linear boundaries, also beyond this monument, are located at intervals across
the slope, 350m, 575m and 700m to the SSE, while another runs along the
northern edge of the Langstone Downs from 190m SE of this boundary's eastern
terminal.

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

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. The linear boundaries on Bodmin Moor consist of stone
banks, sometimes incorporating facing slabs or projecting end-set slabs called
orthostats. They may be massively constructed, up to 8m wide and 1m high,
although the majority are much slighter. Built during the Bronze Age (c.2000-
700 BC), they fulfilled a variety of functions. Some run at high altitudes
along a contour and appear to separate lower land used for cultivation from
that less intensively used. Some may be territorial, marking the boundaries of
land held by particular social groups. Others may serve to delineate land set
aside for ceremonial and religious activities such as burial. Frequently
linear boundaries are associated with other forms of contemporary field
system. They provide important information on the farming practices and social
organisation of Bronze Age communities and form an important element of the
existing landscape. A substantial proportion of examples which have survived
are considered worthy of preservation.

Stone hut circles were the dwelling places of Prehistoric farmers on the Moor,
mostly dating to the Bronze Age (c2000 - 700 BC). The stone-based round houses
consist of 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 groups and
may occur in the open or be enclosed by a bank of earth and stone.
This hut circle settlement and its adjacent linear boundary on Kilmar Tor have
each survived well, the settlement entirely undisturbed and the boundary with
only one very minor break due to later activity. The extensive peat growth
about the upper parts of the boundary will preserve details of its
construction, together with land surfaces and environmental evidence
contemporary with its construction and use. The relationship preserved within
the monument between the settlement and the boundary, and the monument's close
proximity to other broadly contemporary settlement sites, linear boundaries
and field systems demonstrate well the nature and development of social
organisation and land use during the Bronze Age.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
consulted 9/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcription for SX 2473,
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 2574,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entries for PRN 1077;1215;1216;1217,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entries: PRN 1274(SE wall);1398(NW wall);1428(part),
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1077,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1215 & 1216,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1217,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1287,

Source: Historic England

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