Ancient Monuments

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Stone hut circle, cairns and irregular aggregate field system 850m SSE of Sourton Tors

A Scheduled Monument in Sourton, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6842 / 50°41'3"N

Longitude: -4.0595 / 4°3'34"W

OS Eastings: 254600.964017

OS Northings: 89195.615226

OS Grid: SX546891

Mapcode National: GBR Q0.672K

Mapcode Global: FRA 27D8.D9B

Entry Name: Stone hut circle, cairns and irregular aggregate field system 850m SSE of Sourton Tors

Scheduled Date: 23 October 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009087

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24054

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Sourton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument includes a stone hut circle lying within an irregular aggregate
field system situated on a gentle north west facing slope of Corn Ridge. The
field system includes at least three fields and is defined by a series of 1.5m
wide and 0.4m high rubble banks, which are lynchetted where they lie along the
contour. Four cairns lie within the field system, two are oblong in shape and
are attached to boundary banks, whilst the others are circular and lie within
the fields. The largest mound measures 6m long, 4m wide and 0.7m high and may
represent a partly damaged funerary cairn, which was incorporated into the
later field system. The remaining three cairns are believed to be the result
of field clearance. The stone hut circle lies within the southern field, 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
2.3m in diameter and the surrounding 1.4m wide wall stands up to 0.3m 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,
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. Elaborate complexes of fields and field
boundaries are a major feature of the Dartmoor landscape. Irregular aggregate
field systems are one of several methods of field layout known to have been
employed in south-west England from the Bronze Age to the Roman period (c.2000
BC-AD 400). They comprise a collection of field plots, generally lacking
conformity of orientation and arrangement, containing fields with sinuous
outlines and varying shapes and sizes, bounded by stone or rubble walls or
banks, ditches or fences. They are often located around or near ceremonial and
funerary monuments. They are an important element of the existing landscape
and are representative of farming practice over a long period. A substantial
proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

The stone hut circle and irregular aggregate field system 850m SSE of Sourton
Tors 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 west side of
the moor.
Discrete small-scale irregular aggregate field systems associated with a
single hut are very rare on the moor.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 218
Gerrard, S., (1993)
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1988)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,

Source: Historic England

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