Ancient Monuments

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An enclosed stone hut circle settlement 940m WSW of Nun's Cross

A Scheduled Monument in Dartmoor Forest, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5107 / 50°30'38"N

Longitude: -3.9821 / 3°58'55"W

OS Eastings: 259552.391666

OS Northings: 69757.034363

OS Grid: SX595697

Mapcode National: GBR Q4.48WR

Mapcode Global: FRA 27KQ.0FQ

Entry Name: An enclosed stone hut circle settlement 940m WSW of Nun's Cross

Scheduled Date: 6 January 1972

Last Amended: 6 October 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009094

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24124

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Dartmoor Forest

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument includes an agglomerated enclosure containing six stone hut
circles lying on a north-facing slope overlooking Newleycombe Lake. The
enclosure is composed of two conjoined enclosures defined by partly faced
rubble walls. The interior of the northern enclosure is almost circular in
plan, measures 49m north to south by 51m east to west and is defined by a 1m
wide and 0.5m high rubble wall. Three stone hut circles lie within this
enclosure and a further two are attached to the inner face of the boundary.
The southern enclosure is more recent in date than the northern example,
measures 26m north to south by 33m east to west and is defined by a low rubble
wall, which in places only just protrudes above the turf level. A stone hut
circle is linked to this enclosure boundary.
The stone hut circles are composed of stone and earth banks each surrounding
an internal area. All six huts are circular in plan, and their internal
diameters vary between 2.7m and 4.2m, with the average being 3.35m. The height
of the surrounding walls varies between 0.3m and 0.7m, with the average being
0.45m. One hut has a visible doorway.
An enclosed settlement lying a short distance to the north east of this
monument is the subject of a separate scheduling.

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 enclosed stone hut circle settlement 940m WSW of Nun's Cross survives
comparatively well. This monument forms the largest part of the only
settlement on Dartmoor where an agglomerated enclosure containing huts both
inside and outside the enclosed area is associated with a separate
agglomerated enclosure in which all the huts lie within or are attached to the
enclosure boundaries. The settlement lies on the interface between the nearby
tin deposits and grazing land and may contain information concerning both or
either of these activities.

Source: Historic England


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX56NE125, (1985)
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,
National Archaeological Record, SX56NE107, (1985)

Source: Historic England

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