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Prehistoric regular aggregate field system with incorporated and adjacent stone hut circles and an adjacent enclosure 550m WSW of Trewalla Farm

A Scheduled Monument in St. Cleer, Cornwall

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.5117 / 50°30'41"N

Longitude: -4.483 / 4°28'58"W

OS Eastings: 224044.980381

OS Northings: 70929.4987

OS Grid: SX240709

Mapcode National: GBR NF.K09G

Mapcode Global: FRA 17HQ.38X

Entry Name: Prehistoric regular aggregate field system with incorporated and adjacent stone hut circles and an adjacent enclosure 550m WSW of Trewalla Farm

Scheduled Date: 4 June 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009731

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15095

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Cleer

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Cleer

Church of England Diocese: Truro

Details

The monument includes a well-preserved Prehistoric regular aggregate field
system with eleven stone hut circles and an adjacent rectangular enclosure and
hut circle, situated near broadly contemporary unenclosed hut circles,
enclosures and cairns on the lower southern slope of Tregarrick Tor on SE
Bodmin Moor.
The regular aggregate field system comprises at least twenty sub-rectangular
field plots, ranging 0.015 - 0.3 hectares in extent and surviving over a total
area of 3 hectares. The fields survive with largely straight rubble walls up
to 2m wide and 1m high, incorporating numerous large boulders and frequent
edge-set facing slabs. Some lengths of walling also contain rows of end-set
slabs, called orthostats, which project above the walls, reaching a maximum
height of 1.5m. In the eastern half of the field system the plots are small
and cluster into adjoining, almost square, blocks of fields, of 0.15 - 0.4
hectares, bounded and subdivided by walls running ENE-WSW along the contour of
the slope, and NNW-SSE directly down the slope. At least five such blocks
survive, the junctions between the easternmost three showing them to have been
successively created up the side of the valley. In the western half of the
field system the plots are generally larger, lacking the block structure of
the eastern half, and the dominant axes of the field boundaries become
north-south and east-west by the system's western edge, corresponding to the
change in aspect of the hillslope.
This field system contains ten stone hut circles, with an eleventh situated 2m
beyond its eastern boundary wall. All are levelled into the hillslope and
survive with circular boulder and rubble walls up to 2.5m wide and 1.5m high,
enclosing internal areas ranging 5m - 9m in diameter. Six of the hut circles
have facing slabs along the inner, outer or both sides of their walls and six
have surviving entrance gaps, orientated variously between south-east and
south-west and flanked in two cases by orthostats. The largest hut circle is
sited centrally in one of the eastern blocks of fields and has a small,
rubble-walled, semi-elliptical porch built out from its southern entrance.
Another hut circle occupies an analogous position in the adjoining block to
the east but otherwise the hut circles are variously positioned against field
walls or unattached in the interior of field plots. Two hut circles in the
western half of the field system are linked by a curving wall that forms one
side of a short trackway along the lower edge of one field plot. In one of
the eastern field blocks, another short, wall-lined trackway links a hut
circle to the block's eastern edge.
The rectangular enclosure is situated 13m north, uphill, from the central part
of the field system but is not linked to it by walling. It is visible as a
boulder and rubble wall, up to 2m wide and 1m high, enclosing a rectangular
area of 0.25 hectares, measuring 42m east-west by 55m north-south. A similar
rubble wall extends for 26m NNW from the enclosure's NW corner, ending 3.5m
south of a small stone hut circle. This hut circle has a boulder wall, 1m
wide and 0.5m high, with an entrance gap facing south and encloses a levelled
interior 2.5m in diameter.
The northern, uphill, sides of most field boundaries and hut circle walls in
the monument are covered by substantial deposits washed down the hillslope
since their construction. The western half of the monument borders on an area
of improved pasture, which, together with the building of modern stone walls,
has produced some limited stone-robbing from the Prehistoric walls in this
zone, while the south-east edge of the monument is defined by the scarp of a
medieval tin miners' cut flanking the stream running along the valley floor.
The modern dry-stone walling, gate and post-and-wire fencing are excluded from
the scheduling but the ground beneath is included.

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.

Elaborate complexes of fields, field boundaries and enclosures are a major
feature of the Moor landscape. Regular 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 (c2000 BC - AD 400). Regular
aggregate field systems comprise a collection of field plots defined by
boundaries laid out in a consistent manner, along two axes set at right angles
to each other. By contrast with field systems, enclosures are discrete plots
of land constructed as stock pens or as protected areas for crop growing.
Both the field systems and enclosures are bounded by stone or rubble walls or
banks, ditches or fences. They are often located around or near settlement
sites. Such settlements frequently comprise stone hut circles, which were the
dwelling places of Prehistoric farmers on the Moor. Mostly dating from 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 enclosed within field systems or enclosures. Each of these types of
monument forms an important element of the existing landscape and is
representative of its period. Their longevity of use and their relationships
with other monument types provide important information on the diversity of
farming practices and social organisation among Prehistoric communities.

This monument on the southern slope of Tregarrick Tor has survived reasonably
well. Only limited robbing has taken place from its western edge and despite
the truncation of its SE edge by a tin-streamers' cut, the field system
retains a diverse range of inter-related features and preserves unusual
evidence for its gradual expansion along the valley, illustrating well the
methods and development of contemporary farming practices. The proximity of
the monument to other broadly contemporary hut circles, enclosures and field
systems, and to the major area of ritual monuments on Craddock Moor, also
demonstrates well the organisation of settlement and land use during the
Bronze Age.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
7/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1243,
7/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1243.11,
Consulted 7/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcriptions for SX 2370 & SX 2470,
Consulted 7/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcriptions for SX 2470 & SX 2471,
Consulted 7/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1243.05,

Source: Historic England

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