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Unenclosed stone hut circle settlement incorporating three enclosures and two cairns 1.06km WSW of East Castick Farm

A Scheduled Monument in North Hill, Cornwall

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.5582 / 50°33'29"N

Longitude: -4.4651 / 4°27'54"W

OS Eastings: 225487.944439

OS Northings: 76056.569829

OS Grid: SX254760

Mapcode National: GBR NF.G4XH

Mapcode Global: FRA 17JL.B9T

Entry Name: Unenclosed stone hut circle settlement incorporating three enclosures and two cairns 1.06km WSW of East Castick Farm

Scheduled Date: 7 September 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010227

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15151

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 an unenclosed hut circle settlement incorporating three
small enclosures and two cairns, situated on the lower SE flank of Hawk's Tor
on eastern Bodmin Moor, near other broadly contemporary hut circle
settlements, enclosures, field systems and cairns.
The hut circle settlement contains ten stone hut circles dispersed over an
area of 0.6 hectares on the lower slope of Hawk's Tor. The hut circles
survive with walls of heaped rubble, up to 1m high and 2m wide, faced
internally, and externally in several cases by spaced edge-set slabs,
sometimes forming a lining of contiguous slabs. The walls define circular
internal areas, levelled into the hillslope, ranging from 3.75m to 7.5m in
diameter. Entrance gaps are visible in eight of the hut circles, facing
southerly directions ranging from SW to SE, and flanked by end-set slabs,
called orthostats, in three examples.
One hut circle, at the NE end of the settlement, has a small ovoid,
rubble-walled annexe built against its SW edge. Several of the hut circles
have substantial accumulations of deposits against their uphill, northern and
NW sides, washed down the hillslope since their construction.
Near the centre of the settlement, rubble walling up to 1.5m wide and 0.75m
high, with occasional facing slabs, defines an oval enclosure measuring 31m
east-west by 23m north-south internally. The enclosure incorporates three of
the settlement's hut circles in the line of its wall on its northern and
western sides. Similar rubble walling defines a near-circular enclosure,
11.5m in internal diameter, which forms a subdivision of the oval enclosure's
eastern sector. A third small, sub-rectangular enclosure, measuring 17.5m
NW-SE by 11.5m SW-NE and incorporating another hut circle into its SW walling,
abuts the SW side of the oval enclosure. The settlement also includes other
lengths of similar rubble walling, though not forming coherent enclosures.
The longest of these walls follows a sinuous course along the northern and
north-western periphery of the settlement. This wall has several large facing
slabs in its downhill, southern side, while its uphill side is largely masked
by deposits washed down the slope since its creation. It incorporates two hut
circles at the NE edge of the settlement and two small cairns at the NW edge.
Around the settlement's SW periphery, this wall was altered by adoption as a
field wall during the medieval period, raising it to an earth and stone bank
1m high, with a slight ditch alongside. The characteristic sinuous course of
the Prehistoric wall is maintained by the medieval wall until its junction
with another medieval and later wall 22m south of the settlement's enclosures,
beyond which the line of the Prehistoric wall is not traceable. A short
length of Prehistoric rubble walling links the NW side of the oval enclosure
to the western part of the peripheral wall. Another length of Prehistoric
wall, only 0.6m wide and incorporating small edge-set slabs 0.1m high, links
the two hut circles at the settlement's extreme western edge and extends to
define three sides of a rectangle, forming a small plot measuring 16m NW-SE by
17.5m NE-SW.
The two small cairns incorporated in the NW part of the peripheral wall are
centred 16.5m apart on a NNE-SSW axis and are visible as mounds of heaped
stone rubble, 4m in diameter and 1m high.
This hut circle settlement also forms the focus for thirteen outlying hut
circles beyond this monument, dispersed up to 130m to the WSW and 200m to the
ENE, at a similar level along the lower slope of Hawk's Tor.

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. 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 Hawk's Tor has survived well,
complete with integral enclosures, cairns and walling, and with only limited
damage due to the partial re-use of the area during the medieval period. The
substantial build-up of deposits against the uphill sides of much of this
monument's walling will preserve buried land surfaces and environmental
evidence contemporary with, and subsequent to, its construction and use. The
monument's proximity to other broadly contemporary settlement sites,
enclosures, field systems and cairns demonstrates well the nature of farming
practices and the organisation of land use during the Bronze Age.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
King, G, Sheppard, P, 'Cornish Archaeology' in Parochial Checklist of Antiquities 10: Parish of North Hill, , Vol. 18, (1979)
Other
consulted 10/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcription for SX 2576,
consulted 10/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1178,
consulted 10/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1183,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1014,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1190,

Source: Historic England

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