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Agglomerated enclosure with hut circles and later farmstead at Whittenknowles Rocks

A Scheduled Monument in Sheepstor, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.486 / 50°29'9"N

Longitude: -3.9954 / 3°59'43"W

OS Eastings: 258535.447736

OS Northings: 67030.184932

OS Grid: SX585670

Mapcode National: GBR Q2.ZZCV

Mapcode Global: FRA 27JS.17X

Entry Name: Agglomerated enclosure with hut circles and later farmstead at Whittenknowles Rocks

Scheduled Date: 11 June 1965

Last Amended: 25 February 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010650

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10710

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Sheepstor

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Details

This agglomerated enclosure with hut circles lies on a south-west facing slope
north of Eastern Tor and east of Sheepstor Brook. It covers an area of
approximately 6ha and incorporates at least seven enclosures and forty stone
hut circles, as well as medieval farmstead structures. It is cut on the south
edge by the course of the leat which runs to Sheepstor village.
The enclosure lies in an area of natural outcrops and clitter which obscure
the details of the site. The main enclosure banks average 2m in width and 0.5m
in height made of earth and rubble, but are as much as 3m in width and over a
metre high on the northern side, where large boulders and slabs are
incorporated. The hut circles have walls of earth and stone up to 2m in width
and 0.6m in height, they are up to 12m in diameter, some are conjoined, some
attached to banks and others free-standing. There is evidence for double faced
walling in some huts and entrances, predominantly to the south-west, some with
jambs.
In the south-east quadrant of the enclosure there are the remains of four of
the buildings of a medieval farmstead. These are all rectangular in plan and
orientated with their long axes down the slope. They are from 11m to 35m in
length and approximately 6m in width, the longest being subdivided into three
rooms. Their walls stand over a metre in height and there are traces of
outbuildings abutting two of them.

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

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 provides 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.

Within the landscape of Dartmoor there are many discrete plots of land
enclosed by stone walls or banks of stone and earth, most of which date to the
Bronze Age (c.2500-1000 BC), though earlier and later examples also exist.
They were constructed as stock pens or as protected areas for crop growing and
were sometimes subdivided to accommodate stock and hut circle dwellings for
farmers and herdsmen. The size and form of enclosures may therefore vary
considerably depending on their particular function. Their variation in form,
longevity and relationship to other monument classes 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.

This agglomerated enclosure with hut circles and later farmstead buildings
demonstrates the continuity of use of the Moor from the Prehistoric period
through to the medieval period.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
SX56NE-016, REF SX56NE-016, (1990)

Source: Historic England

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