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Agglomerate enclosure and ten stone hut circles 500m west of Cawsand Beacon

A Scheduled Monument in Belstone, Devon

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Latitude: 50.7075 / 50°42'26"N

Longitude: -3.94 / 3°56'23"W

OS Eastings: 263114.078533

OS Northings: 91552.68214

OS Grid: SX631915

Mapcode National: GBR Q6.3TYQ

Mapcode Global: FRA 27M6.QVR

Entry Name: Agglomerate enclosure and ten stone hut circles 500m west of Cawsand Beacon

Scheduled Date: 2 March 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010790

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24140

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Belstone

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: South Tawton St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This monument includes ten stone hut circles and an agglomerate enclosure
lying on a north west facing slope of Cawsand Hill (also known as Cosdon Hill)
overlooking the valley of the River Taw. The monument forms part of a discrete
group of settlements lying on the lower slopes of Cawsand and White Hill.
The agglomerate enclosure includes at least three separate enclosed areas. The
two smaller enclosures are earlier than the larger one which links them all
together. The southern enclosure is irregular in shape and includes a 1.6m
wide and 0.5m high rubble bank surrounding an area measuring 40m north east to
south west by 32m north west to south east. A stone hut circle linked to this
boundary bank is probably earlier than the enclosure and another attached to
the outer face of the boundary is later than the enclosure. The north eastern
enclosure is oval in shape, is defined by a rubble wall and has interior
dimensions of 54m east to west by 38m north to south. These two enclosures are
linked together by a third, larger and later enclosure which measures 94m
north east to south west by 67m north west to south east and is defined by a
rubble bank which is lynchetted in places. A gap in the western wall of the
large enclosure is probably an original entrance.
Seven stone hut circles survive within the agglomerate enclosure and a further
three lie a short distance to the south west. These huts are composed of stone
and earth banks surrounding internal areas. Eight of the huts are circular in
shape and the internal diameters of these buildings vary from 3m to 5.2m, with
the average being 3.91m. Two of the huts are oval in shape and the internal
dimensions of these are 5.5m long by 6m wide and 4m long by 5m wide. The
heights of all the surrounding walls vary from 0.4m to 0.8m, with the average
being 0.53m. The interiors of the huts vary in area from 7.06 to 33 square
metres. Three of the huts have visible doorways, four huts are linked to the
enclosure boundary walls and three are attached to the enclosure.

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. 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.2000-700 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.

The agglomerate enclosure and ten stone hut circles 500m west of Cawsand
Beacon survive well within an area containing a large number of similar
monuments. Deep peat deposits within the settlement protect archaeological
remains and contain environmental evidence relating to the monument, the
economy of its inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived. As such,
this provides a valuable insight into the nature of Bronze Age occupation on
the north side of the Moor. The multi-phase character of the settlement will
provide information concerning the changing domestic and agricultural
requirements of an upland Bronze Age society.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 2, (1990), 201-203
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX69SW46, (1985)
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,
Title: SX69SW
Source Date: 1965

Source: Historic England

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