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Enclosed stone hut circle settlement 200m east of Leeden Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Walkhampton, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.5269 / 50°31'36"N

Longitude: -4.0263 / 4°1'34"W

OS Eastings: 256472.288022

OS Northings: 71639.665556

OS Grid: SX564716

Mapcode National: GBR Q1.Q9LT

Mapcode Global: FRA 27GN.TGH

Entry Name: Enclosed stone hut circle settlement 200m east of Leeden Tor

Scheduled Date: 1 June 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011168

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22285

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Walkhampton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Details

This monument includes four enclosures, 16 stone hut circles and a number
of rubble walls arranged within an enclosing boundary and forming an enclosed
stone hut circle settlement, situated on a gentle east-facing slope of Leeden
Tor overlooking the valley of the River Meavy.
The main enclosure survives as a rubble bank measuring 3m wide and standing up
to 1.1m high, surrounding an area with maximum dimensions of 150m north to
south by 100m east to west. This enclosure wall was either never finished, or
survives as a buried feature along its western circuit. Within the large
enclosure, three smaller contiguous curvilinear enclosures and a number of
short lengths of rubble walling have been identified. These enclosures are
defined by rubble walls, 1.5m wide and 0.5m high. Although stones have been
cleared from the interior of the enclosures, much clitter remains. Ten of the
stone hut circles lie within the smaller enclosures; the remaining six lie in
an arc immediately to their west. The linear distribution of these six stone
hut circles strongly suggests that they may have once been linked by a
palisade or similar structure which now survives as a buried feature. This
boundary is considered to be the most likely location for the western circuit
of the largest enclosure.
The stone hut circles are composed of circular or oval stone and earth banks
surrounding an internal area. Fifteen of the huts are circular in plan and
the internal diameter of these vary from 2.3m to 8m with the average being
4.2m. One hut is oval in plan and this measures internally, 8.4m long by 6.8m
wide. The height of all the surrounding walls varies between 0.3m and 1m,
with the average being 0.62m. Ten of the huts are attached to visible
boundary walls, two contain two rooms, five have identifiable doorways and one
has an annex.
Stone hut circles, a reave, a round cairn and stone alignment have been
identified in close proximity to this monument.

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 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 200m east of Leeden Tor survives well
within a coaxial field system and, together with other nearby settlement
sites and ceremonial monuments, provides a clear insight into occupation and
farming practices on the Moor during the prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57SE17,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57SE17.2,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57SE17.3,
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,
National Archaeological Record, SX57SE42,

Source: Historic England

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