Ancient Monuments

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Nine huts, five post-medieval shelters and a field boundary forming part of an unenclosed stone hut circle settlement 1180m south of North Hessary Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Dartmoor Forest, Devon

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Latitude: 50.54 / 50°32'23"N

Longitude: -4.0096 / 4°0'34"W

OS Eastings: 257692.71591

OS Northings: 73059.862637

OS Grid: SX576730

Mapcode National: GBR Q2.WFVD

Mapcode Global: FRA 27HM.V04

Entry Name: Nine huts, five post-medieval shelters and a field boundary forming part of an unenclosed stone hut circle settlement 1180m south of North Hessary Tor

Scheduled Date: 16 July 1974

Last Amended: 20 June 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011177

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22324

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Dartmoor Forest

Built-Up Area: Princetown

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument includes nine stone hut circles, four post-medieval shelters and
a field boundary forming part of an unenclosed stone hut circle settlement
lying on the lower south-facing slope of North Hessary Tor, overlooking the
valley of the River Meavy.
The stone hut circles are composed of stone and earth banks surrounding an
internal area. Of the nine hut circles, one is oval in plan, another is
triangular and the remainder are circular. The internal diameter of the
circular buildings vary from 3.1m to 8m, with the average being 5.5m. The
height of all the walls varies between 0.4m and 1.1m, with the average being
0.71m. One hut has an annex, seven have visible doorways, five have later
structures built within them and one is attached to a boundary wall. This wall
measures 36m long, 2.5m wide and 0.3m high. Three small stone-built shelters
lie within earlier stone hut circles, and a further two are attached to the
outer face. These structures are probably post-medieval temporary shelters
constructed during military training or tinworking in the neighbourhood.
A fragmentary field system lies south west of the monument but this is not
included because, with the exception of the short length of boundary bank
lying within the settlement, not enough of the fields are visible to establish
their character and extent.

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 unenclosed stone hut circle settlement 1180m south of North Hessary Tor
survives comparatively well and, despite limited reuse during the
post-medieval period, important and informative archaeological structures,
features and deposits still survive. Such evidence will provide a valuable
insight into the economy of the site's inhabitants and the landscape in which
they lived.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Fleming, A, The Dartmoor Reaves, (1988), 76
Fleming, A, The Dartmoor Reaves, (1988), 72-82
Fleming, A, The Dartmoor Reaves, (1988), 74-82
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57SE1,
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,

Source: Historic England

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