Ancient Monuments

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Enclosed stone hut circle settlement 260m north of Deadlake Foot

A Scheduled Monument in Peter Tavy, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6406 / 50°38'25"N

Longitude: -4.0348 / 4°2'5"W

OS Eastings: 256217.030057

OS Northings: 84293.483453

OS Grid: SX562842

Mapcode National: GBR Q1.H1F9

Mapcode Global: FRA 27FC.XLT

Entry Name: Enclosed stone hut circle settlement 260m north of Deadlake Foot

Scheduled Date: 11 January 1965

Last Amended: 4 November 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011233

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22238

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Peter Tavy

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Lydford St Petroc

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This monument includes two enclosures, sixteen stone hut circles and a
tinners' building situated on an east-facing valley side overlooking the
Rattle Brook. The smaller western enclosure measures 48m long by 37m wide and
is defined by a double-faced wall, 1m wide and 0.4m high. Five stone hut
circles are linked to this enclosure wall, which is of a more recent date than
the huts. The second larger enclosure is defined by a 1m wide and 0.3m high
rubble wall along its northern edge, the Rattle Brook along its eastern and
southern edges and by a steep clitter slope on its short west side. The
stratigraphic relationship between the two enclosures no longer survives above
ground level, though the difference in wall construction suggests that they
may belong to different periods. There are ten free-standing stone hut circles
within this enclosure and another is linked to the boundary wall. The
enclosure boundary clearly deviates to include this hut in its circuit
suggesting that the enclosure was constructed sometime after the hut. The
linear distribution of many stone hut circles within the enclosure strongly
suggests that they may have once been linked by a palisade or similar
structure which now partly survives as a buried feature.
The stone hut circles are composed of stone and earth banks surrounding an
internal area. The internal diameter of the huts varies between 2m and 6.8m
with the average being 3.7m. The height of the surrounding wall varies between
0.3m and 0.7m, with the average being 0.47m. Six of the huts are attached to
visible boundary walls and five have identifiable doorways.
The tinners' building includes a rectangular one-roomed structure measuring 2m
long by 1.5m wide, defined by a 1m wide and 1m high orthostatic wall. This
building is similar in character to others found in close proximity to
tinworks and it is believed that they were used for the storage of tools and
other materials.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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 260m north of Deadlake Foot survives
well within an area containing a number of broadly contemporary settlements.
The settlement contains archaeological remains and environmental evidence
relating to the monument, the economy of its inhabitants and the landscape in
which they lived. The evidence suggests that this is a complex multi-phase
settlement in which evidence for the evolution and development of a Bronze Age
upland community survives.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Gerrard, G A M, The Early Cornish Tin Industry, (1986), 165-166
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX58SE15,
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,

Source: Historic England

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