Ancient Monuments

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Length of boundary wall and seven stone hut circles forming part of a large enclosure north-east of Ger Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Peter Tavy, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6319 / 50°37'54"N

Longitude: -4.0531 / 4°3'11"W

OS Eastings: 254894.074

OS Northings: 83362.9735

OS Grid: SX548833

Mapcode National: GBR Q0.9GR0

Mapcode Global: FRA 27DD.NS5

Entry Name: Length of boundary wall and seven stone hut circles forming part of a large enclosure north-east of Ger Tor

Scheduled Date: 11 January 1965

Last Amended: 4 November 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011237

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22242

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Peter Tavy

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument includes a length of enclosure boundary wall and seven stone hut
circles situated on a south-east facing slope overlooking the valley of the
River Tavy. The enclosure boundary includes two 1m wide and 0.3m high rubble
banks, which both curve to form a funnelled entrance measuring 50m across. The
enclosure, of which this monument only forms the northern edge, measures 440m
north to south by 600m east to west and is defined on the east by a small
stream, on the south by the River Tavy and on the west by a rubble wall. The
shape and orientation of the entrance passage suggests that this enclosure was
constructed to hold livestock driven from the higher moorland, and its size
reflects the need for a large quantity of grazing.
Many of the stone hut circles within the enclosure are situated in discrete
clusters within the vicinity of the northern boundary. This monument includes
seven stone hut circles situated within the entrance area, which would have
been the focal point for activity within the enclosure. The stone hut circles
survive as stone and earth walls surrounding an internal area. Six of the huts
are circular and their internal diameters vary between 3.5m and 6m, with
the average being 4.5m. The remaining hut is oval in shape and its interior
measures 2m long by 1.5m wide and the surrounding wall 1.5m wide and 0.3m
high. The height of all the hut walls vary between 0.3m and 0.7m. One hut has
an annex, five have visible doorways, one an internal partition, one a bench
and three are attached to boundary walls.
Excavation of four huts within the settlement was carried out by the Dartmoor
Exploration Committee in 1893. Hearths were found in two huts, a partition
wall in another and two of the huts were partly paved with large slabs.

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.

Despite evidence for partial excavation, the stone hut circles within the
large enclosure north-east of Ger Tor survive comparatively well and contain
archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument,
the economy of its inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived. As such,
the site provides a valuable insight into the nature of Bronze Age occupation
on the west side of the Moor. Many of the huts are visually impressive
examples of their type.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 100-101
Baring-Gould, S, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in Hut Circles at Tavy Cleave, , Vol. 26, (1894), 197-198
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX58SE19,
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,

Source: Historic England

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