Ancient Monuments

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An enclosure, attached stone hut circle and length of reave 180m north-north-east of Leather Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Walkhampton, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5135 / 50°30'48"N

Longitude: -4.028 / 4°1'40"W

OS Eastings: 256312.507905

OS Northings: 70149.346945

OS Grid: SX563701

Mapcode National: GBR Q1.R35X

Mapcode Global: FRA 27GP.SP7

Entry Name: An enclosure, attached stone hut circle and length of reave 180m north-north-east of Leather Tor

Scheduled Date: 21 September 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011248

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20295

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Walkhampton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument includes a sub-rectangular enclosure, a stone hut circle and
length of reave situated on a gentle east-facing slope overlooking the valley
of the River Meavy. The interior of the enclosure measures 9m east to west by
8m north to south and is defined by a low rubble bank 1.4m wide and 0.3m high.
The enclosure is attached to a fragment of the Leather Tor reave, which
survives as a 40m long, 4.5m wide and 0.8m high rubble bank, which merges into
dense clitter at either end. The stone hut circle is built across the
northern line of the enclosure boundary wall and is composed of a stone and
earth wall 1.1m wide and 0.5m high defining an internal area 3.5m in diameter.
The doorway faces SSE. Other lengths of the Leather Tor reave and other
features in the immediate vicinity are the subject of separate schedulings.

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 enclosure, attached stone hut circle and length of reave 180m north-east
of Leather Tor survive well within an area containing a variety of
archaeological monuments. The enclosure and hut both contain archaeological
remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument, the economy of
its inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived and, as such, provide a
valuable insight into the nature of Bronze Age occupation on the west 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.
In addition to the enclosure and stone hut circle the monument includes a
length of reave, which forms part of a coaxial field system. The reaves are
part of an extensive system of prehistoric land division introduced during the
Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They consist of simple linear stone banks used to
mark out discrete territories, some of which are tens of kilometres in extent.
The systems are defined by parallel, contour and watershed reaves, dividing
the lower land from the grazing zones of the higher moor and defining the
watersheds of adjacent river systems. Occupation sites and funerary or
ceremonial monuments are often incorporated in, or associated with, reave
complexes. Their longevity and their relationship with other monument types
provide important information on the diversity of social organisation, land
divisions and farming practices amongst prehistoric communities. They show
considerable longevity as a monument type, sometimes surviving as fossilised
examples in medieval field plans. They are an important element in the
existing landscape and, as such, a substantial proportion of surviving
examples are considered worthy of protection.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Fleming, A, The Dartmoor Reaves, (1988), 50
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57SE187,
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,
Raymond, F, Single Monument Class Description - Coaxial Field Systems, (1987)

Source: Historic England

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