Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Stone hut circle settlement 360m north-east of Leather Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Walkhampton, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5145 / 50°30'52"N

Longitude: -4.0247 / 4°1'28"W

OS Eastings: 256547.782787

OS Northings: 70262.672274

OS Grid: SX565702

Mapcode National: GBR Q1.R401

Mapcode Global: FRA 27GP.V58

Entry Name: Stone hut circle settlement 360m north-east of Leather Tor

Scheduled Date: 21 September 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011250

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22230

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Walkhampton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument includes a stone hut circle settlement situated on an east-
facing slope of Leather Tor. The settlement contains at least twelve stone hut
circles and seven associated enclosures or garden plots. These enclosures are
composed of rubble bank walls measuring 1.2m wide and 0.4m high, each defining
an internal area. Many of these boundaries form lynchets where they lie along
the contour of the hillslope. Seven of the stone hut circles are attached to
boundary walls and one has an annexe.
The stone hut circles are composed of stone and earth banks surrounding a
circular internal area. The internal diameter of the huts varies between 2.5m
and 6m with the average being 4m. The height of the surrounding wall varies
between 0.2m and 0.8m with the average being 0.45m.
Post-medieval field boundaries to the east and south of the monument represent
a fossilised prehistoric field system, but these are not included within the
scheduling as they are not of national importance.

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.

Despite afforestation during the early part of the twentieth century, the
stone hut circle settlement 360m north-east of Leather Tor survives
comparatively well and forms part of a widely scattered group of broadly
contemporary settlements. The location of the monument at the interface
between an extensive area of open grazing and enclosed land will provide
information regarding aspects of Bronze Age agriculture.

Source: Historic England


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57SE151,
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,
Oral with Dr T.A.P. Greeves,

Source: Historic England

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