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Prehistoric regular aggregate field system with two incorporated stone hut circles 850m north-east of Siblyback Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Linkinhorne, Cornwall

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.5312 / 50°31'52"N

Longitude: -4.4817 / 4°28'53"W

OS Eastings: 224214.237835

OS Northings: 73099.185288

OS Grid: SX242730

Mapcode National: GBR NF.HSRW

Mapcode Global: FRA 17HN.HTT

Entry Name: Prehistoric regular aggregate field system with two incorporated stone hut circles 850m north-east of Siblyback Farm

Scheduled Date: 10 November 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011316

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15244

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Linkinhorne

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Cleer

Church of England Diocese: Truro

Details

The monument includes a prehistoric regular aggregate field system with two
incorporated hut circles situated on the west side of a broad ridge extending
north from the north-west edge of Craddock Moor on south-east Bodmin Moor. The
monument also includes parts of a medieval ditched boundary bank which re-uses
the outer walls of the prehistoric field system.
The regular aggregate field system survives with field plot walls of heaped
rubble and boulders, up to 1.7m wide and 0.5m high, incorporating occasional
end-set slabs, called orthostats, up to 0.75m high. Where the walling runs
across the slope, its upper side is partly masked by a build-up of soil,
called a lynchet, resulting from a combination of natural soil creep and
prehistoric cultivation on the slope.
The regular aggregate field system is visible as a sub-rectangular block of
field plots, measuring up to 160m WSW-ENE by 182m NW-SE, extending north-east
from the modern hedgebank defining the uphill limit of recent pasture
clearance and improvement. The block is bisected by a NW-SE prehistoric wall,
producing a single large plot of 1.12 ha across the north-east half of the
field system block. The south-west sector of the block, occupying 1.05 ha, is
further subdivided into seven strip-like plots by six ENE-WSW walls running
downslope at intervals of 15m-24m from or near the bisecting wall. An
additional, earlier, prehistoric wall runs obliquely, NE-SW, across the
central plot, robbed of stone at each end before reaching the plot walls.
The plots within the field system's south-west sector show evidence for their
successive construction south-eastwards across the slope; slight staggers in
the line of the wall bisecting the overall field system block indicate that
the three north-western plots were initially laid out as one unit, followed by
the three plots to their south-east, followed finally by the addition of the
south-eastern plot. These plots in the south-west sector of the field system
incorporate two stone hut circles. The hut circles survive with circular walls
of heaped rubble and boulders defining internal areas levelled into the
hillslope. The larger hut circle is situated near the north-east end of the
central plot and has a wall up to 2.3m wide and 0.7m high about an internal
area 11.3m in diameter. The hut circle wall adjoins the plot's south-east wall
and has a 2m wide entrance gap facing south-east. The smaller hut circle is
situated 50m to the WNW, two plots to the north-west of the larger hut circle,
and has a wall up to 1.3m wide and 0.4m high, about an internal area 7.6m in
diameter. Its wall has both inner and outer facing slabs, up to 0.8m high, and
an entrance gap 0.75m wide, facing west. The hut circle wall veers outwards
slightly on the southern side of the entrance, producing a slight porch, at
the inner side of whose end is a single tapered orthostat 1.6m high.
Much later, medieval, farming enclosed a network of large field plots along
the edge of the Moor by ditched earthen boundary banks. The outer wall of the
prehistoric regular field system in this monument was re-used to form one such
block, which reveals its prehistoric origin by the termination on its boundary
of unmodified prehistoric walling and by its rounded moor-edge corners,
uncharacteristic of the angular corners displayed by the medieval blocks
beyond the monument. The re-use of the prehistoric field system's outer wall
results in its survival as an earthen bank, up to 1.5m wide and 0.2m high,
with a ditch, up to 1m wide and 0.2m deep, along the outer side of the block.
Beyond the monument, to the south, are further prehistoric settlements with
regular and irregular aggregate field systems on the periphery of Craddock
Moor. Beyond these, to the south-east near the centre of Craddock Moor, is one
of the largest concentrations of broadly contemporary ritual and funerary
monuments on Bodmin Moor.
All post-and-wire fences are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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

Bodmin Moor, the largest of the Cornish granite uplands, has long been
recognised to have exceptional preservation of archaeological remains. The
Moor has been the subject of detailed archaeological survey and is one of the
best recorded upland landscapes in England. The extensive relict landscapes of
prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval date provide direct evidence for human
exploitation of the Moor from the earliest prehistoric period onwards. The
well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, field
systems, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains
provides significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land
use through time.

Elaborate complexes of fields and field boundaries are a major feature of the
Moor landscape. Regular aggregate field systems are one such method of field
layout known to have been employed in south-west England during the Bronze Age
(c.2000-700 BC). Regular aggregate field systems comprise a collection of
field plots defined by boundaries laid out in a consistent manner, along two
axes set at right angles to each other. A single regular aggregate field
system may contain several contiguous blocks of such plots and each block may
differ slightly in the orientation of the axes used in its layout. Regular
aggregate field systems often incorporate or are situated near stone hut
circles, the dwelling places of prehistoric farmers on the Moor, mostly also
dating from the Bronze Age. The stone-based round houses survive as low walls
or banks enclosing a circular floor area; the remains of a turf or thatch roof
are not preserved as visible features. The huts may occur singly or in small
or large groups and may occur in the open or be enclosed by a bank of earth
and stone. Prehistoric field systems and hut circles are important elements of
the existing landscape and provide important evidence on the nature and
organisation of farming practices and settlement among prehistoric
communities.
The relatively unintensive post-medieval land use of upland areas which has
allowed the preservation of much of the surviving prehistoric settlement
evidence has also favoured the survival of a diversity of medieval monuments
which often impinge on those earlier, prehistoric, remains. Such medieval
monuments frequently include various forms of field boundary and cultivation
ridging.
This monument on north-west Craddock Moor has survived well. The monument's
evidence for successive phases in the prehistoric field system's construction
demonstrates well the nature and development of farming practices and social
organisation during the Bronze Age, while the proximity of the monument to
other broadly contemporary field systems gives a rare opportunity to observe
this sequence across a wider geographical area. The proximity of the monument
to the major concentration of Bronze Age ceremonial and funerary monuments on
Craddock Moor shows well the nature of land use and the wider relationship to
settlement and ritual activity among Bronze Age communities.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
consulted 1992, Carter, A./ Quinnell, N.V./RCHME, 1:2500 AP plot and field trace for SX 2473,
consulted 1992, Carter, A./ Quinnell, N.V./RCHME, 1:2500 AP plot and field trace for SX 2473,
consulted 1992, Carter, A./Quinnell, N.V./RCHME, 1:2500 AP plots and field traces for SX 2471-3,
consulted 1992, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP plot and field trace for SX 2473,
consulted 1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1241,
consulted 1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1241.01,
consulted 1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1241.02,
consulted 1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1290,
consulted 1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1362,

Source: Historic England

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