Ancient Monuments

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Sixteen stone hut circles forming part of an unenclosed stone hut circle settlement on the north-east slope of Cox Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Peter Tavy, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5698 / 50°34'11"N

Longitude: -4.0691 / 4°4'8"W

OS Eastings: 253573.614006

OS Northings: 76490.224376

OS Grid: SX535764

Mapcode National: GBR NZ.FJN4

Mapcode Global: FRA 27CK.GKZ

Entry Name: Sixteen stone hut circles forming part of an unenclosed stone hut circle settlement on the north-east slope of Cox Tor

Scheduled Date: 14 March 1974

Last Amended: 9 September 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011389

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20393

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Peter Tavy

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument includes sixteen stone hut circles forming the largest part of
an unenclosed stone hut circle settlement, as well as a contemporary enclosure
and a large number of tin prospecting pits situated on the north-east slope of
Cox Tor overlooking the valley of the Colly Brook. Fifteen of the huts are
circular in plan and measure between 2m and 8m in diameter. The remaining hut
is D-shaped and has variable dimensions of 5.2m and 6m in diameter. The walls
of all the huts are composed of stone and earth and measure between 0.2m and
0.9m high. One of the huts has an annexe, another is associated with a small
box-like structure and eight have visible doorways.
An enclosure boundary wall leads in a shallow arc between two of the stone hut
circles and measures 2.3m wide and stands up to 0.5m high.
A large number of tin prospecting pits lie within the monument. These consist
of rectangular pits measuring 4m long by 3m wide and 0.8m deep with an
associated crescent-shaped bank on the downslope side standing up to 1m high.
These pits were excavated by tinners searching for tin ore.

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 limited damage, the unenclosed stone hut circle settlement on the
north-east slope of Cox Tor survives comparatively well. Important and
informative archaeological structures, features and deposits survive intact
and provide an insight into agricultural practice on the western side of the

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 84-5
Gerrard, G A M, The Archaeology of the Early Cornish Tin Industry, (1986), 254-5
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North, , Vol. 2, (1991), 84-5
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57NW3,
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)
National Archaeological Record, SX57NW33, (1987)

Source: Historic England

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