Ancient Monuments

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Northernmost stone hut circle forming part of the unenclosed stone hut circle settlement at Watern Oke

A Scheduled Monument in Peter Tavy, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6351 / 50°38'6"N

Longitude: -4.0328 / 4°1'58"W

OS Eastings: 256337.230887

OS Northings: 83681.970949

OS Grid: SX563836

Mapcode National: GBR Q1.H7YJ

Mapcode Global: FRA 27FD.BPN

Entry Name: Northernmost stone hut circle forming part of the unenclosed stone hut circle settlement at Watern Oke

Scheduled Date: 12 August 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011560

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20355

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Peter Tavy

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Widecombe-in-the-Moor St Pancras

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This monument includes a stone hut circle situated within an area of clitter
on a south facing slope overlooking the valley of the River Tavy and forming
part of the large unenclosed stone hut circle settlement at Watern Oke.
The hut circle is constructed of single orthostat walling which stands 0.7m
high and is 1m wide defining an oval interior 1.7m long and 1.3m wide. The
door faces east. A boundary wall leads northwards from the edge of this hut.
Excavations carried out by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee revealed a
bench. This hut circle forms part of one of the largest unenclosed stone hut
circle settlements on Dartmoor.

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.

The unenclosed stone hut circle settlement at Watern Oke is one of the largest
on Dartmoor and, despite partial excavation, important and informative
archaeological structures, features and deposits still survive.
Such evidence will provide a valuable insight into the economy of the site's
inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Anderson, I K, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in Hut Circle Settlement at Watern Oke, , Vol. 38, (1906)
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)

Source: Historic England

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