Ancient Monuments

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Two adjacent transhumance huts on Caradon Hill, 450m north of East Caradon Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Linkinhorne, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.51 / 50°30'36"N

Longitude: -4.4315 / 4°25'53"W

OS Eastings: 227693.45786

OS Northings: 70629.114288

OS Grid: SX276706

Mapcode National: GBR NH.K7JM

Mapcode Global: FRA 17LQ.5CT

Entry Name: Two adjacent transhumance huts on Caradon Hill, 450m north of East Caradon Farm

Scheduled Date: 1 December 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011900

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15163

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Linkinhorne

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Linkinhorne

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes two adjacent transhumance huts situated near other
similar huts about the centre of the eastern slope of Caradon Hill on SE
Bodmin Moor.
The two huts are centred 12m apart on an east-west axis, the western hut being
directly upslope of the eastern one. The western hut survives with a largely
turf-covered wall of heaped rubble, up to 0.5m high and 0.6m wide, defining a
sub-rectangular internal area measuring 2m north-south by 1.6m east-west. The
interior is levelled into the hillslope and an entrance is provided by a 1m
wide gap in the eastern wall. The eastern hut is similarly constructed, though
its wall, up to 0.4m high and 0.6m wide, shows traces of coursed rubble
exposed through the turf-cover. Its levelled internal area measures 1.75m
north-south by 1.5m east-west, with an entrance gap 1.25m wide facing south.
These huts are typical of early medieval stock-herders' huts on Bodmin Moor
occupied during summer pasturing of stock on the uplands, the result of
seasonal movement of herds called transhumance.

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.

Transhumance huts are small, seasonally occupied herdsman's huts built to
provide shelter while tending herds grazing summer pasture on uplands or
marshland. These huts reflect a system called transhumance, whereby stock was
moved in spring from lowland pastures about the permanently occupied farms to
communal upland grazing during the warmer summer months. Settlement patterns
reflecting transhumance are known from the Bronze Age (c2000 - 700 BC)
onwards, but the construction of herdsman's huts in a form distinctive from
the normal dwelling houses of farmers only appears from the early medieval
period onwards (from AD 450), when the practice of transhumance is also known
from documentary sources, notably place-name studies. Their construction
generally comes to an end by the 16th century. Transhumance huts are typically
small, up to 10m long by 5m wide externally, but commonly much smaller, and
may occur singly or in groups of over 15. They have a simple sub-rectangular
or ovoid plan, normally defined by drystone walling though occasional
turf-built structures are known, and the huts are occasionally surrounded by a
ditch. Most examples have a single, undivided interior, though some two-roomed
examples are known. Some transhumance huts have adjacent ancillary structures,
such as pens, and may be associated with a midden. Some are also contained
within a small ovoid enclosure. Other upland activities, including mining and
hunting, may in some instances have produced similar shelters, employing the
same construction tradition. At least 250 transhumance huts are known
nationally of which at least 50 are recorded from Bodmin Moor, though this
number is expected to increase with future recognition. Transhumance huts
represent a significant component of the surviving remains of medieval upland
landscapes, providing important information on the nature of settlement and
farming practices during the medieval period. Those examples which survive
well and which help illustrate the use of land in the medieval period are
considered worthy of protection.

These transhumance huts on Caradon Hill have survived well, with no visible or
recorded disturbance, and are typical of the smaller groupings of such huts.
Their proximity to other transhumance huts at a similar level on Caradon Hill
demonstrates well the nature of farming practices in this terrain during the
medieval period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Sharpe, A, The Minions Area Archaeological Survey and Management (Volume 2), (1989), 388-9
consulted 1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 14073,
consulted 1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 14073.03-4,
Forthcoming; draft text consulted, CAU, RCHME, The Bodmin Moor Survey (Volume 1), The Prehistoric and Historic Landscape,

Source: Historic England

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