Ancient Monuments

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Prehistoric enclosure with three adjacent hut circles 700m NNE of Minions

A Scheduled Monument in Linkinhorne, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.5216 / 50°31'17"N

Longitude: -4.4523 / 4°27'8"W

OS Eastings: 226263.409927

OS Northings: 71964.267877

OS Grid: SX262719

Mapcode National: GBR NG.JG63

Mapcode Global: FRA 17KP.991

Entry Name: Prehistoric enclosure with three adjacent hut circles 700m NNE of Minions

Scheduled Date: 26 June 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012049

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15081

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 a sub-rectangular Prehistoric enclosure containing one
stone hut circle and incorporating two other hut circles in its wall. The
monument is situated on the east slope of Rillaton Moor on SE Bodmin Moor and
is divided into two separate constraint areas.
The enclosure survives as a wall of stone rubble and edge-set slabs, up to 2m
wide and 0.6m high, enclosing a subrectangular area measuring 108m, NNW-SSE
58m ENE-WSW. A gap 4m wide in the northern half of the enclosure's east wall
marks the original entrance. A stone wall runs WSW from the southern side of
the entrance gap, marking off the northern third of the enclosure. Two
conjoined stone hut circles are built into the line of the enclosure's west
wall at the point where it is met by the subdividing wall. Each of these hut
circles has a levelled internal area 5m diameter bounded by a stone rubble
wall 1.5m wide and up to 0.75m high. They are separated only by a single wall
thickness where they meet. The west wall of the southern hut circle is formed
by a single massive ground-fast boulder, 3m long. The northern hut circle's
wall has internal facing slabs in its north and NW side. A third hut circle is
situated within the enclosure's curved SW corner, its wall 1m from the
enclosure wall on that side. This hut circle has stone rubble walls up to
1.75m wide and 0.75m high, with both internal and external facing slabs. Its
wall encloses a circular internal area, 6m diameter, levelled into the
hillslope. An entrance gap, 1m wide, faces south, flanked by a small upright
stone, called an orthostat, at each side. The walls of the enclosure and the
hut circles are extensively buried beneath soil deposits washed down the
hill-slope on their western, uphill, side, but on their exposed eastern sides
numerous stones and boulders can be seen, placed or roughly piled against the
walls, resulting from stone-clearance in the enclosure.
Later activities have produced limited disturbance to the monument in the form
of two near-parallel channels, averaging 8.5m apart and passing NW-SE through
the northern half of the enclosure. The smaller, south-western, of these
derives from a tin-miners' water-course, called a leat, visible as a narrow
channel, 1m wide and 0.4m deep. The other channel is a dismantled 19th century
mineral tramway, producing a cut 5.5m wide and 1.25m deep.
Because the tramway has destroyed all archaeological deposits along its
course, it is not included in the scheduling and the monument is divided by it
into two separate constraint areas.

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. Within the landscape of Bodmin Moor are many discrete plots
of land enclosed by stone walls or banks of stone and earth, most of which
date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC), though earlier and later examples also
exist. They were constructed as stock pens or as protected areas for crop
growing and were sometimes subdivided to accommodate animal shelters and hut
circle settlements for farmers or herders. The size and form of enclosures may
therefore vary considerably, depending on their particular function. Their
variation in form, longevity and relationship to other monument classes
provides important information on the diversity of social organisation and
farming practices among prehistoric communities. They are highly
representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving
examples are worthy of protection.

This enclosure on Rillaton Moor and its incorporated and contained hut circles
have survived well, the only disturbance being small and well-defined breaks
in two parts of the enclosure wall. The monument has not been excavated and
will preserve contemporary deposits and land surfaces beneath the hill-wash
covering its western sides. Its proximity to other broadly contemporary hut
circles, enclosures, field systems and cairns on Rillaton Moor and Stowe's
Hill demonstrates well the pattern of land use during the Bronze Age.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Sharpe, A, The Minions Area Archaeological Survey and Management (Volume 2), (1989), 316,465
consulted 3/1991, amended by ADH 7/91, Carter, A./RCHME, amended from MPP visit, 1:2500 AP transcription, SX 2671,
consulted 3/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcription, SX 2671,
consulted 3/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcriptions, SX 2671 & SX 2672,
consulted 3/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1415,

Source: Historic England

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