Ancient Monuments

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Unenclosed stone hut settlement with enclosures north of Piles Copse

A Scheduled Monument in Cornwood, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4487 / 50°26'55"N

Longitude: -3.9112 / 3°54'40"W

OS Eastings: 264404.943362

OS Northings: 62728.19368

OS Grid: SX644627

Mapcode National: GBR Q7.V336

Mapcode Global: FRA 27PV.XS8

Entry Name: Unenclosed stone hut settlement with enclosures north of Piles Copse

Scheduled Date: 5 June 1972

Last Amended: 6 December 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012765

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10521

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Cornwood

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


Low stone walls or banks enclosing a circular internal floor area form the
remains of timber and turf or thatch-roofed dwellings occupied by farmers of
the prehistoric period. They may occur singly or in larger groups and were
sometimes built within a surrounding boundary bank or enclosure. On
Dartmoor, the tradition of building round stone-based houses can be traced
back to the second millennium BC, probably from about 1700 BC onwards. The
Dartmoor landscape also includes many discrete plots of land enclosed by
stone walls, which acted as stock pens or protected areas for crop growing.
Many examples date to the Bronze Age (c.2500 - 500 BC), though earlier and
later ones exist.
This unenclosed stone hut settlement on the steep eastern slope of the Erme
Valley, consists of twenty-two hut circles, with enclosures and lengths of
bank. The huts are terraced into the hillside and lie in two main groups,
ranging in size from 5 to 11m. with walls up to 3m. thick and a metre
high, there are small enclosures and sections of wall or bank associated
with the huts. At the south of the settlement are two enclosures 23m. and
18m. across, without huts or divisions. Three tinners' caches point to
later use of the site.

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 provides 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 divisions, 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.
This site, just above the scarp of the steep east side of the Erme Valley,
is a well-preserved example of an unenclosed stone hut settlement and
provides important evidence of how early farming and stock-rearing
communities lived on the Moor.

Source: Historic England


Devon County SMR (SX 66 SW-015),
Devon County SMR (SX 66 SW-044),
Devon County SMR (SX 66 SW-045),
Devon County SMR (SX 66 SW-046),

Source: Historic England

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