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Prehistoric enclosure and field system, two hut circles and parts of a medieval field system 350m south east of Sparretts Farm

A Scheduled Monument in St. Cleer, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.5181 / 50°31'5"N

Longitude: -4.4842 / 4°29'3"W

OS Eastings: 223987.105194

OS Northings: 71644.41576

OS Grid: SX239716

Mapcode National: GBR NF.JL0S

Mapcode Global: FRA 17HP.GW2

Entry Name: Prehistoric enclosure and field system, two hut circles and parts of a medieval field system 350m south east of Sparretts Farm

Scheduled Date: 15 April 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013216

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15077

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Cleer

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Cleer

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a subrectangular prehistoric enclosure, containing a
single hut circle and an adjoining prehistoric field system with a nearby
unenclosed hut circle, together with overlying parts of a medieval field
system and a tin miners' leat on the south western edge of Craddock Moor on
Bodmin Moor.
The enclosure survives as a well preserved stone wall up to 1.5m wide and 1m
high enclosing a subrectangular area measuring 75m NNE-SSW by 70m ESE-WNW.
Occasional upright inner facing slabs are present in the NNE sector of the
wall and elsewhere it includes large boulders up to 1.5m across. A small,
damaged hut circle is built into the enclosure's north east corner, visible as
a levelled stance 4m in internal diameter, bounded by a ruined stone rubble
wall. The hut circle wall is only well preserved near its junction with the
enclosure wall where it is 1.5m wide with external facing slabs up to 0.5m
Around its southern corner, the enclosure wall has been partly taken down in
antiquity and joined by two near parallel boundary walls of similar boulder
and rubble construction running south, 15m apart, along the contour of the
hill. These form part of a prehistoric field system enclosing those portions
of three irregularly shaped fields that survive above the modern enclosure
boundaries. The wall joining at the enclosure's southern corner formed the
eastern boundary of the highest, eastern field; it only survives for 22m
before it is disrupted by a medieval miners' ditched water-course. The other
wall bounded the east and south east side of the adjoining field down the
slope; it extends in a slightly sinuous course south from the enclosure for
105m, then turns at right angles to the west and runs downslope for 40m to
form a `T'-junction with another fragment of similar wall that formerly
enclosed the rounded eastern end of a third irregular field, the remainder of
which has been obliterated by the modern field system. The surviving pattern
of prehistoric fields preserved by these boundaries is called an irregular
aggregate field system. The uphill, eastern side of the field system and the
enclosure walls are largely buried beneath soil slumped down the hill slope by
its disturbance during early cultivation, a process called lynchetting, and by
natural soil creep on the steep slope.
A well preserved stone hut circle is situated within the prehistoric field
system, 36m south west of the enclosure's southern corner and 11.5m west of
the longer surviving field boundary. The hut circle survives with a stone
rubble wall, 1.5m-2m wide and 0.5m high, with an entrance gap to the south
and facing slabs both internally and occasionally externally. The wall
encloses a levelled circular internal area 6.5m in diameter.
The monument also contains parts of at least four parallel stone boundary
walls, 6m-26m apart on an east-west axis, from a larger medieval field system
which extends beyond the monument east and south of the prehistoric enclosure
and field system. The walls are each 1m wide, 0.1m high; at least four pass
through the enclosure where they are associated with slight traces of the
parallel ridges and furrows of medieval cultivation which also extends beyond
the monument.
The eastern edge of the prehistoric enclosure also contains the northern
terminal of a tin miners' water-course, called a leat, visible as a slight
ditch running north-south, 1.5m wide and 0.2m deep with upcast on its west
side. The leat forms part of later medieval land use of this hillside,
cutting through the enclosure wall and both the earlier medieval and
prehistoric field systems.

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 and the adjacent irregular aggregate field system and hut
circles on Craddock Moor have survived reasonably well and have not been
excavated. Their proximity to other broadly contemporary hut circles,
enclosures and cairns demonstrates well the nature and development 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)
7/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcription for SX 2471,
consulted 6/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1299,
consulted 6/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1356,
consulted 6/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 14113,
consulted 9/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcription for SX 2371,
consulted 9/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcriptions for SX 2371 & SX 2471,
Information told to MPP fieldworker by Peter Herring, CAU, (1993)

Source: Historic England

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