Ancient Monuments

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Five stone hut circles 500m south east of Yealm Steps forming part of a large stone hut circle settlement

A Scheduled Monument in Cornwood, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4547 / 50°27'16"N

Longitude: -3.9426 / 3°56'33"W

OS Eastings: 262189.922389

OS Northings: 63448.8055

OS Grid: SX621634

Mapcode National: GBR Q6.MT5B

Mapcode Global: FRA 27MV.HTV

Entry Name: Five stone hut circles 500m south east of Yealm Steps forming part of a large stone hut circle settlement

Scheduled Date: 26 March 1992

Last Amended: 8 April 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015430

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24101

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Cornwood

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument includes a cluster of five stone hut circles situated on the
eastern edge of a large stone hut circle settlement, lying on a south-facing
slope overlooking the valley of the River Yealm. Four of the stone hut
circles survive as banks of stone and earth surrounding a circular internal
area. The internal diameters of these huts varies between 4m and 4.7m with
the average being 4.2m. The height of the surrounding wall varies between
0.3m and 0.5m with the average being 0.4m. The fifth hut survives as a 5.8m
diameter circular stony area standing up to 0.4m high. One hut has a south
facing doorway and an annex.

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 five stone hut circles 500m south east of Yealm Steps form part of a large
stone hut circle settlement, survive comparatively well and contain
archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument,
the economy of its inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived. As such,
it provides a valuable insight into the nature of Bronze Age occupation on the
south side of the moor. The multi-phase character of the settlement will
provide valuable information concerning the changing domestic and agricultural
requirements of an upland Bronze Age society.

Source: Historic England


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX66SW251,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX66SW260,
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1988)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,

Source: Historic England

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