Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Stone hut circle on Giant's Hill, 500m south west of Plym Steps

A Scheduled Monument in Sheepstor, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4861 / 50°29'9"N

Longitude: -3.9775 / 3°58'39"W

OS Eastings: 259807.812003

OS Northings: 67005.590931

OS Grid: SX598670

Mapcode National: GBR Q4.5XRF

Mapcode Global: FRA 27KS.27W

Entry Name: Stone hut circle on Giant's Hill, 500m south west of Plym Steps

Scheduled Date: 16 October 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015750

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28790

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Sheepstor

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument includes a stone hut circle situated on a steep north west
facing slope of Giant's Hill overlooking the valley of the River Plym. The
stone hut circle survives as a 0.6m wide and 0.35m high stone wall surrounding
a 2.8m diameter circular internal area.
This hut circle probably forms an outlying part of a large enclosed settlement
lying 220m to the south west which is the subject of a separate scheduling.
This monument is in the care of the Secretary of State.

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 stone hut circle on Giant's Hill, 500m south west of Plym Steps survives
comparatively well and contains archaeological and environmental information
relating to the character of this area in prehistoric times. This hut forms an
outlying part of a settlement which lies on the interface between rich tin
deposits and extensive areas of upland grazing and therefore information
concerning the exploitation of these resources may survive.

Source: Historic England


Thackray, C., The Upper Plym Valley: The management of an historic landscape, 1994, Archaeological Site Inventory

Source: Historic England

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