Ancient Monuments

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Partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement 650m south east of Tawcroft

A Scheduled Monument in Belstone, Devon

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Latitude: 50.7154 / 50°42'55"N

Longitude: -3.9464 / 3°56'46"W

OS Eastings: 262687.253006

OS Northings: 92451.857257

OS Grid: SX626924

Mapcode National: GBR Q6.362P

Mapcode Global: FRA 27M6.2C5

Entry Name: Partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement 650m south east of Tawcroft

Scheduled Date: 24 September 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015759

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28799

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Belstone

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: South Tawton St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This monument includes a partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement
situated on a north west facing slope of Cosdon Hill overlooking the valley of
the River Taw. The enclosure survives as a 50m long by 36m wide oval shaped
area defined by a 2.4m wide and 0.4m high earthwork, with occasional
orthostats. Two short lengths of walling lead from the northern side of the
enclosure, suggesting that it may have been agglomerated, though because of
peat accumulation the extent and character of the additional enclosures could
not be established by fieldwork. A substantial gap in the western circuit of
the enclosure may be the result of robbing, although a smaller one on the same
side may represent an original entrance. There are two stone hut circles
attached to the inner face of the main enclosure, a third lies close to one of
the possible additional enclosure walls and four more lie to the south west.
The stone hut circles survive as stone and earth banks each surrounding a
circular internal area and two have visible doorways.

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 partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement 650m south east of Tawcroft
survives comparatively well and, together with a rich array of nearby features
forms part of an archaeological landscape.

Source: Historic England


MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1996)

Source: Historic England

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