Ancient Monuments

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Prehistoric settlement at North End, Lundy

A Scheduled Monument in Area not comprised in any Parish-Lundy Island, Devon

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Latitude: 51.198 / 51°11'52"N

Longitude: -4.6733 / 4°40'23"W

OS Eastings: 213317.602807

OS Northings: 147708.770942

OS Grid: SS133477

Mapcode National: GBR GTVJ.62R

Mapcode Global: VH2S3.Y48X

Entry Name: Prehistoric settlement at North End, Lundy

Scheduled Date: 17 June 1970

Last Amended: 10 June 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016029

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30356

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Area not comprised in any Parish-Lundy Island

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Lundy

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument includes an extensive area of prehistoric remains at the north
end of the island. The remains consist of hut circles, relict field walls,
small enclosures or stock pounds and burial cairns. In addition, one of the
largest cairns has a Civil War lookout hut set on top of it. At the south end
of the settlement are the foundations of a 19th century summer house set among
the field walls.
The settlement remains extend from the northern end of the Trinity House track
for 480m to the south and are 350m from east to west at the widest point.
There are two groups of remains. The northern group consists of a large hut
circle, 15m in diameter, and one large cairn, 20m in diameter, 80m to the
south east. Four smaller cairns are adjacent to this cairn on its south side.
The southern group of remains has a cairn to the north of an area of hut
circles and relict walls which extends over the width of the island. There are
five hut circle complexes, each with an annexe or attached enclosure. Field
walls link the settlements and in the southern half of the area is a series of
terraces which were enclosed by low walls. Two of these hut circles have been
part excavated in the past and Bronze Age pottery found at each site.
The largest cairn in the northern sector has a stone hut foundation set into
the top which measures 8m by 4m. This is thought to have been set up as a
lookout during the fortification of the island during the Civil War. It is now
known as John O'Groat's House.
One of the southernmost terraces support the remains of the foundations of a
summer house built by the Heaven family who owned the island during the 19th
century. This terrace is 23m long and overlooks Gannets' Combe.
Associated with the settlement is a detached hut circle 300m to the south east
which is the subject of a separate scheduling.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Lundy is a small, steep sided island in the Bristol Channel, 16m north of
Hartland Point, north Devon. Aligned north-south, it is 6km long by 1km wide
and supports a predominately moorland vegetation. The 100m high cliffs and
tabular form give it a striking appearance, visible in clear weather from
parts of south west England and south Wales.
Lundy's remoteness and (until the 19th century construction of the Beach Road)
its inaccessibility, combined with a lack of shelter and cultivable soils, has
meant that it has escaped more recent occupation or development. It therefore
preserves a remarkable variety of archaeological sites from early prehistory
(c.8000 BC) onwards, representing evidence for habitation, fortification,
farming and industry. There are also archaeological remains in the waters
surrounding the island - over 150 shipwrecks are already recorded. Most of the
island's archaeology is well documented from detailed survey in the 1980s and

Stone hut circles and hut circle settlements were the dwelling places of
prehistoric farmers. Most date from the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). The stone-
based round-houses consist of low walls or banks enclosing a circular floor
area; the remains of the turf, thatch or heather roofs 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 or stone. Frequently traces of their associated
field systems may be found immediately around them. These may be indicated by
areas of clearance cairns and/or the remains of field walls and other
relationship with other monument types provides 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
The stone hut circle settlement at North End survives well as a series of
foundations and linking orthostat walls, indicating the extent of Bronze Age
settlement, and providing information about the living conditions and farming
regime of its inhabitants. The soil around and beneath these features will
contain evidence of the environmental conditions at the time of occupation.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Langham, A M, Lundy Bristol Channel, (1960), 83
Thackray, C, The National Trust Archaeological Survey, (1989)
Thackray, C, The National Trust Archaeological Survey, (1989)

Source: Historic England

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