Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

A prehistoric settlement with cairns and a historic tin mill, streamwork and buildings lying adjacent to the Langcombe Brook

A Scheduled Monument in Sheepstor, Devon

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »
Street or Overhead View
Contributor Photos »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.

Coordinates

Latitude: 50.4859 / 50°29'9"N

Longitude: -3.9675 / 3°58'2"W

OS Eastings: 260518.181456

OS Northings: 66970.300899

OS Grid: SX605669

Mapcode National: GBR Q5.CSRH

Mapcode Global: FRA 27LS.04N

Entry Name: A prehistoric settlement with cairns and a historic tin mill, streamwork and buildings lying adjacent to the Langcombe Brook

Scheduled Date: 14 March 1962

Last Amended: 6 August 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016145

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28787

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Sheepstor

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Details

The monument includes a prehistoric settlement, three ring cairns, six round
cairns, a post medieval tin mill, a series of streamwork earthworks and
several tinners' buildings. The settlement includes three simple enclosures,
two of which are associated with stone hut circles. Lying between the
enclosures are six round cairns standing between 0.6m and 0.2m high. Two of
the ring cairns lie adjacent to the stone hut circles within the eastern
enclosure and each contains a cist. The final ring cairn lies north of the
northern enclosure and has an internal diameter of 16m.
The tin mill lies close to the River Plym and survives as a rectangular
structure with a clearly defined wheel pit. A mortar stone lies against the
outer face of the western wall. A series of linear earthworks immediately
south of the mill may represent the dressing floor. The mill is later than the
streamwork in this area which survives as a series of parallel banks lying at
right angles to the River Plym. The streamwork within the Langcombe Brook
survives as a series of discreet areas of parallel banks. At the northern end
these lie parallel to the brook. In the centre they lie at a 45 degree angle
to the stream and are revetted with large boulders on their downstream side.
The southern part of the streamwork contains unrevetted dumps which lie either
parallel or at right angles to the brook.
Within the Langcombe Brook streamwork there are at least five rectangular or
oval structures built into the earlier streamwork earthworks and these are
considered to be the shelters and storage buildings of the tinners' who
streamed this area. A final shelter was built into an earlier disused stone
hut circle.

MAP EXTRACT
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 archaeological landscape within the vicinity of the Langcombe Brook
represents a diverse range of archaeological features and structures belonging
to two of the major periods of upland exploitation. The juxtaposition of well
preserved settlement remains and funerary monuments provides important
information regarding ritual and localised land division in the prehistoric
period. The adjacent historic tin streamworking earthworks provide information
relating to exploitation and processing techniques, whilst the survival of so
many shelters and storage buildings provides evidence of the working
conditions and requirements of the tinners.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1994)
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1994), 148-50
Gerrard, S, 'Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings' in The Dartmoor Tin Industry: An Archaeological Perspective, , Vol. 52, (1994), 179
Other
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, (1996)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1996)
Thackray, C., The Upper Plym Valley: The management of an historic landscape, 1994, Archaeological Site Inventory
Thackray, C., The Upper Plym Valley: The management of an historic landscape, 1994, Archaeological Site Inventory
Thackray, C., The Upper Plym Valley: The management of an historic landscape, 1994, Archaeological Site Inventory
Thackray, C., The Upper Plym Valley: The management of an historic landscape, 1994, Archaeological Site Inventory
Thackray, C., The Upper Plym Valley: The management of an historic landscape, 1994, Archaeological Site Inventory
Thackray, C., The Upper Plym Valley: The management of an historic landscape, 1994, Archaeological Site Inventory
Thackray, C., The Upper Plym Valley: The management of an historic landscape, 1994, Archaeological Site Inventory

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments

AncientMonuments.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact AncientMonuments.uk for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself.

AncientMonuments.uk is a Good Stuff website.