Ancient Monuments

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Partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement on the north eastern slope of Steeperton Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Gidleigh, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6846 / 50°41'4"N

Longitude: -3.9526 / 3°57'9"W

OS Eastings: 262159.700827

OS Northings: 89031.386041

OS Grid: SX621890

Mapcode National: GBR Q4.ZBGH

Mapcode Global: FRA 27L8.KZ0

Entry Name: Partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement on the north eastern slope of Steeperton Tor

Scheduled Date: 2 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016639

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28722

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Gidleigh

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Widecombe-in-the-Moor St Pancras

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument includes a partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement
situated on a north east facing slope of Steeperton Tor overlooking the
Steeperton Brook. The settlement survives as a group of rubble banks forming
at least five incomplete enclosures in which a large number of stone hut
circles are situated. The stone hut circles all survive as circular or oval
banks each surrounding an internal area which varies from 5 to 30 square
metres, with the average being 14.85 square metres. The height of the
surrounding walls varies between 0.3m and 0.7m, with the average being 0.49m.
Ten of the huts have visible doorways, seven are butted by enclosure walling,
one is attached to an enclosure and they all of single orthostatic or rubble
bank construction.

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 on the north eastern slope
of Steeperton Tor survives well and forms part of a group of at least three
settlements situated within the upper reaches of the Taw River. Settlements
such as this provide valuble insights into Bronze Age activity on the high

Source: Historic England


MPP Fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1998)
MPP Fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1998)
Probert, S. et al, Dartmoor Royal Forest: SX68NW, (1993)

Source: Historic England

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