Ancient Monuments

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A partly enclosed stone hut circle settlement on Kennon Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Gidleigh, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6851 / 50°41'6"N

Longitude: -3.9242 / 3°55'27"W

OS Eastings: 264161.129497

OS Northings: 89037.398506

OS Grid: SX641890

Mapcode National: GBR Q6.5CPZ

Mapcode Global: FRA 27N8.JYR

Entry Name: A partly enclosed stone hut circle settlement on Kennon Hill

Scheduled Date: 8 December 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017479

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28656

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Gidleigh

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Throwleigh St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument includes a partly enclosed stone hut circle settlement lying
on a south west facing slope overlooking the valley of the Gallaven Brook.
The western part of the settlement includes an agglomerated enclosure
containing at least 13 irregular shaped areas each defined by lengths of
rubble walling. At least 22 stone hut circles lie within the agglomerated
enclosure and of these, three are free standing, three are butted to the
walling and the remainder are linked by lengths of the enclosure wall. The hut
circles which are linked to the enclosure walling are clearly earlier than the
enclosure, whilst those which are butted to it are later. The enclosure shows
obvious signs of having developed over time and was added to a previously
unenclosed settlement. In the area east and south of the agglomerated
enclosure are three unenclosed stone hut circles and further to the east are
two further huts linked by a length of rubble walling. A small oval enclosure
denoting the eastern edge of the settlement measures 12m long by 10m wide and
is defined by a 1.4m wide and 0.7m high rubble bank containing occasional
The stone hut circles within the settlement all survive as banks surrounding
circular or oval internal areas which vary from 3.46 square metres to
52.78 square metres with the average being 18.48 square metres. The heights
of the surrounding walls vary between 0.3m and 1.3m, with the average being
0.66m. Eleven of the huts have visible doorways and the orthostatic, rubble
bank and coursed walling building traditions are all represented.

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 partly enclosed stone hut circle settlement on Kennon Hill survives well
and provides evidence of a complex developmental sequence. In addition,
archaeological and environmental information relating to the character and
development of this area in prehistoric times survives. This settlement 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


MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1997)

Source: Historic England

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