Ancient Monuments

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A stone hut circle settlement and irregular aggregate field system at the northern tip of Long Ridge

A Scheduled Monument in Gidleigh, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.6626 / 50°39'45"N

Longitude: -3.9174 / 3°55'2"W

OS Eastings: 264576.803041

OS Northings: 86528.353562

OS Grid: SX645865

Mapcode National: GBR Q7.DMGH

Mapcode Global: FRA 27PB.1NR

Entry Name: A stone hut circle settlement and irregular aggregate field system at the northern tip of Long Ridge

Scheduled Date: 19 March 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017869

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28665

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Gidleigh

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Gidleigh Holy Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Details

The monument includes five stone hut circles within an irregular aggregate
field system situated at the northern tip of Long Ridge, known locally as
Langridge, overlooking the valley of the River North Teign. The irregular
aggregate field system includes at least four fields formed by orthostatic and
rubble bank walling. A length of walling leading west from the settlement may
be part of a larger scale land division boundary.
At least five stone hut circles lie within the field system and of these,
three are free standing and the remainder are butted by lengths of field wall.
The hut circles which are butted by the field walling are clearly earlier than
the field system. The field system shows obvious signs of having developed
over time and was added to a previously unenclosed settlement. The stone hut
circles within the settlement all survive as banks each surrounding circular
internal areas which vary from 18 square metres to 37.37 square metres with
the average being 30.45 square metres. The height of the surrounding walls
varies between 0.3m and 0.75m, with the average being 0.61m. Three of the huts
have visible doorways and all of them are of orthostatic construction.

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 stone hut circle settlement and irregular aggregate field system at the
northern tip of Long Ridge survives well and will provide evidence of their
developmental sequence. In addition, archaeological and environmental
information relating to the character and development of this area in
prehistoric times survives. This settlement lies just outside a coaxial field
system and on the interface between rich tin deposits and extensive areas of
upland grazing.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 190

Source: Historic England

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