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Stone alignment, hut circle settlement, medieval long house and post-medieval farmstead at Assycombe

A Scheduled Monument in Chagford, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.6286 / 50°37'42"N

Longitude: -3.8967 / 3°53'48"W

OS Eastings: 265944.747845

OS Northings: 82702.752275

OS Grid: SX659827

Mapcode National: GBR Q8.NSXF

Mapcode Global: FRA 27QD.XBQ

Entry Name: Stone alignment, hut circle settlement, medieval long house and post-medieval farmstead at Assycombe

Scheduled Date: 22 November 1965

Last Amended: 24 July 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017981

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28655

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Chagford

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

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

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Details

The monument, which falls into three areas, includes a stone alignment,
dispersed stone hut circle settlement, medieval long house and post-medieval
farmstead situated on a west facing slope overlooking the Assycombe Brook. The
stone alignment includes two parallel lines of upright stones leading
downslope for 125m from an encircled cairn. The lower end of the alignment is
denoted by a blocking stone. Midway along the alignment a length of reave
crosses the row and leads towards two stone hut circles situated to the south.
Another hut circle lies close to the western end of the alignment and a
further seven lie along the foot of the slope forming Assycombe Hill. The
stone hut circles within the settlement all survive as banks each surrounding
an internal circular area which varies from 11.33 to 51.5 square metres with
the average being 28.26 square metres. The height of the surrounding walls
vary between 0.5m and 0.9m, with the average being 0.71m. Six of the huts have
visible doorways, two are attached to each other, one has an annex and the
orthostatic, rubble bank and coursed walling building traditions are all
represented.
The medieval long house survives as a 7.5m long and 4m wide rectangular
earthwork complete with drystone walling along the northern side and a well
preserved fire place at the upper end. The post-medieval farmhouse includes a
three roomed building with drystone and orthostatic walls standing up to 2m
high. Surrounding the farmhouse are at least four yards each defined by low
drystone walls and beyond these are several small fields.

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 alignments or stone rows
consist of upright stones set in single file or in avenues of two or more
parallel lines, up to several hundred metres in length. They are often
physically linked to burial monuments, such as small cairns, cists and
barrows, and are considered to have had an important ceremonial function. The
Dartmoor alignments mostly date from the Late Neolithic period (c.2400-2000
BC). Some eighty examples, most of them on the outer Moor, provide over half
the recorded national population. Due to their comparative rarity and
longevity as a monument type, all surviving examples are considered nationally
important, unless very badly damaged.

Lying within close proximity to the stone alignment is a dispersed stone
hut circle settlement and evidence relating to historic exploitation of this
area. Taken together this gives an insight into how exploitation of this area
has developed over at least 4000 years. Despite afforestation and some
excavation, the stone alignment, hut circle settlement, medieval long house
and post-medieval farmstead at Assycombe survive well and contain
archaeological structures, features and deposits relating to prehistoric
funerary, ritual and agricultural exploitation of this area, together with
further evidence relating to historic occupation and farming practices.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 167
Other
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SE15,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SE15.1,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SE16,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SE17,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SE18,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SE20,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SE21.1,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SE38,
Haynes, R.G., Ruined Sites on Dartmoor - Middleworth, 1966, Unpublished Manuscript
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1997)

Source: Historic England

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