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Unenclosed stone hut circle settlement, two cairns and section of field system 330m north east of Hemstone Rocks

A Scheduled Monument in Chagford, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.6381 / 50°38'17"N

Longitude: -3.9131 / 3°54'46"W

OS Eastings: 264816.572062

OS Northings: 83796.864965

OS Grid: SX648837

Mapcode National: GBR Q7.G2LK

Mapcode Global: FRA 27PD.3CJ

Entry Name: Unenclosed stone hut circle settlement, two cairns and section of field system 330m north east of Hemstone Rocks

Scheduled Date: 16 June 1976

Last Amended: 24 July 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017986

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28674

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 includes seven stone hut circles, two cairns and an area of field
system situated on a gentle east facing slope overlooking the valley of the
South Teign River. The hut circles survive as banks each surrounding an
internal circular area which varies from 8 to 28.26 square metres with the
average being 15.72 square metres. The height of the surrounding walls
varies between 0.3m and 0.6m, with the average being 0.44m. Two of the huts
have visible doorways and the walls are of orthostatic or rubble bank
construction.
The cairns lie immediately north of the settlement and both were partly
excavated by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee in 1901. The western structure
is a ring cairn and survives as a 6.2m diameter central area surrounded by a
0.5m wide and 0.4m high bank. The second cairn lies close to the first and
survives as an 8m diameter and 0.8m high mound, with two separate pits cut
into its surface. These pits are probably the result of the work carried out
by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee.

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.

Despite afforestation, the unenclosed stone hut circle settlement, section of
field system and two cairns 330m north east of Hemstone Rocks survive well and
contain archaeological structures, features and deposits relating to
prehistoric exploitation of this area. The presence of two cairns and a small
area of field system in such close proximity to the settlement is unusual and
provides information about the integration of domestic, agricultural and
ritual practices.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SW2.1,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SW2.2,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SW3.1,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SW3.2,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SW3.3,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SW3.4,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SW3.5,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SW3.6,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SW3.7,
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., SM 28674, (1997)

Source: Historic England

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