Ancient Monuments

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Partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement 780m south west of Metherall

A Scheduled Monument in Chagford, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.6374 / 50°38'14"N

Longitude: -3.8887 / 3°53'19"W

OS Eastings: 266539.798025

OS Northings: 83667.928836

OS Grid: SX665836

Mapcode National: GBR Q8.N8TD

Mapcode Global: FRA 27RD.0W7

Entry Name: Partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement 780m south west of Metherall

Scheduled Date: 23 June 1967

Last Amended: 24 July 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017990

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28678

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 an enclosure and four stone hut circles situated on a
north facing slope overlooking Fernworthy Reservoir. The enclosure includes an
area measuring up to 120m long north east to south west by 60m wide, defined
by a 1.8m wide and 0.7m high orthostatic and rubble bank which is double faced
in places. A second length of walling leads off from the south eastern side
of the main enclosure.
The stone hut circles within the settlement all survive as banks each
surrounding an internal circular area which varies from 16.6 to 73.86 square
metres with the average being 42.76 square metres. The height of the
surrounding walls vary between 0.65 and 1.45m, with the average being 1.1m.
Two of the huts have visible doorways, one has a bench, all of them are of
orthostatic construction and one has a length of boundary wall leading from
it.
The surface of the forestry track leading through the monument is excluded,
although the ground beneath is included.

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 partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement 780m
south west of Metherall survives well and contains archaeological structures,
features and deposits relating to later prehistoric settlement in the area of
the moor. One of the stone hut circles is particularly well preserved and
forms an obvious visual amenity in this part of the forest.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SE179,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SE187,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SE29,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SE30,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SE37,

Source: Historic England

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