Ancient Monuments

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A partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement 670m south of The Grey Wethers

A Scheduled Monument in Dartmoor Forest, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6267 / 50°37'35"N

Longitude: -3.9251 / 3°55'30"W

OS Eastings: 263928.5925

OS Northings: 82541.2844

OS Grid: SX639825

Mapcode National: GBR Q6.8ZDB

Mapcode Global: FRA 27ND.YG5

Entry Name: A partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement 670m south of The Grey Wethers

Scheduled Date: 19 March 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018708

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28681

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Dartmoor Forest

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

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

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument, which falls into three areas, includes a partially enclosed
stone hut circle settlement lying in Great Stannon Newtake and situated on a
steep slope overlooking an unnamed tributary of the East Dart River. The
enclosure lies on the western edge of the settlement and survives as an
irregular shaped area measuring 40m long by 20m wide defined by a 1.3m wide
rubble bank standing up to 0.3m high. Three stone hut circles are linked to
the enclosure walling indicating that the enclosure was added sometime after
the huts were built. The remaining huts lie to the east and south and all
appear to be unenclosed, although their linear distribution may suggest that
they too were once linked by a boundary which now survives as a buried
The stone hut circles within the settlement all survive as banks each
surrounding a circular or oval internal area which varies from 4.52 square
metres to 22.55 square metres with the average being 12.12 square metres. The
height of the surrounding walls varies between 0.3m and 0.75m, with the
average being 0.48m. Eleven of the huts have visible doorways, one has a
porch, another has a bench and four are conjoined. The walls themselves vary
in character, but the rubble bank and orthostatic construction techniques are
both 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 partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement 670m south of The Grey
Wethers survives well and together with other nearby broadly contemporary
settlement sites, ceremonial monuments and land division boundaries provides
an important insight into the nature of Bronze Age occupation and exploitation
on the eastern fringes of the northern moor.

Source: Historic England


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

Source: Historic England

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