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Three agglomerated enclosures containing stone hut circles, a cairn cemetery, post-medieval fields and tinworks on Chagford Common

A Scheduled Monument in Chagford, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.6332 / 50°37'59"N

Longitude: -3.8693 / 3°52'9"W

OS Eastings: 267895.4569

OS Northings: 83172.695469

OS Grid: SX678831

Mapcode National: GBR Q9.VFSP

Mapcode Global: FRA 27SD.GDL

Entry Name: Three agglomerated enclosures containing stone hut circles, a cairn cemetery, post-medieval fields and tinworks on Chagford Common

Scheduled Date: 7 June 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018926

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28728

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Chagford

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Chagford St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Details

The monument includes three agglomerated enclosures containing stone hut
circles, a cairn cemetery, post-medieval fields, an openwork, streamworks, and
a tin mine situated on an east facing slope of Chagford Common overlooking the
Walla Brook.
The northern agglomerated enclosure includes at least five elements denoted by
boundary banks, some of which contain large numbers of substantial orthostats.
There are six stone hut circles within the enclosure and another lies a short
distance to the east. The central agglomerated enclosure includes at least
eleven elements and contains six stone hut circles. The southern agglomerated
enclosure which has been partially overlain by a post-medieval field system
containing ridge and furrow is associated with at least five stone hut
circles.
The stone hut circles survive as circular or oval banks each surrounding an
internal area which varies from 6 sq m to 78.5 sq m, with the average being
34.6 sq m. The height of the surrounding walls varies between 0.6m and 1.05m,
with the average being 0.74m. Six of the huts have visible doorways, nine are
attached to field boundary banks and they are all of orthostatic or rubble
bank construction.
The cairn cemetery includes five mounds, some of which may have been excavated
by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee in 1900. Four of the mounds are circular
in shape and vary between 4.3m and 7.5m in diameter and stand between 0.4m and
0.8m high. The remaining mound is oval in shape, measuring 5m long by 4.5m
wide and standing 0.5m high.
The historic field system includes two fields denoted by substantial ditches.
The southern field contains ridge and furrow and is denoted on the southern
side by an openwork. There are several other tinworks within the monument and
amongst these are an openwork, prospecting gully, shafts, a whim platform,
areas of alluvial and eluvial streamworking and a 19th century tin mine known
as West Vitifer Mine.

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 three agglomerated enclosures containing stone hut circles, a cairn
cemetery, post-medieval fields and tinworks on Chagford Common survive very
well and together represent an important and visually impressive range of
archaeological sites relating to the three major periods of activity on
Dartmoor.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 29
Other
MPP Fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1999)
MPP Fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1999)

Source: Historic England

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