Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Unenclosed stone hut circle settlement on Walkhampton Common, 1000m north east of Leeden Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Dartmoor Forest, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5347 / 50°32'5"N

Longitude: -4.0177 / 4°1'3"W

OS Eastings: 257104.868203

OS Northings: 72495.976429

OS Grid: SX571724

Mapcode National: GBR Q1.PRSY

Mapcode Global: FRA 27GN.BKN

Entry Name: Unenclosed stone hut circle settlement on Walkhampton Common, 1000m north east of Leeden Tor

Scheduled Date: 27 September 1974

Last Amended: 7 June 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018927

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28729

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Dartmoor Forest

Built-Up Area: Princetown

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


The monument, which falls into three areas of protection, includes an
unenclosed stone hut circle settlement situated on a gentle west facing slope
overlooking the Yes Tor Brook. The settlement includes at least nine stone hut
circles which survive as circular or oval banks each surrounding an internal
area which varies from 5.3 sq m to 38.5 sq m, with the average being 19 sq m.
The height of the surrounding walls varies between 0.3m and 0.9m, with the
average being 0.58m. Three of the huts have visible doorways, one contains a
partition and they are all of orthostatic or rubble bank construction.

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 unenclosed stone hut circle settlement on Walkhampton Common, 1000m north
east of Leeden Tor survives very well and contains important environmental
and archaeological information. Unenclosed stone hut circles are relatively
rare on the Moor and it is considered that many of them may represent
particularly early examples which were abandoned at a time before enclosures
were introduced.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1994), 23
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57SE45, (1986)

Source: Historic England

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