Ancient Monuments

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Two prehistoric settlements 1280m SSW of The Grey Wethers

A Scheduled Monument in Dartmoor Forest, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6203 / 50°37'13"N

Longitude: -3.9285 / 3°55'42"W

OS Eastings: 263675.8055

OS Northings: 81844.1859

OS Grid: SX636818

Mapcode National: GBR Q6.9BNC

Mapcode Global: FRA 27NF.HCL

Entry Name: Two prehistoric settlements 1280m SSW of The Grey Wethers

Scheduled Date: 3 March 1977

Last Amended: 5 January 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019071

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28691

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 four areas of protection, includes two
prehistoric settlements containing stone hut circles, two simple enclosures,
an agglomerated enclosure and a round cairn lying on the lower east facing
slope of Winney's Down.
The northern settlement includes 20 stone hut circles lying in three separate
clusters. The northern cluster includes six stone hut circles and a simple
enclosure. The central cluster has five huts and another enclosure. The
southern cluster includes nine stone hut circles and an agglomerated enclosure
with at least two elements, measuring overall 58m by 32m. On the western edge
of this cluster is a small cairn measuring 3.2m in diameter and 0.6m high.
The southern settlement lies 170m to the south of the first and includes three
unenclosed stone hut circles sitting on a small natural terrace on an
otherwise very steep slope.
The stone hut circles within the two settlements all survive as banks each
surrounding an oval or circular internal area which varies from 3.46 sq m to
36.29 sq m with the average being 14 sq m. The heights of the surrounding
walls vary between 0.2m and 0.8m, with the average being 0.48m. The
orthostatic and rubble bank walling building traditions are both represented.
Eight of the huts have visible doorways, three have porches and one has an

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 two prehistoric settlements 1280m SSW of The Grey Wethers survive well and
together with other nearby broadly contemporary settlement sites, ceremonial
monuments and land division boundaries provide an important insight into the
nature of Bronze Age occupation and exploitation on the eastern fringes of the
northern Moor. Relatively deep peat and soil deposits cover this monument and
these will contain information about past environmental conditions.

Source: Historic England


MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1998)
Title: Duchy Farms Report - Great Stannon Newtake
Source Date: 1990
1:10,000 Map

Source: Historic England

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