Ancient Monuments

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Stone hut circle settlement, cairnfield and field system 580m north east of Gartaven Ford

A Scheduled Monument in Gidleigh, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6827 / 50°40'57"N

Longitude: -3.926 / 3°55'33"W

OS Eastings: 264033.343911

OS Northings: 88769.512413

OS Grid: SX640887

Mapcode National: GBR Q6.5C9P

Mapcode Global: FRA 27N8.QB0

Entry Name: Stone hut circle settlement, cairnfield and field system 580m north east of Gartaven Ford

Scheduled Date: 8 December 1997

Last Amended: 9 November 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019489

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22351

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Gidleigh

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Gidleigh Holy Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument includes a stone hut circle settlement, cairnfield and field
system situated on a gentle south west facing slope overlooking the Ruelake
Pit. The stone hut circle settlement includes three stone hut circles, which
survive as circular or oval rubble banks each surrounding an internal area
which varies from 18 sq m to 22 sq m, with the average being 19.7 sq m. The
heights of the surrounding walls vary between 0.3m and 0.6m, with the average
being 0.43m. All of the huts have visible doorways and one is attached to a
short length of field wall.
The cairnfield includes a cluster of at least 14 mounds varying in diameter
between 1.5m and 4m. The cairns stand between 0.2m and 0.6m high and two of
them are denoted by a stone kerb. The field system survives as lengths of
sinuous walling in the area between the huts and the cairnfield.

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 stone hut circle settlement, cairnfield and field system 580m north east
of Gartaven Ford survive well and contain information relating to the
character and development of this area in prehistoric times. This settlement
also lies on the interface between rich tin deposits and extensive areas of
upland grazing and therefore information concerning the exploitation of these
resources may survive.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991)
MPP Fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1999)
Unpublished plan, Turner, J, Ruelake Pits cairnfield, (1982)

Source: Historic England

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