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Enclosed stone hut circle settlement and cairn 460m north east of Rough Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Dartmoor Forest, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.605 / 50°36'17"N

Longitude: -3.9676 / 3°58'3"W

OS Eastings: 260864.794339

OS Northings: 80210.24087

OS Grid: SX608802

Mapcode National: GBR Q5.46N6

Mapcode Global: FRA 27LG.L3Y

Entry Name: Enclosed stone hut circle settlement and cairn 460m north east of Rough Tor

Scheduled Date: 9 March 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019571

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24109

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

Details

The monument includes an enclosed stone hut circle settlement and cairn
situated on a narrow shelf at the foot of a steep east facing slope
overlooking the West Dart River. The settlement includes two irregular shaped
enclosures attached to each other at one point. The northern enclosure
measures up to 32m long by 32m wide, is earliest and contains at least three
stone hut circles. The southern enclosure walling links together three stone
hut circles. Both enclosures are denoted by rubble walling standing up to
0.6m high and 2m wide. The stone hut circles survive as banks each surrounding
a circular or oval internal area of between 7m sq m and 12 sq m, with the
average being 9.44 sq m. The hut walls are of single orthostatic or rubble
bank construction and their heights vary between 0.3m and 0.75m, with the
average being 0.53m. Two of the huts have visible doorways, two have annexes
and all of them are connected to enclosure boundary walling, although the
precise relationship is sometimes unclear. Four of the huts were excavated by
the Dartmoor Exploration Committee in 1898 and in one building, pottery
sherds, cooking stones, charcoal and flints were recovered.
To the south of the settlement is a small cairn which survives as a 3.5m
diameter mound standing up to 0.4m high. A pit dug into this cairn indicates
that it has been the subject of partial early excavation or robbing.

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 enclosed prehistoric settlement 460m north east of Rough Tor survives well
and, at 500m above sea level, represents one of the highest on the Moor.
Information relating to the exploitation of the high upland pastures together
with environmental data survives within this settlement. The small cairn south
of the enclosures will contain further information concerning the character of
the inhabitants of this upland settlement and their burial tradition.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
1:2500 GPS Survey, Riley, H and Probert, S, Dartmoor Royal Forest - Settlement NE of Rough Tor, (1994)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1994)
MPP Fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1998)

Source: Historic England

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