Ancient Monuments

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Stone hut circle settlement and post-medieval shelter 990m north east of Hawthorn Clitter, 1030m east of The Thirlstone

A Scheduled Monument in Gidleigh, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6658 / 50°39'57"N

Longitude: -3.9267 / 3°55'35"W

OS Eastings: 263935.239032

OS Northings: 86900.049265

OS Grid: SX639869

Mapcode National: GBR Q6.6K3H

Mapcode Global: FRA 27N9.XQS

Entry Name: Stone hut circle settlement and post-medieval shelter 990m north east of Hawthorn Clitter, 1030m east of The Thirlstone

Scheduled Date: 24 January 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019981

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28762

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 an unenclosed stone hut circle settlement and post-
medieval shelter known as Will May's House situated on a gentle east facing
slope overlooking the valley of the North Teign River. The stone hut circle
settlement includes seven stone hut circles which survive as circular walls
each surrounding an internal area which varies from 12 sq m to 27 sq m. The
heights of the surrounding walls vary between 0.25m and 0.7m. Four of the huts
have visible doorways.
The post-medieval shelter includes a coursed drystone wall standing between
0.6m and 1.15m wide and up to 1.2m high. The interior measures 2.7m
long by 1.3m wide and is entered through a doorway in the northern wall which
measures 0.45m wide. A fireplace built into the western wall measures 0.5m
wide by 0.75m deep and 0.67m high.

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 and post-medieval shelter 990m north east of
Hawthorn Clitter, 1030m east of The Thirlstone, survives well and forms part
of a group of at least six similar settlements overlooking a substantial
natural basin formed by the North Teign River, the Gallaven Brook and Walla
Brook. Together, this group of settlements represents an important insight
into this particular form of relatively rare prehistoric settlement. The
juxtaposition of the prehistoric settlement with the post-medieval shelter
provides obvious evidence of continuity.

Source: Historic England


MPP Fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1999)

Source: Historic England

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