Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Three stone hut circles 780m SSW of Venford Reservoir dam

A Scheduled Monument in Holne, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5189 / 50°31'8"N

Longitude: -3.8572 / 3°51'25"W

OS Eastings: 268433.506207

OS Northings: 70442.511974

OS Grid: SX684704

Mapcode National: GBR QB.2QX8

Mapcode Global: FRA 27TP.F3N

Entry Name: Three stone hut circles 780m SSW of Venford Reservoir dam

Scheduled Date: 3 February 1976

Last Amended: 18 September 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020093

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22371

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Holne

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Holne St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument includes three stone hut circles, a wedge and groove cut
boulder and a short length of the Holne Moor Leat situated on a gentle north
facing slope on Holne Moor, overlooking Venford Reservoir. The stone hut
circles survive as orthostatic walls each surrounding a circular internal area
measuring between 3m and 4.6m in diameter. The surrounding walls measure up to
0.75m high and two of the huts have visible doorways.
The wedge and groove cut boulder is 2.2m long by up to 0.95m wide and 0.9m
high. On the upper surface at least eight small rectangular slots are visible,
whilst on the western side there are a further nine slots. Part of the
western side of the stone had already been removed before the stone was
abandoned. It is considered that this form of stone cutting dates to the
period before 1800 AD.
A short length of the Holne Moor Leat crosses the monument. This leat is also
known as Hamlyn's Leat and was cut in the early part of the 19th century to
supply water for textile mills in Buckfastleigh. Within the monument the leat
measures 1.3m wide by 0.4m deep and has relatively steep sides. The associated
bank upcast during its construction measures 1.3m wide and up to 0.3m 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 three stone hut circles 780m SSW of Venford Reservoir dam survive well
and contain environmental and archaeological information about their
occupation and use. The settlement forms part of a group lying close to the
substantial Dartmeet coaxial field system and will therefore provide
contrasting evidence to that available from the settlements directly
associated with the fields.

Source: Historic England


MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (2000)
Title: Holne Moor Survey
Source Date: 1997
1:2500 plan

Source: Historic England

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