Ancient Monuments

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Enclosed prehistoric settlement and round cairn 880m south west of Venford Reservoir dam

A Scheduled Monument in Holne, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5198 / 50°31'11"N

Longitude: -3.8624 / 3°51'44"W

OS Eastings: 268068.118278

OS Northings: 70551.675893

OS Grid: SX680705

Mapcode National: GBR QB.2PJZ

Mapcode Global: FRA 27SP.C38

Entry Name: Enclosed prehistoric settlement and round cairn 880m south west of Venford Reservoir dam

Scheduled Date: 3 February 1976

Last Amended: 18 September 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020095

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22373

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, which falls into five seperate areas of protection, includes an
enclosed prehistoric settlement and round cairn situated on a north east
facing slope on Holne Moor overlooking Venford Reservoir. Most of the
settlement lies on a promontory defined by two small valleys. The settlement
includes at least four enclosures, each containing between one and three stone
hut circles. The northern enclosure is agglomerated, includes at least three
elements and is denoted by orthostatic walling except on the western edge
where it survives as a 1.2m high lynchet. The northern side of the enclosure
has been removed by later streamworking and the Holne Moor Leat cuts the
walling in several places. Two stone hut circles within the enclosure survive
as orthostatic walls each surrounding a circular internal area measuring 3.5m
and 5m in diameter. The surrounding walls measure up to 1.2m high and one hut
has a visible doorway.
The western enclosure includes a single stone hut circle and fragmentary
lengths of orthostatic walling. This enclosure is cut through by the Wheal
Emma Leat. The central enclosure is oval in shape and abuts two earlier stone
hut circles along its western circuit. A length of curving wall to the north
east probably represents an outlying part of this enclosure. The cairn lies
to the south east of the central enclosure and survives as a 6.7m diameter
mound standing up to 0.8m high. A small hollow in the centre of the cairn
suggests that it has been partially robbed or excavated. The final enclosure
within the settlement sits on the southern edge of a steep sided valley formed
by historic tin streamworking. The northern part of the enclosure has been
removed by this later streamworking, but the remainder contains at least three
stone hut circles. Cutting through the southern part of the enclosure is a
length of the Wheal Emma Leat over which there is a small clapper bridge.
The metal fencing denoting the edge of the forestry plantation around
Venford Reservoir is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath
is included.

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 and round cairn 880m south west of
Venford Reservoir dam survive well and contain environmental and
archaeological information for the use and occupation of the monument. The
settlement forms part of a group lying close to the substantial Dartmeet
coaxial field system and will therefore provide contrasting eivdence to that
available from the settlements more directly associated with the fields.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 4, (1993), 188

Source: Historic England

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