Ancient Monuments

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Two stone hut circle settlements with an irregular aggregate field system east of Rival Tor, 900m south west of Buttern Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Gidleigh, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6783 / 50°40'41"N

Longitude: -3.9186 / 3°55'7"W

OS Eastings: 264538.640946

OS Northings: 88274.65225

OS Grid: SX645882

Mapcode National: GBR Q7.CM5R

Mapcode Global: FRA 27P8.TDK

Entry Name: Two stone hut circle settlements with an irregular aggregate field system east of Rival Tor, 900m south west of Buttern Hill

Scheduled Date: 7 June 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020366

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28726

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, which falls into four areas of protection, includes two stone
hut circle settlements, an irregular aggregate field system and at least three
cairns lying on the lower east facing slope of Rival Tor overlooking the
valley of the North Teign River.
The northern settlement survives within the irregular aggregate field system
and includes at least six stone hut circles. The stone hut circles survive as
circular or oval banks surrounding an internal area which varies from 6 sq m
to 26 sq m, with the average being 15 sq m. The heights of the surrounding
walls vary between 0.35m and 0.6m, with the average being 0.44m. All of the
huts have visible doorways, four are attached to field boundary banks and they
are all of orthostatic or rubble bank construction.
The irregular aggregate field system is defined by a series of sinuous low
rubble banks, some of which are lynchetted and which together form at least
nine fields, which have been added over a period of time. Within the field
system are three cairns. Two of these were probably formed during the
clearance of surface stone, but the third (NGR SX64538835) contains a cist
which would have originally contained a burial.
The southern settlement includes four widely spaced stone hut circles and
and three lengths of rubble walling which may represent the visible element of
a field system. The huts are very similar in size with their internal
diameters varying between 5.4m and 6m. They are all composed of orthostatic
walling which in places is buried beneath soil and peat which has accumulated
over the years. One of the huts has an internal partition and another a

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 two stone hut circle settlements and irregular aggregate field system
east of Rival Tor, 900m south west of Buttern Hill survive very well. Peat
accumulation within and around the monument has protected sensitive
archaeological features, structures and deposits and also contains important
environmental information. The settlements form part of a group of at least
six settlements overlooking a substantial natural basin formed by the North
Teign River, the Gallaven Brook and Walla Brook.

Source: Historic England


MPP Fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1998)

Source: Historic England

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