Ancient Monuments

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Prehistoric settlement, field system and rabbit warren south of Longaford Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Dartmoor Forest, Devon

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Latitude: 50.578 / 50°34'40"N

Longitude: -3.9592 / 3°57'33"W

OS Eastings: 261378.530324

OS Northings: 77193.14508

OS Grid: SX613771

Mapcode National: GBR Q5.5W8Y

Mapcode Global: FRA 27LJ.WYX

Entry Name: Prehistoric settlement, field system and rabbit warren south of Longaford Tor

Scheduled Date: 1 August 1973

Last Amended: 12 March 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020876

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34451

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Dartmoor Forest

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument, which falls into four separate areas of protection,
includes a prehistoric settlement, field system and rabbit warren situated
on the west facing slopes of Longaford and Littaford Tors, overlooking the
West Dart River. The stone hut circle settlement includes at least 101
stone hut circles, which survive as banks or walls each surrounding a
circular or oval internal area which varies from 3.14 sq m to 52 sq m,
with the average being 11.9 sq m. The surrounding walls vary between 0.25m
and 1.2m in height, with the average being 0.54m. The hut walls vary
considerably in character, with examples of orthostatic, rubble bank and
coursed walling all present. At least 49 of the stone hut circles have
visible doorways, 28 are linked to rubble walling, one has a porch,
another a partition and attached to one is a courtyard. The huts are
arranged along the contour, extend over 1400m from north to south and are
associated with several lengths of rubble walling, enclosures and fields.
In later years, much of the prehistoric settlement was incorporated into a
rabbit warren. The warren survives on the western slopes of Longaford and
Littaford Tors and includes at least 32 pillow mounds and a warreners'
house. Within this monument there are at least 22 pillow mounds and these
survive as rectangular, square, circular or oblong mounds many of which
are flat-topped and surrounded on three sides by a ditch from which
material was quarried during their construction. The two pillow mounds
near Littaford Tors are much longer than the others, measuring 54m and
107m long, whilst the others are between 4m and 13m long. The mounds stand
between 0.6m and 1.2m high and most are steep-sided. The warreners' house
at NGR SX61167779 includes two separate rectangular earthwork buildings
within a rectangular enclosure. A warren is known to have been established
in this area in 1895 by James Saltroun of Powder Mills and was abandoned
sometime before 1914. Some of the pillow mounds may however belong to an
earlier undocumented warren.

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 prehistoric settlement, field system and rabbit warren south of Longaford
Tor survive very well and will contain information relating to the monument
and the surrounding landscape. The prehistoric settlement is amongst the
largest on Dartmoor and thus provides an invaluable insight into the
successful use and exploitation of upland Britain during the prehistoric
period. The warren contains a large number of unusually shaped pillow mounds
which may therefore contain information not available elsewhere.

Source: Historic England


MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (2002)
Title: Cherrybrook and Longaford Survey
Source Date: 1989
1:10000 plan

Source: Historic England

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