Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Stone hut circle settlement 250m east of Cuckoo Rock

A Scheduled Monument in Sheepstor, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5014 / 50°30'5"N

Longitude: -3.994 / 3°59'38"W

OS Eastings: 258682.2978

OS Northings: 68744.4068

OS Grid: SX586687

Mapcode National: GBR Q2.YZV5

Mapcode Global: FRA 27JQ.V44

Entry Name: Stone hut circle settlement 250m east of Cuckoo Rock

Scheduled Date: 8 September 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021057

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34469

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Sheepstor

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


The monument includes a stone hut circle settlement, which lies in four
separate areas of protection, situated on the upper south west facing
slope of Combshead Tor overlooking the valley of the Narrator Brook. The
stone hut circles within the settlement all survive as circular or oval
banks surrounding an internal area which vary between 13.1 sq m and 50.2
sq m in area. The height of the surrounding walls vary between 0.7m and
1m. All of the huts are of orthostatic construction, two have visible
doorways and one has an internal partition.

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.

Despite being incorporated into an historic field system, the stone hut circle
settlement 250m east of Cuckoo Rock survives well and together with other
nearby settlement sites and ceremonial monuments provide an important insight
into the nature of Bronze Age occupation on the west side of the moor.

Source: Historic England


MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (2002)

Source: Historic England

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