Ancient Monuments

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Enclosed prehistoric settlement 650m south west of Longaford Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Dartmoor Forest, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5814 / 50°34'53"N

Longitude: -3.9647 / 3°57'52"W

OS Eastings: 261000.769561

OS Northings: 77582.1825

OS Grid: SX610775

Mapcode National: GBR Q5.5MF4

Mapcode Global: FRA 27LJ.F8L

Entry Name: Enclosed prehistoric settlement 650m south west of Longaford Tor

Scheduled Date: 27 October 1971

Last Amended: 22 December 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021178

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34475

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Dartmoor Forest

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


The monument comprises an enclosed prehistoric settlement lying on a steep
east facing slope of Beardown Hill overlooking the valley of the West Dart
River. The prehistoric settlement includes at least seven stone hut
circles. The stone hut circles survive as circular or oval banks
surrounding an internal area which varies between 6 sq m and 12.9 sq m.
The height of the surrounding walls vary between 0.4m and 0.7m and two of
the huts have visible doorways. The agglomerated enclosure associated with
the settlement includes at least five elements and survives as a series of
rubble banks which in places are lynchetted. This walling stands up to
0.75m high and 1.5m wide. Some of the huts within the settlement lie
within the enclosures, others are linked to the walling and one abuts it.
This detail confirms that this settlement evolved through time into its
present form.

The Devonport Leat, its associated downslope bank and a small clapper
bridge are totally excluded from the monument.

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 cut through by the Devonport Leat, the enclosed prehistoric
settlement 650m south west of Longaford Tor survives comparatively well.
This settlement overlooks one of the largest prehistoric settlements on
Dartmoor and thus provides a marked contrast to its neighbour. Much of the
monument is covered in peat deposits which will contain environmental
information and provide a protective cover for the archaeological remains.
The agglomerated character of the enclosures together with the
relationship between the stone hut circles and enclosure walling means
that this settlement will contain information concerning the evolution of
prehistoric settlements.

Source: Historic England


MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (2002)
Title: Duchy Farms Survey - Beardown Farm
Source Date: 1988
1:10000 plan

Source: Historic England

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