Ancient Monuments

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Two stone hut circles and field system, 590m south of Buttern, forming part of a coaxial field system on Buttern Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Gidleigh, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6833 / 50°41'0"N

Longitude: -3.9004 / 3°54'1"W

OS Eastings: 265836.850607

OS Northings: 88799.493547

OS Grid: SX658887

Mapcode National: GBR Q7.CCST

Mapcode Global: FRA 27Q8.G8L

Entry Name: Two stone hut circles and field system, 590m south of Buttern, forming part of a coaxial field system on Buttern Hill

Scheduled Date: 29 January 1975

Last Amended: 22 December 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021218

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34482

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 includes part of a coaxial field system and two associated
stone hut circles situated on the east facing slope of Buttern Hill. The
coaxial fields form part of the Buttern Hill coaxial field system and
survive as rubble banks which in places have been modified during the
construction of later historic fields. There are at least three parallel
reaves within the monument, from which other boundaries lead, creating a
number of smaller fields and enclosures. Within the field system there are
at least two stone hut circles which survive as circular orthostatic walls
surrounding an internal area. The northern stone hut circle measures 10.1m
in diameter and is denoted by a 2m wide double orthostatic wall standing
up to 1.2m high. A 1.1m wide SSE facing gap represents an original doorway
protected by a crude straight porch. The southern stone hut circle
measures 4.4m in diameter and survives as a 1.3m wide earthwork with
occasional protruding orthostats standing up to 0.5m high.

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. Elaborate complexes of fields and
field boundaries are some of the major features of the Dartmoor landscape. The
reaves are part of an extensive system of prehistoric land division introduced
during the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They consist of simple linear stone
banks used to mark out discrete territories, some of which are tens of
kilometres in extent. The systems are defined by parallel, contour and
watershed reaves, dividing the lower land from the grazing zones of the higher
moor and defining the watersheds of adjacent river systems. Occupation sites
and funerary or ceremonial monuments are often incorporated in, or associated
with, reave complexes. Their longevity and their relationship with other
monument types provide important information on the diversity of social
organisation, land divisions and farming practices amongst prehistoric
communities. They show considerable longevity as a monument type, sometimes
surviving as fossilised examples in medieval field plans. They are an
important element in the existing landscape and, as such, a substantial
proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

The two stone hut circles and field system, 590m south of Buttern, forming
part of a coaxial field system on Buttern Hill survive comparatively well
and will contain information relating to the use of this area during the
prehistoric period. The field system is one of three major blocks of
coaxial fields surviving on this part of Dartmoor and provides a useful
contrast to its larger neighbours.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 143
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (2002)

Source: Historic England

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