Ancient Monuments

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Broadun prehistoric enclosed settlement, 780m NNW of Archerton

A Scheduled Monument in Dartmoor Forest, Devon

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Latitude: 50.603 / 50°36'10"N

Longitude: -3.9297 / 3°55'46"W

OS Eastings: 263537.799799

OS Northings: 79924.393481

OS Grid: SX635799

Mapcode National: GBR Q6.BJ9Y

Mapcode Global: FRA 27NG.WBR

Entry Name: Broadun prehistoric enclosed settlement, 780m NNW of Archerton

Scheduled Date: 3 March 1977

Last Amended: 22 June 2004

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021333

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34492

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Dartmoor Forest

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Widecombe-in-the-Moor St Pancras

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument includes a prehistoric enclosed settlement, a cairn, a short
length of leat and post-medieval walling situated on a south facing slope
overlooking the valley of the East Dart River. The enclosure survives as a
circular shaped area denoted by a rubble bank measuring up to 5m wide and
standing up to 0.5m high. The interior of the enclosure measures 300m
north east-south west by 260m north west-south east and contains at least
36 stone hut circles varying between 2.5m and 6.6m in internal diameter.
Eleven of the huts have visible doorways and two are attached to the outer
face of the enclosure. Eleven of the huts within the settlement were
partially excavated by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee in 1894 and this
work revealed hearthstones, charcoal, flints, rubbing stones and pot
boilers. The inner face of the enclosure wall is surmounted by a
post-medieval drystone wall along much of its circuit and this stands up
to 1.5m high. Against the northern wall is a small drystone-built animal
Adjacent to the southern side of the enclosure is a cairn. This survives
as a 5.5m diameter stony mound standing up to 0.8m high. This cairn is
clipped on its northern side by a leat carrying water to the gunpowder
mills at Cherry Brook.

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. Within the landscape of Dartmoor
there are many discrete plots of land enclosed by stone walls or banks of
stone and earth, most of which date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC), though
earlier and later examples also exist. They were constructed as stock pens or
as protected areas for crop growing and were sometimes subdivided to
accommodate stock and hut circle dwellings for farmers and herdsmen. The size
and form of enclosures may therefore vary considerably depending on their
particular function. Their variation in form, longevity and relationship to
other monument classes 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.

Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age
(c.2000-7000BC). They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, the
latter predominating in areas of upland Britain where such raw materials
were locally available in abundance. Round cairns may cover single or
multiple burials and are sometimes surrounded by an outer ditch. Often
occupying prominent locations, they are a major visual element in the
modern landscape. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a
mounument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs
and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are
particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion
of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. Dartmoor
provides one of the best preserved and most dense concentrations of round
cairns in south-western Britain.
Despite later reuse of the enclosure, partial excavation of some of the
stone hut circles and the cutting of a leat through the lower part of the
settlement, the Broadun prehistoric enclosed settlement, 780m NNW of
Archerton survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and
environmental information relating to this area during the prehistoric
The enclosure is one of the largest on Dartmoor and forms the focus for a
number of similar, although much smaller settlements within this area.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 39-40
NMR, English Heritage, NMR Monument Report SX 67 NW 220, (2003)

Source: Historic England

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