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HER Number:MDV5742
Name:Prehistoric settlement east of Zeal gully

Summary

Bronze Age hut circle settlement consisting of three adjacent enclosures containing eight huts, with a further four huts to the south west. This site is on the local list of Nationally Important Dartmoor sites.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 681 648
Map Sheet:SX66SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDean Prior
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishDEAN PRIOR

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Bronze Age settlement consisting of three linked enclosures with twelve hut circles south of the Avon Dam Reservoir, parts of the site have been destroyed by quarrying

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 441740
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX66SE/48
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HUT CIRCLE SETTLEMENT (Bronze Age - 2200 BC to 701 BC (Between))

Full description

National Monuments Record, NMRSX6864 (Aerial Photograph). SDV178127.


Royal Air Force, 1946, CPE/UK 1890, 4270 (Aerial Photograph). SDV140289.


Royal Air Force, 1948, RAF/CPE/UK/2494, 3114/3115 (Aerial Photograph). SDV147533.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950 - 1977, SX66SE1 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV178128.

Hut circles and enclosures on Gripper's Hill, Avon Valley. Four enclosures and eleven hut circles.
Enclosure 1; remains of wall only, constructed of large stones, very fragmentary, no accurate measurements were possible.
Enclosure 2; consists of a wall of large stones and measures 40.0 meters by 43.0 meters, there was no obvious entrance. Contains hut circles C, D, E and two others.
Enclosure 3; consists of the remains of a wall constructed of large stones measuring 57.0 meters by 40.0 meters, also using living rock at southern corner. This enclosure is in poor condition.
Enclosure 4; very fragmentary wall of turf-covered stones in poor condition. This enclosure measures 59.0 meters by 55.0 meters.
Hut A; (diameter 6.5 meters, wall height 0.3 meters) gorse covered stones, entrance to south-east. Located outside the enclosures.
Hut B; (diameter 7.5 meters) gorse covered stones, entrance to south-east. Within enclosure 1.
Hut C; (diameter 5.5 meters) walls of large stones with entrance to east, poor condition. Within enclosure 2.
Hut D; (diameter 3.0 meters) remains only, probable entrance to east. Within enclosure 2.
Hut E; (length 7.0 meters, width 5.5 meters) semi-circular abutting onto enclosure wall, in poor condition. Within enclosure 2.
Hut F; (diameter 8.0 meters) wall composed of large stone, partly turf covered. No visible entrance; in poor condition; within enclosure 3.
Huts G,H,I; (diameter 5.5 meters) remains only, walls of turf covered stones. Within enclosure 4. 4/5/1950

A settlement of three contiguous enclosures containing eight huts, with a further four huts to the south-west. Enclosure 1 and two huts have been destroyed by quarrying. All the huts are in ruinous condition. 30/6/1977 Other details: Sketch plan included.


Fox, A., 1955, Huts and Enclosures on Gripper's Hill, in the Avon Valley, Dartmoor, 55-62 (Article in Serial). SDV178125.

Full report on the excavation undertaken here during the construction of the Avon dam. There are the remains of four enclosures, containing ten or more huts, three or four outlying huts in poor condition. Most of the enclosure walls are so ruined they appear only as an untidy spread of loose stones.
Enclosure 1; is incomplete, and consists of a segment of a boundary wall. There is one hut at its western end.
Enclosure 2; known as Gripper's Pound. The walls, though ruined, have been substantially built, almost rectangular. The interior is comparatively level and the centre fairly clear of stones. The remains of habitations are built up against the pound walls. Hut 3 on the west wall is substantially built with a small annexe on its northern side. Remains of three or four pens and possibly a round hut on the opposite side of the pound.
Enclosure 3; a rectangle, the west wall includes natural boulders and outcrop.
Enclosure 4; consists of two or three lines of stones. Bronze Age. Other details: Figures 1-3.


Fox, A., 1961, Twenty-Fifth Report on the Archaeology and Early History of Devon, 66,67 (Article in Serial). SDV341693.


Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Interpretation). SDV319854.

The complete extent of enclosures identified by the Ordnance Survey are not visible on 1946 Royal Air Force aerial photograph. The two northern elements and a large part of the southern element are clear containing five hut circles, two attached to the internal wall. One hut circle is visible outside enclosure.


Gerrard, S., 2004, List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor (Un-published). SDV345444.

This site was considered for designation as a Scheduled Ancient Monument during the Monument Protection Programme. The programme ended before the entire list of sites was successfully scheduled so this is included on a local list of Nationally Important Sites.


Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.

Map object based on this Source.


Richards, A. F., 2010, Untitled Source (Personal Comment). SDV345955.

This detail is not associated with other linked sources on this record. Visited at some point during 1954 by Hurrell(?).
“Excavated three isolated Bronze Age huts on the east side of the river near Gripper's Pound. No finds were made except charcoal, a sharpening stone, and a hammer stone. Hut diameters; 3.6 meters, 4.6 meters, 7.6 meters.”

Sources / Further Reading

  • Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. CPE/UK 1890. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4270.
  • Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1948. RAF/CPE/UK/2494. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 3114/3115.
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950 - 1977. SX66SE1. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
  • Interpretation: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
  • Article in Serial: Fox, A.. 1955. Huts and Enclosures on Gripper's Hill, in the Avon Valley, Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 87. A5 Hardback. 55-62.
  • Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. NMRSX6864. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph.
  • Personal Comment: Richards, A. F.. 2010. Digital.
  • Article in Serial: Fox, A.. 1961. Twenty-Fifth Report on the Archaeology and Early History of Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 93. A5 Hardback. 66,67.
  • Un-published: Gerrard, S.. 2004. List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor. Digital.
  • Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).

Associated Monuments

MDV5768Related to: Granite quarry south of the Avon Dam (Monument)
MDV25743Related to: HUT CIRCLE in the Parish of Dean Prior (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Jan 6 2015 2:16PM