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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 36074

Hob Uid: 36074
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Luccombe
Grid Ref : SS8501042250
Summary : A field system and probably contemporary settlement of three hut circles was identified on Great Hill from aerial photographs and confirmed by field investigation. The field system is evident as a series of stony lynchets, the hut circles stand as heather rings in predominantly rough grassland. They are similar in form and dimension being 12.1 metres in diameter and 1.8 to 2.2 metres wide, reaching a maximum height of 0.6 metres.
More information : SS 8442 - 8542. A prehistoric field system and associated hut circles on Great Hill, recorded from air photographs was surveyed in the field by McDonnell in 1979. The system suggests some dozen rectangular fields defined by low stone banks. Where these banks run across the slope they survive as small positive lynchets. Four hut circles were recorded as earthworks but a further three suggested by the air photographs were not visible on the ground. Three substantial stone mounds were also located.
There is a suggestion both in the field and on the air photographs that this system of fields is much more extensive and possibly continues up the slope under the peat.
(SS 84 SW 25, 28 and SS 84 SE 17, 42 are probably among McDonnels `hut circles and mounds'). (1-2)

Centred at SS 8513 4247 about 410 metres O.D. on the gentle south eastfacing slopes of Great Hill overlooking Chetsford Water is a field system and probably contemporary settlement of three hut circles. The field system lies in rough grassland interspersed with heather and patches of bracken and covers an area of about 9 hectares (22 acres).
It is generally well defined on the higher slopes to the north east by low turf covered stoney banks (a on plan) about 2 metres in width and 0.2 to 0.8 metres in height. Down the slope mainly to the south west these banks become more evident as stony topped lynchets (b on plan) running along the contour with their lower scarps predominating and in places (c on plan) these are shorter sub-dividing cross contour banks. The elongated terrace like fields thus formed generally run along the contour. The slight stone content cleared from the fields appears to have gone mainly into the banks and lynchets as only two possible stone clearance heaps are evident. These heaps (D1 and D2) are apparent as small turf covered stony mounds 4.5 metres and 3 metres in diameter respectively and both 0.5 metres high.
The three hut circles (A, B, C) which stand out as heather rings in predominantly rough grassland are all levelled into the slope and are similar in form and dimensions being 12.1 metres in diameter between the centres of heather covered banks which vary from 1.8 to 2.2 metres in width and reach a maximum height of some 0.6 metres. The banks are mainly of turf but probing reveals a good content of small stone though no facing stones are evident. They all have an entrance break some 3 metres side in the south east quadrant.
Huts A and C fall on the outer periphery of the visible system of fields, which undoubtedly extended further up the slopes and is now obscured by peat, and hut B falls within it, apparently opposite a break in a field bank, but otherwise there does not appear to be any direct relationship between them although it is almost certain that they are contemporary and prehistoric. It should be noted that McDonnell's plan has been incorrectly scaled in Somerset A and N.H.S. 124 (Authority 1).
(Please note that sites SS 84 SW 28 and SS 84 SE 17 have now been included in this site as hut circles A and B respectively.) (3)

The field system described by the above authorities has been transcribed from aerial photographs as part of the Exmoor National Mapping programme (NMP) survey. The field system is most clearly visible on aerial photographs of 1952, which have allowed a transcription very nearly as complete reproduced in (2). However it was possible to confidently identify only one hut circle 12 metres in diameter, at SS 85144235, corresponding with McDonnells hut circle 1. (4-5)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : (RAF CPE/UK/1980 3168 April 1947)
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Source Number : 2
Source : Somerset archaeology and natural history : the proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 116-7
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Vol(s) : 124, 1980
Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 ISS 21-AUG-87
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Source Number : 4
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR RAF 540/931 (F20) 3096-7 08-NOV-1952
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Source Number : 5
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SS 8542/8-9, 10-11 (18285/16-17, 20-21) 11-FEB-1999
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Source : Field System and Settlement, SS 84 SE 41/ink survey
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Bronze Age
Display Date : Bronze Age
Monument End Date : -700
Monument Start Date : -2600
Monument Type : Field System, Hut Circle
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Iron Age
Display Date : Iron Age
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -800
Monument Type : Hut Circle, Field System
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 33685
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 84 SE 41
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 36282
Relationship type : Is referred to by

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SS 84 SE 40
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1987-08-21
End Date : 1987-08-21
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2007-04-01
End Date : 2009-07-01