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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 438638

Hob Uid: 438638
Location :
Devon
West Devon
Sheepstor
Grid Ref : SX5854067040
Summary : Whittenknowles Rocks. A sub rectanguler prehistoric enclosure of 4.7ha containing 29 definite and 7 possible hut circles. The enclosure and most of its contents have been severely disrupted by medieval activity in the general area.
More information : (SX 585670) Hut circles (NR). (1)

"A cluster of 23 huts, but no pound". (2-3)

A group of 15 plus huts with an incomplete enclosure. ?Late
Bronze Age. (4)

Near Whittenknowles Rocks and between 317 and 338m. OD an
enclosed settlement of about 4.5 ha. is situated on a SW slope.

The enclosure is reasonably complete (see plan) and measures
about 285m. by 165m. Random orthostats are incorporated in the
rubble walling which ranges from 2.0m. to 3.0m. wide, being
strongest along the NW and NE., and is generally 0.6m. high.
There are numerous breaks but no obvious original entrance.
This may have been on the SE where there is a distinct
inturning near the Medieval settlement (SX 56 NE 112).

Although currently obscured by bracken the interior has
evidently been cleared of stone to some extent for the
construction of huts and the walls of paddocks which link or
enclose them. These walls average 1.0m. wide and 0.3m. high;
some are of rubble, others simply a line of single stones.
The plots so formed are of irregular plan and size (from 0.05 to
0.3ha) with some evidence of superimposition, and one is
attached to the outer side of the enclosure. Another 'A' on
plan), formed by single stones, is almost circular.

Of a total of 43 huts, 14 are of indeterminate type, 8 of these
because they are thoroughly robbed, leaving only base stones or
half huts, the others because of a dense covering of heather.

There appear to be 12 huts of type 1 (SX 56 SE 19). Their
internal diameters vary between 2.3m. and 6.0m. with walling
generally 1.8. wide and 0.5m. high; some have internal lining
slabs.

There are 17 huts of Type 2 (SX 56 NW 71) with internal diameter
from 4.2m. to 6.7m. and double faced walling 2.3m. wide and 0.6m.
high.

Both types occur as linked and free standing huts. Most entrances
are to the S and SW., orthostats being visible at 4 huts.

Save for the one paddock there is no evidence of any external field
system.

Surveyed at 1:10 000 on MSD and at 1:2500. (5)

Depicted and described by Butler (1994, Map 49). (6)

Centred SX 58546704. Whittenknowles Rocks. An enclosed cluster of 29 hut circles, 7 possible hut circles and 4 clearance cairns occupy an area of dense clitter on a S facing hillside some 600m N of Ditsworthy Warren House. Most of the features have been altered from their original state during the medieval period when part of the site was reoccupied (Sx 56 NE 112) and several new enclosures added to the exterior. Many of the hut circles (see below) were used as repositories for cleared stone, several appear to have been extensively robbed and the clearance cairns dating from this later period may completely obscure earlier hut circles.
Few of the hut circles appear to remain unaltered, those that do have been terraced into the slope to provide slightly ovoid, level interiors varying between 2.7m and 7.0m in diameter. The hut walls exhibit a mixture of constructional techniques, some display a double ring of orthostats with a rubble infill while others are of coursed boulders. It would seem likely that building type relied on the nature of the granite in the immediate area. Only two huts display obvious entrances; facing the S and SW.

NGRDiaWallWallComments
(int)(width)(height)
SX58639670315.01.40.5Sloping interior, SE wall
missing
SX58666670483.62.00.5Interior occupied by clearance
material
SX58493671562.71.00.4Excavation in interior,
possible military reuse
SX58476670723.11.30.5Interior occupied by clearance
material
SX58476670823.51.30.5
SX58471670823.52.00.8Entrance in SW. Interior
occupied by clearance material
SX58450671033.12.20.7Interior occupied by clearance
material
SX58469670193.91.80.6Interior occupied by clearance
material
SX58479670134.21.50.5
SX58487670174.01.60.7Internal facing stones visible
SX58491670323.41.30.4
SX58485669973.51.30.5
SX58510670285.01.70.6Interior occupied by clearance
material
SX58489670435.12.30.7
SX58508670513.81.30.6
SX58517670514.61.20.6
SX58535670477.01.60.7Interior occupied by clearance
material
SX58521670724.91.80.7Entrance in S. Interior occupied
by clearance material
SX58556670414.02.00.7Interior occupied by tin pit
SX58565670294.41.20.3
SX58592670545.01.60.7Interior occupied by clearance
material
SX58608670715.12.00.6Interio occupied by clearance
material
SX58625670523.01.00.4
SX58506670935.02.20.6Interior occupied by clearance
material
SX58569670885.41.20.6Interior occupied by clearance
material
SX58638670723.61.40.6
SX58658670835.12.00.6
SX58608670715.11.90.5Interior occupied by clearance
material
SX58486670595.01.20.6Interior occupied by clearance
material
SX58584670603.51.60.7Possible hut
SX58470670343.31.00.2Platform, possible hut
SX58452670852.71.20.3Possible hut
SX58524670952.4Crude circular hollow
SX5846867014Rubble filled hollow attached to
hut circle
SX58503671333.21.40.3Possible hut
SX5846267040Clearance cairn 6.0m diameter 0.9m high
SX5849466992Clearance cairn 3.0m diameter
SX5865667041Irregular clearance cairn 5.0m diameter
SX5863567040Clearance cairn 4.6m diameter

Three other hut-like features described by Authority 5 could not be positively identified on the ground and are probably natural hollows or clear areas in the otherwise dense clitter.
The enclosure containing the huts and other features is a large turf and stone bank around 3.0m wide and up to 1.2m high. There are numerous breaks in its course but none appear to represent an original entrance. The interior is subdivided into a number if irregular enclosures by stoney banks averaging 1.8m wide and 0.6m high. Several of these incorporate hut circles. It would seem likely, especially in the E half of the site, that these banks have been reused in the medieval period. The main enclosure has several external additions dating from this later period (see SX 56 NE 112).
(7)

This extensive site remains in a stable condition and is as described by Authority 7. (8)



Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1954
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Dartmoor 1953 155 (R HWorth)
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Source Number : 3
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : (RAF CPE/UK/2494 4128-9 11th March 1948
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Source Number : 4
Source : Annotated Record Map
Source details : Corr 6" (A Fox 1951)
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Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 NVQ 17-SEP-80
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Butler J 1994 DARTMOOR ATLAS OF ANTIQUITIES Vol 3 - The South-West
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 7
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Probert SAJ 03-AUG-1999 EH Field Investigation
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Source Number : 8
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Probert SAJ 10-MAR-2005 EH Field Investigation
Page(s) :
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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 : Enclosed Settlement, Hut Circle, Enclosure, Clearance Cairn
Evidence : Ruined Building, Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : DV 571
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 10710
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Devonshire)
External Cross Reference Number : SX 56 NE 16
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SX 56 NE 49
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SX 56 NE 48
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1980-09-17
End Date : 1980-09-17
Associated Activities : ENGLISH HERITAGE PROJECT: THE EYLESBARROW ARCHAEOLOGICAL LANDSCAPE.
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1999-06-01
End Date : 1999-09-01
Associated Activities : RINGMOOR DOWN CONDITION SURVEY
Activity type : MANAGEMENT SURVEY
Start Date : 2005-02-01
End Date : 2005-05-01