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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 438720

Hob Uid: 438720
Location :
Devon
South Hams
Shaugh Prior
Grid Ref : SX5818065180
Summary : The probable remains of an embanked stone circle some 41m in diameter. The eastern quadrant of the circle is overlain by the Willings Walls Reave. Scheduled.
More information : A stone circle, 137 feet 6 inches (42.0m.) diameter
situated on Willings Wall Warren, 500 yards south of Hentor Brook
and cut by a reave (Willings Walls Reave SX 56 NE 123) (circle
sited at SX 58176517).

The circle consists of four groups of stones, described by
Breton as being cist-like, but this is not substantiated by their
plan. There is no trace of a barrow or of a surrounding trench. (1-3)

In the area at which Willings Walls Reave turns through 40
degrees (SX 58186516) there are several upright slabs which may
be heavily robbed cists. (4)

Situated on a stone free shelf at 330m. OD are the remains of
an near circular structure (see plan).

It is formed by an earthen bank averaging 3.0m. wide and from
0.1m. to 0.2m. high, with two distinctly straight lengths in the
south-west and south east quadrants. The internal diameter
north to south is 39.0m. and east to west 41.0m. Part of the
eastern quadrant is destroyed or obscured by the Willings Walls
reave which has evidently been aligned towards it (SX 56 NE 123).

Four groups of stones are set at irregular intervals on the bank
and there may at least one other group which was an alignment
point for the reave. They are in groups of from three to five,
generally from 0.3. to 0.7m. high, with lesser ones which may
be trigging stones. They are as in Worth's plan, with a tendency
for slabs to be set across the line of the bank. At each group
the bank has been obliterated and this seems not an original
feature but the result of animals, particularly sheep, using the
stones as rubbing posts; the depressions around some stones are
now 0.2m. deep. The 4.0m. gap in the bank in the north-west
quadrant appears to be a similar depradation.

It is most improbable that the stones are the remains of robbed
cists (see ground photographs), but the monument as a whole is
unique.

The interior is flat and featureless and while there could have
been stone robbing to supply the reave there is no evidence to
sustain this. The reave is 3.5m. wide and from 0.4m. to 0.6m.
high, containing the usual mixture of easily gathered small
stones with a few larger slabs and blocks. But whereas the
area to the west of the reave is relatively stone free there is
an abundant supply to the east where the ground slopes upwards.

These seem two possible classifications. One, and the least
convincing, is that of an enclosure totally stripped of all
manageable stone. The second, and more likely, is that it is some
form of "ringery" possibly an embanked stone circle with inner
and outer facing pairs. (The only other embanked circle, on
Ringmoor Down, probably had single close spaced stones SX 56
NE 161). Since it would be reasonable to suppose the stones
would be of comparable size, and very few of this nature are in
the reave it may be the original disposition was of four to six
groups. The anomoly in the north-east, where four flat stones
are embedded at intervals, could represent a demolished group.

Surveyed at 1:10 000 on MSD and at 1:500. (5)

The remains of a ring cairn lying adjacent to and partly beneath the Willings Walls Reave. The cairn is internally kerbed and survives as a 1 metre wide bank standing up to 0.2 metres high and enclosing a 41 metre diameter internal area. The Willings Walls Reave changes direction as it passes through the cairn and it has been suggested that the reave builders used it as a landmark when laying out their boundary. Scheduled. (6)

Depicetd and described by Robertson. (7)

Depicted by Butler. (8)

Centred SX 58186518. This somewhat enigmatic feature remains as described by Authority 5. Its interpretation as an embanked stone circle appears to be the most fitting. (9)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Devonshire Association reports and transactions
Source details : (R H Worth)
Page(s) : 207-210
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 74, 1942
Source Number : 2
Source : Annotated Record Map
Source details : Pte 6" R H Worth 10.12.48
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Annotated Record Map
Source details : Rec 6" H Breton 23.2.50
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Devon Archaeological Society proceedings
Source details :
Page(s) : 4
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 31, 1973
Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 NVQ 19-AUG-80
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : EH Scheduling amendment, 09-MAY-2001
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Robertson JG 1991 THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE UPPER PLYM VALLEY Unpublished PhD Thesis Edinburgh University
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Butler J 1994 DARTMOOR ATLAS OF ANTIQUITIES Vol 3 - The South West
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Probert SAJ 05-MAR-2002 EH Field Investigation
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Prehistoric
Display Date : Prehistoric
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date :
Monument Type : Embanked Stone Circle
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 24231
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SX 56 NE 77
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SX 56 NE 76
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1980-08-19
End Date : 1980-08-19
Associated Activities : PLYM VALLEY SURVEY: EH PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 2001-02-14
End Date : 2002-12-20