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Historic England Research Records

Riders Rings

Hob Uid: 441743
Location :
Devon
South Hams
South Brent
Grid Ref : SX6788064350
Summary : A Bronze Age settlement on the eastern slope of Zeal Plains. It consists of two contiguous enclosures containing 23 huts and 24 yards. It covers an area of approximately 2.8 hectares with maximum dimensions of 348m by 100m. The southern enclosure is primary and contains 15 huts. The northern enclosure contains 8 huts and most of the yards, all except one, of which are adjacent to the enclosure wall. The huts are generally in poor condition, some of them no more than terraces enclosed by a discontinuous ring of stones. The huts have an average internal diameter of the huts is 5.3m; the largest is 7.0m and the smallest 2.5m.
More information : (Centred SX 67876436) The Rings (NAT) Enclosed Hut
Groups (NR). (1)

The largest and most important pound in the Avon Valley is
known as Riders Rings and is situated on the eastern slope of
Zeal Plains. It is best regarded as being two contiguous pounds,
of which it would appear that the south west member was
constructed first, while the north east member was added as a
later extension. The two pounds together cover an area of over
six acres and enclose some three dozen hut-circles. At 'X' fig 2
a good section of the wall, 6 feet 8 inches wide, can be seen.
The present height on the higher side, against the hill is
2 feet 6 inches and on the lower side, the pound face, it is
3 feet 6 inches. Two hut-circles, 1 and 2, Fig 2, were excavated.
Hut 1 yielded charcoal and cooking stones, and Hut 2 yielded
charcoal, cooking stones, flint chips, fragments of Dartmoor
type pottery, and a broken whetstone in red grit. Marked features
of the pound are the small courts built against the inner face
of the wall. The general conclusions are that the pound and its
associated huts are clearly of Bronze Age date, as the many other
huts which have now been excavated; and that the "courts" were
enclosed spaces, probably for cattle, possibly used as gardens
for crops, but not habitations. (2-4)

On the eastern slope of Zeal Plains is a settlement known as
'The Rings' or 'Riders Rings', consisting of two contiguous
enclosures containing 23 huts and 24 yards. It covers an area
of approximately 2.8 ha, with maximum dimensions of 348m by
100m. The southern enclosure is primary and contains 15 huts.
The northern enclosure contains 8 huts and most of the yards, all
except one, of which are adjacent to the enclosure wall. The
huts are generally in poor condition, some of them no more than
terraces enclosed by a discontinuous ring of stones; as far
as can be determined all are Type 1 huts (Type site : SX 56 SE 19).
The average internal diameter of the huts is 5.3m; the largest
is 7.0m and the smallest 2.5m.

The enclosure wall is very spread but its original thickness
average approximately 2.4m; in places it is still 1.0m high,
with a build-up soil on the uphill side. The construction seems
to have been an inner and outer face with a rubble core. Clearance
inside the enclosure was probably not needed as the ground here
is reasonably clear of stones.

Surveyed on PFD at 1:10 000. (5)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1969
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Devonshire Association reports and transactions
Source details : (R Hansford Worth)
Page(s) : 115-119
Figs. : 2
Plates :
Vol(s) : 67, 1935
Source Number : 3
Source : South-West England, 3500BC-AD600
Source details :
Page(s) : 100-101
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : AP's (RAF/CPE/UK/2494 3114-5 11.3.48)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 JGB 18-JUL-77
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Bronze Age
Display Date : Bronze Age
Monument End Date : -700
Monument Start Date : -2600
Monument Type : Enclosed Hut Circle Settlement, Pound, Hut Circle, Yard
Evidence : Earthwork, Ruined Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Devonshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 73
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : DV 374
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SX 66 SE 2
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : RIDERS RINGS
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1930-01-01
End Date : 1930-12-31
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SX 66 SE 2
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1977-07-18
End Date : 1977-07-18