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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 442738

Hob Uid: 442738
Location :
Devon
West Devon
Dartmoor Forest
Grid Ref : SX6140077200
Summary : Extensive Bronze Age settlement, field system and post medieval rabbit warren located south of Longaford Tor overlooking the West Dart River. The stone hut circle settlement includes at least 101 stone hut circles which survive as banks or walls each surrounding a circular internal area. This settlement was later incorporated into a rabbit warren. There are at least 32 pillow mounds and a warrener's house which has 2 separate rectangular earthwork buildings within a rectangular enclosure. The warren may have been established in 1895 and abandoned pre 1914 although some of the mounds may belong to an earlier undocumented warren. Scheduled.
More information : SX 615 772: Remains of possible enclosures spread over a wide area. Also, several circular marks. (1)

SX 613 772: on the west-facing slopes of Littaford Tors between 440 - 410 metres OD and covering an area of 700 metres north-south by 100 metres east-west, are the remains of prehistoric
settlements consisting of fragmentary enclosure walls and 61 hut circles. No cultivation appears to have been carried out in the area of the settlements. The hut circles are in fair to poor condition and all appear to be of Type 1. (Type site SX 56 SE 19). Most of them are small, the average internal diameters being 3 metres. The thickness of the walls varies from 0.8 metres to 2 metres. Entrances are visible in 48 of the huts, the majority in the south-east, south and south-west sides.

Surveyed at 1:10 000 on PFD and at 1:2500 for AO Records. (2)

Extensive prehistoric settlement remains comprising 78 hut circles, 5 enclosures and parts of 3 others, together with fragmentary field walls centred at SX 613772 on the east side of the west Dart Valley beneath Langaford and Littaford Tors. Features stretch in a in a 950 metre long north to south line on a moderate west slope under coarse grass, bilberry, heather and bracken with varying amounts of natural clitter. Viewed in conjunction with sites SX 67 NW 58 and 97 to the south and SX 67 NW 90 and 115 to the north, which are in reality part of the same complex, the settlement string occupies a strip 1.4 kilometre long, clustered between the 390 and 440 metre contours with belts of thick clitter to the east and steaper rocky slopes of Wistmans Wood to the west.

There is no pattern whatsoever: the remains represent probably many years of development and change. About two thirds of the hut circles are free-standing; the remainder are contiguous with inside enclosures or attached to field walls. Most are small averaging 3.5 metres diameter internally, within a range of 2-4 metres. Only two are larger at 5.5 and 7.5 metres. Their walling shows little evidence of structure; only eleven huts preserve occasional, internal, edging slabs. Most have rubble banks, partly vegetation covered, constructed of medium and large-size stones gathered locally. Eleven incorporate insitu boulders or outcrops. Wall width averages 1.25 metres and height 0.4 metres. Entrances are visible in fourteen huts and possibly in another twenty; nearly all lie in a southerly position between SSW and SSE, opening along the contour. Flanking stones are rare. There are two pairs of conjoined hut circles and a further pair set very close together. Two square structures were noted and a small number of huts are deliberately oval in plan. Overall, preservation is fair to good.

Five enclosures A,D,F,G and H, are fairly complete, varying in size between 0.05 and 0.15 hectares. Three others B,C and E are of similar size and combine lengths of true walling and cleared patches in the clitter. In most cases the walling is piled medium and large stones, often linking or incorporating natural boulders but there are occasional orthostatic and edge set stones, with D alone preserving a short length of double faced walling along its west side. Average wall width is 1.5 metres and height 0.4 metres.

In plan two enclosures are irregular pentagons A and D; the remainder are sub-circular or sub-oval. Increasingly towards the south half the site, short and apparently isolated lengths of walling occur and with progress towards site SX 67 NW 58, this begins to look like further enclosures and probably fields centred SX 6135 7677- possibly rectilinear but insufficient remains to the certain. A long north to south wall at SX 6140 7686 appears to mark an east edge though isolated fragments occur beyond.

In general where hut circles and enclosures are associated, huts are on the periphery, giving emphasis to the importance of the central space. In three enclosures A,D and F, the diverging angles at which the enclosure walls meet and leave huts make it probable that the huts were built earlier. A small number of huts are associated with short lengths of enclosure/field walls.

The current survey and recording action incorporates features previously recorded as SX 67 NW 97; this includes enclosure H with two hut circles close together previously shown as a sub-divided rectangular structure (1). It also includes `field system' previously recorded as SX 67 NW 91.

`Ring cairns' described in source (4) are in fact hut circles.

Hut circles shown by source (1) at SX 6130 7728, 6126 7745, 6123 7716 and 6134 7673 could not be found and a hut at SX 6137 7728 is misplaced 20 metres too far east; It is actually at SX 6139 7727.

The settlement complex is shown partly by source (5) and is clearly visible on AP's. (3-5)

This record also incorporates the field SX 67 NW 91 to the east.
A table of further information on the settlement is held in the archive. (6)

SX 6136 7718; SX 6157 7741; SX 6155 7709; SX 6153 7702: Bronze Age settlement, field system and post medieval rabbit warren located south of Longaford Tor overlooking the West Dart River. The stone hut circle settlement includes at least 101 stone hut circles which survive as banks or walls each surrounding a circular internal area. There are examples of orthostatic, rubble bank and coursed walling present. At least 49 circles have visible doorways and one has the remains of a porch, while another has a partition and attached to one is a courtyard.

This settlement was later incorporated into a rabbit warren. There are at least 32 pillow mounds and a warrener's house. The surviving mounds are rectangular, square, circular or oblong in shape. Many are flat topped and surrounded on 3 sides by a ditch. The 2 mounds nearest Littaford Tors are much longer than the others.

SX 6116 7779: Warrener's house includes 2 separate rectangular earthwork buildings within a rectangular enclosure. Possibly established in 1895 and abandoned pre 1914. Some of the mounds may belong to an earlier undocumented warren.

Scheduled.(7)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : F63/58/RAF/6399 032-33 02-JUL-1964
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Source Number : 2
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 JGB 01-OCT-1978
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Source Number : 3
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : RCHME App Dartmoor 1985 (NMR SX 6167/1/37-41 12-APR-69; NMR SF 1509/278-84 26-APR-79)
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Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : SMR Devon CC Sheet SX 67 NW 063 a) Ancient Monuments visit 05-OCT-1972.
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Source Number : 5
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : NMR 1509 SX 6177/3 293-307; SX 6177/2 278-284; SX 6177/1 268-272.
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Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : RCHME Field Investigation, 30-JUN-1989, P Pattison.
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Source Number : 7
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : Scheduling revised, 12-MAR-2003
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Source : Wistman's Wood, Lydford/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 : Hut Circle, Enclosure, Settlement
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Post Medieval
Monument End Date : 1901
Monument Start Date : 1540
Monument Type : Rabbit Warren, Pillow Mound, Hut
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Devonshire)
External Cross Reference Number : SX67NW063
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 34451
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SX 67 NW 81
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 442780
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 442763
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SX 67 NW 81
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1978-10-01
End Date : 1978-10-01
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SX 67 NW 81
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1989-05-19
End Date : 1989-05-19