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Historic England Research Records

The Kestor Settlement

Hob Uid: 443518
Location :
Devon
West Devon
Gidleigh, Chagford
Grid Ref : SX6630086800
Summary : The remains of an Early Iron Age settlement and field system. The settlement comprises a round, huts and an iron smelting floor. The well-defined field system is visible as single lines of stoney banks. The area was re-occupied in the medieval period. Scheduled.
More information : (Area centred SX 664867) Settlement (NR).
(SX 66388685) Round Pound (NR). (1)

(Centred SX 665867) Settlement, Field System, Hut Circles. (2)

The Kestor Settlement was investigated in 1951-2, primarily
by the excavation of the 'Round Pound' and its hut, both of
which have walls up to 6ft thick. The hut was found to have had
timber uprights supporting the roof though the centre was
apparently open to the sky. The living quarters were to the left
of the narrow paved entrance and to the right a working floor
in which was found a small bowl furnace lined with iron slag.
Pottery and other domestic material were of the IA 'A' tradition,
about 400 BC.

In the pound the radial walls probably dated from early
medieval re-use of the site as a fold, and a small hut in the
N quadrant had been previously excavated.

The huts and field system of the settlement as a whole indicate
arable farming, small fields being cleared and ploughed, with
cattle and sheep pastured on the open moor (3).

Huts are double walled and the fields mostly orthostats (4).
The lynchets of the field system are quite marked and the huts
30 to 40ft in diameter, have walls up to 4ft in height (5). Pollen
analysis of the peat preceeding cultivation suggests a 600 to
400 BC date for the beginning of the settlement (6).

Classfied as EIA, re-occupied in the 13th to 14th century,
the fields extensive and partly remade. (7) (3-7)

Kestor Settlement is non-nucleated and now comprises a well
defined field system and a score of huts within an area of
20 hectares centred at SX 665868. Further isolated huts with
only vestiges of associated field walls are now divorced from
the main grouping possibly because of extensive medieval and
later clearance of the intervening areas. Huts, mostly double
walled, and the fields are on the top and to each side of a
low N spur. Apart from obvious medieval fields which have been
superimposed, peat digging has occurred throughout much of the
area and it is probably the baulks of these diggings which
have been described by Curwen as lyncehts.

Surveyed at 1:2500.

The name 'Round Pound' is still applied to the enclosed hut
feature. (8)

Several ruined field boundaries contemporary with the settlements
(SX 68 NE 15 and 37) are visible on the western side of Teigncombe Farm and are clearly a continuation of the extensive reave system visible on the moorland outside the farm (SX 68 NE 14). They consist of either single lines of stony banks about 1.6m wide and up to 0.6m high, or massive upright slabs.
(For illustration see SX 68 NE 94 illus card 1). (9)

Centred SX 66388685. Round Pound, an enclosureof approximately 0.07ha lies on a gentle NW facing slope adjacent to the road leading to Batworthy Farm. Within the pound are a large central hut and a smaller peripheral hut. Several low walls radiate from the centra;l hut and form segmental enclosures.
The pound is sub-circular and bounded by a double wall of massive upright slabs and boulders standing to a maximum height of 1.6m. A blocked entrance in the W formerly gave access to a contemporary trackway.
The radial walls are insubstantial lines of partially buried boulders. The central hut consists of a double wall of upright slabs and boulders c1.4m wide and up to 1.2m high enclosing ana area 11.2m in diameter. An entrance lies in the SSE margin. The peripheral hut is less well preserved, possessing a partial circle of upright stones enclosing an area 2.8m in diameter. There is no obvious entrance.

The 1991 1:2500 survey of Chagford Common (see RCHME Castor survey indicates that the field system and associated hut circles previously assumed to be contemporary with Round Pound are actually of earlier origin. As such they should no longer be included in this report. These features can be divided into several hut clusters and individual huts (SX 68 NE 126-138 and 160) within a well-developed parallel reave system (SX 68 NE 67)(10).

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1963
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Source Number : 2
Source : Annotated Record Map
Source details : Pte 6" (O G S Crawford undated)
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Source Number : 11
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 04-Feb-99
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Source : Castor Parallel System/ink survey
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Source : Castor Parallel System NMR description sheet
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Excavations at Kestor 1952 Interim Report
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Source Number : 4
Source : Annotated Record Map
Source details : Correspondents Annotated 6" Sheet (C and A Fox Aug 1949)
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Source Number : 5
Source : Antiquity
Source details : EC Curwen
Page(s) : 283
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1, 1927
Source Number : 6
Source : Devonshire Association reports and transactions
Source details : A Fox
Page(s) : 21-62
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 86, 1954
Source Number : 7
Source : Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society
Source details : A Fox
Page(s) : 87-102
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 20, 1954
Source Number : 8
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 NVQ 20-JUL-74
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Source Number : 9
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : ADAS Archaeol Survey & Evaluation: Rpt on Teigncombe Farm.undated (B Jones)
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Source Number : 10
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : RCHME Field Investigation, 11-OCT-1991, SAJ Probert.
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Early Iron Age
Display Date : Early Iron Age
Monument End Date : -300
Monument Start Date : -800
Monument Type : Field System, Furnace, Hut Circle Settlement, Round
Evidence : Earthwork, Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Medieval
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Field System, Pound
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : DV 261
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Devonshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 009/01,06
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : DV 157
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 28714
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SX 68 NE 14
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : BATWORTHY POUND
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1951-01-01
End Date : 1952-12-31
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SX 68 NE 14
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1974-07-20
End Date : 1974-07-20
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SX 68 NE 14
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1991-10-11
End Date : 1991-10-11