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HER Number:MDV104672
Name:Lowton West Settlement, Fernworthy Forest

Summary

Dispersed hut circle settlement comprising 12 hut circles spread over a distance of 550 metres north-south along the western valley side. Fragmentary evidence of a reave system and other enclosure walls are associated with the huts.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 663 831
Map Sheet:SX68SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX68SE45
  • National Monuments Record: SX68SE46
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 443841
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 443842
  • Old SAM County Ref: 957
  • Old SAM Ref Revised: 28671

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Constructed, Bronze Age - 2200 BC (Between) to 701 BC (Between))
  • UNENCLOSED HUT CIRCLE SETTLEMENT (Constructed, Bronze Age - 2200 BC (Between) to 701 BC (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

Hut circles marked.

Spooner, G. M. + Birkett Dixon, C. E., 1955, Note on the Antiquities situated in the Forestry Commission ground at Fernworthy and Bellever. Appendix 1 (Report - non-specific). SDV351955.

Fernworthy District
The area shows the effect of the earliest policy during planting when a minimum clearance was given to some of the more conspicuous antiquities and the rest ignored. In general hut circles were planted over. Where the trees are now sifficiently tall and the ground has been cleared beneath them it can be seen that the structure of the planted circles has survived, but they will have lost something of their archaeological value.
A. Region south of the Teign
The remains in the Assacombe-Lowton area are nearly all hut circles, some of which are conspicuous and comparatively well preserved. They have never been systematically investigated. It is desirable that they be spared further disturbance below ground level by tree roots and that the remaining trees on them be removed by felling.

Turner, J. R., 1976, Ancient Monuments on Forestry Commission Land. Fernworthy and Bellever (Report - non-specific). SDV351823.

Fernworthy Plantation. West Lowton. Sketch map showing location of 11 hut circles.
There are four hut circles in this area.
1. SX 66238332. Diameter 7.6m with coursed walling 1.3m thick and 0.7m high. Cut into an east facing slope. Part of the east side has fallen away and the hut has been robbed for the nearby enclosure wall.
2. SX 66358328. Diameter 4.5m, with walling 1.3m thick and up to 0.8m high. Entrance on south side.
3. SX 6622 8326. Diameter 6.1m, walling 1.5m thick and up to 1.1m high.
4. SX 66238323. Diameter 7.5m., walling 1.5m thick and up to 1.0m high. Much internal clitter.
(SX 66298314) There are four hut circles in this group:
1. SX 66318317. Diameter 5.3m on a platform site. It is very ruined the largest stone being 1.7m high.
2. SX 66308316. Diameter 5.7m, with a wall 1.4m thick and up to 1.1m high. Entrance of the south side.
3. SX 66288315. Diameter 7.3m with a levelled interior, walling 1.4m thick and up to 1.3m high.
4. SX 66278309. Diameter 7.0m with walling 1.7m thick and up to 1.0m high. Entrance on south.

Butler, J., 1991, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North, Map 35 (Monograph). SDV219155.

Depicted and described by Butler.

Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England, 1993-1998, Dartmoor Royal Forest Project, S. Probert (Report - Survey). SDV346608.

(03/06/1995) [443841] Centred SX 66268328. Four hut circles and traces of a contemporary field system lie in clearings in the dense conifer plantation on the moderate NE-facing slope above the left bank of the Lowton Brook. The huts (tabulated below) have all been disturbed by stone robbing and forestry activities. The ground evidence suggests that they were once well-constructed from large upright blocks and slabs and terraced into the slope to provide level interiors. Because of their state of preservation there is no obvious entrance to any of the huts but two have gaps in the S and SE quadrants.
The associated field system remains have also suffered from forestry activities in this area. The stoney banks and low lynchets appear to link two of the huts but they form no recognisable pattern.
SX 66248332 Hut measures 7.3m in diameter, with walls 1.2m wide, 0.8m high. Entrance ?S. Only SW quadrant survives. Most of walls robbed for stone.
SX 66358328 Hut measures 4.3m in diameter, with walls 1.0m wide, 0.5m high. Entrance to ?SE. In small clearing divorced from other huts.
SX 66238326 Hut measures 4.9m in diameter, with walls 1.3m wide, 0.7m high. Entrance to E. wall robbed.
SX 66258323 Hut measures 7.5m in diameter, with walls 1.2m wide, 0.9m high. Interior obscured by stone removed from W wall.
[443842] Centred SX 66308316. Four hut circles and fragments of an associated field system lie on the moderate NE-facing slope above the left bank of the Lowton Brook within Fernworthy Forest. These features have in the past been overplanted but their immediate environs have been clear felled and they now occupy a glade enclosed by mature conifers. The huts (tabulated below) are heavily disturbed by tree roots and ploughing. They are relatively large, with internal diameters in the range 5.7m to 7.3m, three were formerly well-constructed from large upright slabs and blocks the fourth (at SX 66318318) was apparently built of smaller stones and boulders. All are terraced into the hillside and possess entrances in the S quadrant. The associated field system is very poorly preserved, consisting of low stoney banks and lynchets forming no obvious pattern. None of these boundaries are visible in the woodland beyond the cleared area.
SX 66318318 Hut measures 5.3m in diameter, with walls 0.7m wide, 0.7m high. Entrance to S. Smaller stone used in construction.
SX 66308316 Hut measures 6.5m in diameter, with walls 1.1m wide, 1.0m high. Entrance to S. Walls largely removed.
SX 66308315 Hut measures 7.2m in diameter, with walls 1.2m wide, 0.9m high. Entrance to S.
SX 66278311 Hut measures 7.3m in diameter, with walls 1.2m wide, 1.0m high. Entrance to S. Well-defined entrance.

Fugro-BKS, 2013, Fernworthy Forest LiDAR survey (Cartographic). SDV351778.

Hut circles and field system visible. Map object based on this source.

English Heritage, 2013, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV350785.

[Part of] Dispersed stone hut circle settlement and associated fields 490m south east of Silk House.
The monument, which falls into six areas, includes a dispersed stone hut circle settlement and associated fields situated on a north east facing slope overlooking the valley of the Lowton Brook. The settlement contains at least 12 stone hut circles together with a number of lengths of rubble walling forming part of a field system. The stone hut circles within the settlement all survive as banks each surrounding an internal circular area which varies from 14.51 to 55.39 square metres with the average being 30.56 square metres. The height of the surrounding walls vary between 0.6m and 1.3m, with the average being 0.91m. Four of the huts have visible doorways and the orthostatic, rubble bank and coursed walling building traditions are all represented.
Despite afforestation, the dispersed stone hut circle settlement and associated fields lying west of Lowton Brook survives well and contains archaeological structures, features and deposits, relating to the exploitation of this part of the moor during the Bronze Age period.

Newman, P., 2013, The Archaeology of Fernworthy Forest, Dartmoor, Devon, 23-29, Fig. 20 (Report - Survey). SDV351784.

Hut circle settlement comprising 12 hut circles spread over a distance of 550 metres north-south along the western valley side between the 370 and 440 metre contours. Most of the huts are terraced due to the steepness of the hillside in order to provide level floors. The huts can be divided into two localised groups plus several discrete outliers. With the exception of the northernmost hut (MDV6599) all have been robbed of stones to some extent. Most of the surviving stonework is displaced with only four of the huts still having in situ orthostats making up part of the walls or entrances. Fragmentary evidence of a reave system and other enclosure walls can be associated with these huts. Map object based on this source.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV219155Monograph: Butler, J.. 1991. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Two. Paperback Volume. Map 35.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV346608Report - Survey: Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England. 1993-1998. Dartmoor Royal Forest Project. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Field/Recording In. Unknown. S. Probert.
SDV350785National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2013. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV351778Cartographic: Fugro-BKS. 2013. Fernworthy Forest LiDAR survey. Digital.
SDV351784Report - Survey: Newman, P.. 2013. The Archaeology of Fernworthy Forest, Dartmoor, Devon. Southwest Landscape Investigations. Digital + A4. 23-29, Fig. 20.
SDV351823Report - non-specific: Turner, J. R.. 1976. Ancient Monuments on Forestry Commission Land. Fernworthy and Bellever. Dartmoor National Park Authority Field Report. Digital.
SDV351955Report - non-specific: Spooner, G. M. + Birkett Dixon, C. E.. 1955. Note on the Antiquities situated in the Forestry Commission ground at Fernworthy and Bellever. Appendix 1. Dartmoor Preservation Association. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV6580Parent of: Hut circle, Lowton West, Fernworthy Forest (Monument)
MDV6581Parent of: Hut circle, Lowton West, Fernworthy Forest (Monument)
MDV6599Parent of: Hut circle, Lowton West, Fernworthy Forest (Monument)
MDV6644Parent of: Hut circle, Lowton West, Fernworthy Forest (Monument)
MDV104676Parent of: Hut Circle, Lowton West, Fernworthy Forest (Monument)
MDV6574Parent of: Hut Circle, Lowton West, Fernworthy Forest (Monument)
MDV6575Parent of: Hut Circle, Lowton West, Fernworthy Forest (Monument)
MDV6577Parent of: Hut Circle, Lowton West, Fernworthy Forest (Monument)
MDV6578Parent of: Hut Circle, Lowton West, Fernworthy Forest (Monument)
MDV6579Parent of: Hut Circle, Lowton West, Fernworthy Forest (Monument)
MDV6582Parent of: Hut Circle, Lowton West, Fernworthy Forest (Monument)
MDV6583Parent of: Hut Circle, Lowton West, Fernworthy Forest (Monument)
MDV6584Parent of: Hut Circle, Lowton West, Fernworthy Forest (Monument)
MDV6718Parent of: Hut Circle, Lowton West, Fernworthy Forest (Monument)
MDV105624Related to: Hut Circle, Lowton West, Fernworthy Forest (Monument)
MDV58436Related to: Prehistoric Field System, Lowton West, Fernworthy Forest (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6203 - Archaeological Survey of Fernworthy Forest
  • EDV7389 - Fernworthy Forest condition survey 1996
  • EDV7410 - Fernworthy Forest condition survey 1992
  • EDV8409 - Dartmoor Royal Forest Project

Date Last Edited:Apr 12 2022 10:55AM