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HER Number:MDV107002
Name:East Lowton hut circle settlement 780 metres south-west of Metherall farmstead. Dartmoor Forest


Partially enclosed hut circle settlement comprising four hut circles and the remains of an enclosure located some 780 metres south-west of Metherall. One of the stone hut circles is particularly well preserved.


Grid Reference:SX 665 836
Map Sheet:SX68SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX68SE44
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 443840
  • Old SAM County Ref: 610
  • Old SAM Ref Revised: 28678

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • 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.

Four 'Hut Circles' shown on 19th century map.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1952-1978, SX68SE44A (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV277863.

The southern circle (SX 66578364) is a cairn circle with retaining kerb. To the north of it is a hut circle. (Now grouped with two other hut circles further north) (Worth, R. H., 07/12/1948).

Ordnance Survey, 1963-1996, 1963-1996 National Grid OS Metric, (1963) (Cartographic). SDV350058.

(Centred at SX 66588368) Hut Circles (NR) (Three) Cairn Circle (NR).

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

East Lowton hut circles etc.
1. SX 66588373. Reported 1965; collection of large stones; indeterminate.
2. SX 66588371. A ring cairn 10.1m diameter with an inner kerb 0.5m high and large boulders up to 1.4m high. Could have been reused as a hut because an entrance porch stone is on the east side.
Comparable to the kerb circle at Metherel.
3. SX 66588366. A single walled hut circle, 5.3m diameter.
4. SX 66578364. Hut circle, 9.0m diameter, with a single wall of large stones up to 1.2m high.
Damaged on east side where one entrance stone remains.

Butler, J., 1991, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North, 156. Map 35, Site 2 (Monograph). SDV219155.

'Lowton Brook East settlement' occupies the slopes above Lowton Brook. The west side of an enclosure are shown and two huts lie beside the track running through the site. One has been cleared of trees but only about a third of its circumference still stands. The other is a large circle of 10 metres diameter with its shorter inner wall almost complete and the tops of a few small earthfast slabs showing above the turf within.

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

(03/06/1995) Centred SX 66588369. Four hut circles lie in two clearings adjacent to a forestry commission track within a dense coniferous plantation 400m W of Metherall Gate. The huts (tabulated below), in varying states of preservation, range from 4.2m to 9.6m in internal diameter and are all massively constructed of large granite slabs and blocks. All the huts have been terraced into the slope and entrances, where discernible, are in the E quadrant.
There is no evidence to suggest that any of these features are or were ring cairns as suggested by previous authorities.
A sub-circular enclosure (SX 68 SE 89) and traces of an associated field system lie 65m to the W on these huts on the opposite side of the forestry track.
SX 66588373 Hut measures 7.9m in diameter, with walls 1.2m wide, 1.0m high. Disturbed. Few stones remaining.
SX 66588371 Hut measures 9.6m in diameter, with walls 1.0m wide, 1.5m high. Entrance on east. Double orthostatic wall.
SX 66598366 Hut measures 4.2m in diameter, with walls 0.6m wide, 0.9m high. Disturbed. Slightly ovoid.
SX 66578364 Hut measures 5.9m in diameter, with walls 1.0m wide, 1.3m high. Entrance on east. Disturbed on south-east.

Newman, P., 2013, The Archaeology of Fernworthy Forest, Dartmoor, Devon, 29, Fig. 24 (Report - Survey). SDV351784.

Four hut circles with an enclosure on the eastern slope of the Lowton valley. One of the hut circles is attached to the enclosure, the others are outside. A forest track has bisected the settlement destroying some of the evidence including the association between the huts which are all on the eastern side of the track and the upstanding remains of the enclosure which are on the west side.

Ordnance Survey, 2014, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV355681.

'Hut Circles' shown on modern mapping.

English Heritage, 2014, National Heritage List for England, 1017990 (National Heritage List for England). SDV355683.

Despite afforestation the partially enclosed stone hut circle settlement 780 metres south west of Metherall survives well and contains archaeological structures, features and deposits relating to later prehistoric settlement in the area of the moor. One of the stone hut circles is particularly well preserved and forms an obvious visual amenity in this part of the forest.
The monument includes an enclosure and four stone hut circles situated on a north facing slope overlooking Fernworthy Reservoir. The enclosure includes an area measuring up to 120 metres long north-east to south-west by 60 metres wide, defined by a 1.8 metres wide and 0.7 metres high orthostatic and rubble bank which is double faced in places. A second length of walling leads off from the south eastern side of the main enclosure. The stone hut circles within the settlement all survive as banks each surrounding an internal circular area which varies from 16.6 to 73.86 square metres. The height of the surrounding walls vary between 0.65 and 1.45 metres. Two of the huts have visible doorways, one has a bench, all of them are of orthostatic construction and one has a length of boundary wall leading from it. The surface of the forestry track leading through the monument is excluded, although the ground beneath is included.

Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC, 2015-2017, 2015-2017 Aerial Photographs (Aerial Photograph). SDV361462.

Visible on aerial photograph.

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. 156. Map 35, Site 2.
SDV277863Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1952-1978. SX68SE44A. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Photocopy.
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.
SDV350058Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1963-1996. 1963-1996 National Grid OS Metric. Digital Mapping. Digital. (1963).
SDV351784Report - Survey: Newman, P.. 2013. The Archaeology of Fernworthy Forest, Dartmoor, Devon. Southwest Landscape Investigations. Digital + A4. 29, Fig. 24.
SDV351823Report - non-specific: Turner, J. R.. 1976. Ancient Monuments on Forestry Commission Land. Fernworthy and Bellever. Dartmoor National Park Authority Field Report. Digital.
SDV355681Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2014. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV355683National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2014. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Website. 1017990.
SDV361462Aerial Photograph: Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. 2015-2017. 2015-2017 Aerial Photographs. Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. Photograph (Digital).

Associated Monuments

MDV6601Parent of: Enclosure associated with four hut circles south of Fernworthy Reservoir, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV6585Parent of: Hut Circle within settlement east of Lowton Brook, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV6586Parent of: Hut Circle within settlement east of Lowton Brook, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV6588Parent of: Hut Circle within settlement east of Lowton Brook, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV6589Parent of: Hut Circle within settlement east of Lowton Brook, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6203 - Archaeological Survey of Fernworthy Forest
  • EDV6216 - Condition Surveys of Ancient Monuments on Forestry Commission Land
  • EDV7389 - Fernworthy Forest condition survey 1996
  • EDV7410 - Fernworthy Forest condition survey 1992
  • EDV8525 - Cairn investigated, Fernworthy Forest
  • EDV8409 - Dartmoor Royal Forest Project

Date Last Edited:Feb 26 2023 9:18AM