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HER Number:MDV2435
Name:Enclosure with hut circles on Cholwich Town contour reave, Cornwood

Summary

Enclosed hut circle settlement of 115 metres by 110 metres. It contains at least thirteen hut circles of varying sizes

Location

Grid Reference:SX 593 634
Map Sheet:SX56SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishCornwood
Civil ParishShaugh Prior
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishCORNWOOD
Ecclesiastical ParishSHAUGH PRIOR

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX56SE59
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 439273
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56SE/25
  • Old SAM Ref: 10754

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ENCLOSED HUT CIRCLE SETTLEMENT (Bronze Age - 2200 BC (Between) to 701 BC (Between))

Full description

Spence Bate, C., 1870-1871, On the Prehistoric Antiquities of Dartmoor, 497 (Article in Serial). SDV277110.

Two huts sited, one each side of the trackway at Cholwich Town enclosure.

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

'Hut circles' shown on 19th century map.

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1890, Devon County Council RAF/CPE/UK/1890 2292-2293 10-DEC-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV169268.

Linear banks are visible defining a trapezium shaped enclosure.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950/1977, SX56SE59, Plan (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV139471.

(30/05/1950) Enclosure shown on 6 inch map. Hut circle diameter 6 metres at SX59376344.
(31/08/1977) SX 59386344. This enclosed settlement, 115m. by 110m. and 1.2 ha., lies on a moderate, well drained partly clitter strewn south-west facing slope at 380m. above O.D. It contains thirteen, terraced, type 2 hut circles, average internal diameter 3.5m., walls 1.0m. wide and in poor, to very poor condition, eight with entrances in the south-east quadrant. Four of the hut circles form two contiguous pairs. The three smaller hut circles, internal diameter 2.2m., are fragmentary, two lie adjacent to the south wall and the third is integrated with a pair of type 2 hut circles. The interior, and the area to the south of the settlement, is largely clear of clitter, but there is no direct evidence of cultivation. (Type site: SX 55 NE 71).
1:10 000 Survey on P.F.D.

Fleming, A. + Collis, J. + Jones, R. L., 1973, A Late Prehistoric Reave System near Cholwich Town, Dartmoor, 8, Figures 1 and 3 (Article in Serial). SDV358808.

(April 1972) This large, sub-rectangular enclosure was well built, with an orthostatically-faced wall whose width varied from 1-2 metres. The north wall had an average width of 1.30m. Near the north corner, one of the orthostats suggested a minimum height of 1.10m. The wall was most impressive, however, on the north-east side. Here it was a minimum of 1.50m. in width. Near the entrance and at the E. corner it was 2m. It was quite clear that on this north-eastern side there had been an entrance very similar to that at Grimspound; an entrance 1.80-2 m. wide, facing the upper part of the moor, and flanked by walls composed of horizontally laid courses of granite slabs. The present height of this portal is less than one metre, but it is clear from the tumble that the original height exceeded 2 m.
The south-east wall varies in width between 1.25-1.50 m. The gap near the E. corner is probably not original. The south-western wall is less well preserved than the others, but a width of about1.50 metres may be measured at one place. Inside the enclosure, which slopes gently from NE to SW, there are at least 16 hut circles, most of them near the centre of the enclosure, but with an important group in the N. corner. The huts vary considerably in character, but the most impressive feature is the hut complex near the centre of the group, where two huts, much larger than the others, are joined together with a third, much smaller circle (? perhaps a store) incorporated in the party wall. If all the huts are roughly contemporary, the size, character and position of this complex might indicate some special or ceremonial purpose.
A butt-joint at the south corner of the enclosure suggests that the south part of Cholwich Town Reave (SX 56 SE 82) post-dates the enclosure. The nature of the junction with the north part of the reave is not clearly visible. Fleming could find no trace of the huts mentioned by Spence Bate.

National Monuments Record, 1976, NMR SX5863, 2 (Aerial Photograph). SDV148504.

Photograph taken on 8th April 1976.

SMR, 1981, Shell Top settlement (Photograph). SDV139474.

Three slides taken on 25th June 1981.

Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Dartmoor) - Dartmoor Pre-NMP (Cartographic). SDV319854.

Sub-rectangular enclosure visible containing three smaller enclosures, one containing eleven hut circles, one containing two huts and the other one hut circle.

Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, SX56SE (Cartographic). SDV336987.

A reave runs north-west and south-east from this enclosure and is partially shown map.

Butler, J., 1994, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West, 160-1, Map 51, Figure 51.4 (Monograph). SDV137656.

'Shell Top south-west enclosure' with massive walls still up to 1 metre high. The squarish enclosure abuts the contour reave which seems to have been aligned to incorporate the western boundary. The smallest of the 21 hut circles are usually supposed to be for storage and are spaced around the perimeter. Others may have been present beneath the collapsed boundary wall. Other huts seem to be associated with courts and the three adjoining huts in the centre include an oval stucture with a cross wall and a prominent pillar close to the entrance.

Robertson, J. G., 1994, The Archaeology of the Upper Plym Valley (Post-Graduate Thesis). SDV139549.

Depicted and described by Robertson.

Probert, S. A. J. + Fletcher, M. J., 2002, Plym Valley survey (Report - Survey). SDV350782.

(23/05/2002) Centred SX 59386344. A trapezoidal enclosure containing the remains of twelve hut circles and a later rectangular structure lie on the moderate SW facing flank below Shell Top.
The enclosure is abutted by the Cholwich Town Reave (SX 56 SE 82) and is adequately described by Fleming and Collis (1973). However, the entrances described appear to be later in origin.
The hut circles are all in poor condition and relatively crudely constructed when compared to contemporary settlements on lower ground to the W. All the huts have been terraced into the hillside to create level interiors and while many display gaps in their walls, few possess identifiable entrances.
SX 59406350. Measuring 3.8m N to S by 2.8m internally this hut is enclosed by a crude circle of stones 0.5m high.
SX 59416348. A circle of boulders a maximum of 0.7m high encloses a levelled area 3.0m N to S by 3.3m.
SX 59416347. A hut circle 2.5m in diameter with collapsed walls now partially obscuring the interior.
SX 59426344. 3.6m N to S by 3.3m internally with walls 1.2m wide and 0.3m high. A possible entrance lies in the N side.
SX 59416344. A levelled platform 2.5m in diameter enclosed by large boulders.
SX 59406344. A relatively large hut measuring 5.1m N to S by 5.3m internally with walls 1.3m wide and 0.6m high. Adjacent to;
SX 59396345. A hut circle 4.8m N to S by 5.1m with walls 1.3m wide and 0.5m high. The E part of this hut is occupied by a later circular structure 2.6m in diameter. The latter displays a possible entrance in the SW margin.
SX 59396344. A small sub-circular structure lying between the previous 2 huts. It measures 2.0m in diameter.
SX 59386345. A hut circle measuring 3.9m N to S by 3.4m internally with walls 1.3m wide and 0.5m high. Adjacent to;
SX 59376346. A levelled platform 2.6m N to S by 3.3m enclosed by a crude rim of stones.
SX 59386343. Measuring 3.3m N to S by 3.0m this hut has boulder walls 0.6m high.
SX 59376343. At 3.0m in diameter this hut has walls 1.2m wide and 0.6m high. Adjacent to;
SX 59376343. An ovoid structure 2.9m N to S by 2.2m with walls 1.0m wide and 0.3m high.
SX 59356339. A crude circle of stones 2.2m in diameter adjoining the main enclosure wall.
SX 59366338. A small rectangular structure 1.8m NW to SE by 1.1m internally. The turf and stone walls are 1.0m wide and 0.4m high and the interior is open to the NW. The remains of several, obviously recent and very crude shelters are attached to the inner face of the enclosure.

English Heritage, 2005-2008, Prehistoric Survey Information (Cartographic). SDV345521.

Enclosure shown on survey.

GeoInformation Group Ltd, 2010, 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution), Devon County Council 2010 Aerial Photograph mosaic (Aerial Photograph). SDV346026.

Linear banks are visible defining a trapezium shaped enclosure.

NERC, 2013, LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution) Tellus: South Devon to Dartmoor, LIDAR SX5963 Tellus DTM 01-JUL-2013 to 31-AUG-2013 (Cartographic). SDV361514.

Linear banks are visible defining a trapezium shaped enclosure.

Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R., 2019-2020, The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping Survey. Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (AI&M, formerly NMP) (Interpretation). SDV362982.

Stony earthwork banks up to circa 6m wide are visible as earthworks on aerial photographs of 1946 onwards, defining a trapezium shaped enclosure up to approximately 130m wide and 107m across.
The enclosure falls without the survey area but has been transcribed due to its association with the Cholwich Town Reave, which abuts the enclosure to north and south (MDV15060, MDV15061).
Several hut circles, not transcribed, are visible defined by stony banks and hollows within the enclosure.

Ordnance Survey, 2021, MasterMap 2021 (Cartographic). SDV364015.

Enclosure shown on modern mapping.

Historic England, 2021, National Heritage List for England, 1017399 (National Heritage List for England). SDV364016.

The enclosure at the eastern end of the reave contains at least sixteen hut circles.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV137656Monograph: Butler, J.. 1994. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West. Three. Paperback Volume. 160-1, Map 51, Figure 51.4.
SDV139471Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950/1977. SX56SE59. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index. Plan.
SDV139474Photograph: SMR. 1981. Shell Top settlement.
SDV139549Post-Graduate Thesis: Robertson, J. G.. 1994. The Archaeology of the Upper Plym Valley. Edinburgh University. Unknown.
SDV148504Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1976. NMR SX5863. National Monument Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 2.
SDV169268Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/CPE/UK/1890. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). Devon County Council RAF/CPE/UK/1890 2292-2293 10-DEC-1946.
SDV277110Article in Serial: Spence Bate, C.. 1870-1871. On the Prehistoric Antiquities of Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 4. Digital. 497.
SDV319854Cartographic: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project (Dartmoor) - Dartmoor Pre-NMP. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336987Cartographic: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. SX56SE. Air Photographs Unit. Map (Paper).
SDV345521Cartographic: English Heritage. 2005-2008. Prehistoric Survey Information. English Heritage. Digital.
SDV346026Aerial Photograph: GeoInformation Group Ltd. 2010. 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution). 2010 Aerial Photographs. Digital. Devon County Council 2010 Aerial Photograph mosaic.
SDV350782Report - Survey: Probert, S. A. J. + Fletcher, M. J.. 2002. Plym Valley survey. English Heritage Archaeological Investigation Report. Unknown.
SDV358808Article in Serial: Fleming, A. + Collis, J. + Jones, R. L.. 1973. A Late Prehistoric Reave System near Cholwich Town, Dartmoor. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Exploration Society. 31. Unknown. 8, Figures 1 and 3.
SDV361514Cartographic: NERC. 2013. LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution) Tellus: South Devon to Dartmoor. Digital. LIDAR SX5963 Tellus DTM 01-JUL-2013 to 31-AUG-2013.
SDV362982Interpretation: Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R.. 2019-2020. The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping Survey. Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (AI&M, formerly NMP). Historic England Research Report. Digital.
SDV364015Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2021. MasterMap 2021. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV364016National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2021. National Heritage List for England. Digital. 1017399.

Associated Monuments

MDV131107Parent of: Eastern of three adjoining hut circles within the enclosure on the Cholwich Town reave, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV131105Parent of: Eastern of two adjoining hut circles within the enclosure on the Cholwich Town reave, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV131110Parent of: Eastern of two adjoining hut circles within the enclosure on the Cholwich Town reave, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV131099Parent of: Hut circle in north-east corner of enclosure on the Cholwich Town reave, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV131100Parent of: Hut circle in north-east corner of enclosure on the Cholwich Town reave, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV131101Parent of: Hut circle in north-east corner of enclosure on the Cholwich Town reave, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV131102Parent of: Hut circle in north-east corner of enclosure on the Cholwich Town reave, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV131112Parent of: Hut circle within the enclosure on the Cholwich Town reave, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV131113Parent of: Hut circle within the enclosure on the Cholwich Town reave, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV131114Parent of: Hut circle within the enclosure on the Cholwich Town reave, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV131117Parent of: Hut circle within the enclosure on the Cholwich Town reave, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV131118Parent of: Hut circle within the enclosure on the Cholwich Town reave, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV131108Parent of: Small central of three adjoining hut circles within the enclosure on the Cholwich Town reave, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV131103Parent of: Small hut circle on the northern boundary of enclosure on the Cholwich Town reave, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV131115Parent of: Small hut circle within the enclosure on the Cholwich Town reave, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV131116Parent of: Small hut circle within the enclosure on the Cholwich Town reave, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV131106Parent of: Western of three adjoining hut circles within the enclosure on the Cholwich Town reave, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV131104Parent of: Western of two adjoining hut circles within the enclosure on the Cholwich Town reave, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV131109Parent of: Western of two adjoining hut circles within the enclosure on the Cholwich Town reave, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV49029Related to: BOUNDARY STONE in the Parish of Cornwood, Shaugh Prior (Monument)
MDV15060Related to: Cholwich Town Reave North (Monument)
MDV15061Related to: Cholwich Town Reave South (Monument)
MDV131180Related to: Stone at northern end of stone alignment south-west of Shell Top, Cornwood (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8148 - The Upper Plym Valley: The Management of an Historic Landscape
  • EDV8098 - The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping (formerly NMP) Survey, Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (Ref: ACD2040)
  • EDV8155 - Plym Valley Survey: EH Project (Feb 2001 - Dec 2002)

Date Last Edited:Sep 20 2021 3:02PM