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HER Number:MDV26081
Name:Hut circle settlement east of Royal Hill


Settlement containing at least 21 hut circles located between the River Swincombe and the Wheal Emma Leat. This site is on the local list of Nationally Important Dartmoor sites.


Grid Reference:SX 635 721
Map Sheet:SX67SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Central western section of the Bronze Age Venford Reave at Swincombe, with a number of attached hut circle settlements and enclosures, as well as an extensive Bronze Age field system, a cairn and a post-Medieval blowing house on Down Ridge

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX67SW/268
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

National Monuments Record, 1969 - 1976, NMR SX6373, 1/144 (Aerial Photograph). SDV234379.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1980, SX67SW73 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV258118.

In an area of dense clitter centred at SX63577210 are six hut circles. All are in fairly poor condition and appear to be of Type 1 with tumbled rubble walls, occasionally with some inner facing slabs. The walling is 0.9 meters wide and 0.4 meters high, and the internal diameters range from 2.6 meters to 3.0 meters. Entrances are in all cases uncertain. The two easternmost huts incorporate massive in situ boulders. The huts are typical of those found in dense clitter, which in itself imposes a constraint on size and at a distance of 20 meters are almost impossible to detect. There are some very small cleared, or naturally clear patches, irregular in plan and usually about 6.0 square metres in area. Rickles of stone occur in the vicinity of the huts, 3.0 meters to 10 meters long, but these 'walls' form no recognisable fields or plot boundaries. Other details: Plan.

Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Interpretation). SDV319854.

Six hut circles visible beside the Venford Reave (one hut circle may be attached to the reave itself).

Pattison, P., 1988, Untitled Source (Report - Survey). SDV258119.

Group of 21 structures centred at SX63137255; 18 are hut circles and 3 rectangular structures, situated on a medium, north-facing slope amid dense clitter. Included are two groups of conjoined hut circles with adjoining fragmentary field walls. Most of the huts are in only poor-fair condition, except hut (c) and (g) and (n) which are well preserved. All are small with internal diameters between 1.7 meters and 5.2 meters; the average is 3.2 meters. Wall construction is almost uniformly of piled rubble forming low banks composed of medium-large size stones. Occasionally there are traces of internal and external facing slabs (hut circles (b), (d) and (n). Four structures utilise massive, in situ, boulders (hut circles (d), (o), (u) feature (v)). Features (a), (f) and (v) have rectangular ground plans. There are no clear entrances to any of the hut circles.
There are two groups of conjoined hut circles: 1) (k) and (l) 2) (p) (q) (r) and (s). Four hut circles are arranged in series, almost creating a building range, with common walls. (R) may be a core structure around which the remaining three were built. Although loosely associated as a scattered group, there hut circles display no obvious organisation; they are randomly sited among the clitter. Two field walls may have formed an enclosure on the south-west side of the "Venford" reave; indeed most of the hut circles lie inside it and there are patches of cleared ground within. The field walls survive up to 1.5 meters wide and 0.5 meters high and are of similar form to the hut circle walls. Further wall fragments exist on the extreme south of the group. Three hut circles have relationships to field walls: (g) probably pre-dates a wall while (p) lies at one end of a short length. The relationship of (v) to a field wall is not clear. Only six of the hut circles and one field wall are visible on the aerial photograph. A further table of information on the settlement is held in Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments in England archive.

Butler, J., 1993, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East, 209-210 (Monograph). SDV337765.

At least 26 small primitive hut circles associated with the boundary reave can be identified. Other details: Plan.

Gerrard, S., 2004, List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor (Un-published). SDV345444.

This site was considered for designation as a Scheduled Ancient Monument during the Monument Protection Programme. The programme ended before the entire list of sites was successfully scheduled so this is included on a local list of Nationally Important Sites.

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

Sources / Further Reading

SDV234379Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1969 - 1976. NMR SX6373. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 1/144.
SDV258118Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1980. SX67SW73. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV258119Report - Survey: Pattison, P.. 1988. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Field/Recording In. Unknown.
SDV319854Interpretation: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
SDV337765Monograph: Butler, J.. 1993. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East. Four. Paperback Volume. 209-210.
SDV345444Un-published: Gerrard, S.. 2004. List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor. Digital.
SDV345521Report - Survey: English Heritage. 2005-2008. Prehistoric Survey Information. English Heritage. Digital. [Mapped feature: #85169 ]

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jan 29 2013 1:34PM