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HER Number:MDV3326
Name:Enclosed hut circle settlement south-west of Legis Tor, Sheepstor

Summary

A field system containing 13 hut circles occupies an area of 6 hectares on the lower south and south-west flanks of Legis Tor. The field system is best preserved on the south where five irregular, adjoining enclosures contain all but one of the huts. These enclosures vary between 0.1 hectare and 0.6 hectares and lie in an area of often dense clitter. Several of the enclosures are further sub-divided. The western portion of the field system is quite poorly preserved and exists as a series of fragmentary banks forming no apparent pattern. A single hut circle lies in this part of the site.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 569 652
Map Sheet:SX56NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishSheepstor
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSHEEPSTOR

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX56NE69
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56NE/4/3
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56NE/4/5
  • Old SAM County Ref: 274
  • Old SAM Ref: 10696
  • Pastscape: 438698

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FINDSPOT (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 701 BC (Between))
  • ENCLOSED HUT CIRCLE SETTLEMENT (Constructed, Bronze Age - 2200 BC to 701 BC (Between))

Full description

Baring Gould, S., 1896, Third Report of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee, 179, 184-189 pl.1-9 (Article in Serial). SDV260468.

Legis Tor. Hut circles within enclosure excavated.
Hut 2; well defined entrance facing south. Floor paved with flat granite stones. Hearthstone at centre and a cooking hole, filled with ashes, to north of it. At entrance were two steps leading down. Plan (plate 5). North-west half of floor unpaved. 30 round cooking stones found on floor, of elvan rock, splintered by fire. One flint flake found. On west of entrance a pit excavated, yielding fragments of rough pottery urn, red exterior, inside blackened by charred organic matter (plate 6). Had been crushed by some wall stones which had fallen. Near hearth a broken, baked clay spindle whorl found in joint between two paving stones (plate 8).
Hut 3; north-west from Hut 2. Four flint flakes found, and an urn in a pit similar to that in Hut 2, also crushed (plate 3). Charcoal and ash found near the pottery. No other cooking hole found. Southern half of circle paved, the northern half unpaved. Entrance on south. Flint nodule found.
Hut 4; to south-west of Hut 3. Largest opened. Six flint flakes found. Northern half of unpaved, southern half paved. Wide, well paved entrance. No step down. Against west side of hut was a cooking hole, full of charcoal and ash. Paved border around it intact, and remains of urn found in the hole.
Hut 5; to north of Hut 4. Flint flakes found, two of triangular shape, one had a notch worked in centre of one side of triangle, giving barbed appearance (plate 7). On west side of hut was a cooking hole, filled with ash, fragments of a broken crock found in it and over floor.
Hut 6; 12 flint flakes found and fragments of ornamented pottery (plate 1) from cooking hole.
Hut 7; south-east of Hut 6. Entrance unknown. On west side of hut was a crock or cooking pot of unornamented pottery set in calm below floor level. Hut 7; badly cracked, filled with earth and ashes. None found outside pot. Two cooking stones found. Eastern half of hut well paved. Large central stones may have been hearth stones, not cracked by fire.30-40 cooking stones found. Rude stone implement found.
Hut 8; adjoining Hut 7. Charcoal on floor. Entrance unknown. Cooking hole on south side, lined with stones. No pottery in hole, some fragments over floor. Ornamented with deep incisions like nail mark intrusions. Ground stone implement, triangular found, broad end worked to a series of surfaces with clean sharp edges. Narrow end worked to a blunt point. Of light grey micaceous grit. At broad end, a hole had been started from each side with a sand drill, never completed. Lying on a flat hone of red grit which may have been used in polishing and grinding it. A triangular muller and polisher also found. Of altered slate. Two unworked flint flakes found, 60 cooking stones, a large square sectioned red grit stone, used, and a smaller piece of grey grit with sides smoothed by use.
Hut 9; to west and outside enclosure, 107m from Hut 2. No charcoal, flint or pottery found. A few rounded stones similar to cooking stones in other huts found.
Hut 10; inside enclosure, north-east of Hut 3. South-east half of floor paved. Walls constructed of flat upright slabs, on top of these was a coursed wall of smaller stones. Finds included 20 cooking stones, 3 flint flakes, several pieces of pottery, and charcoal found. One of the flints was the only one found at Legis Tor which had been ground and polished.
Piece of crystal or spar found in some of the huts. May have been an ornament, religious or of superstitious use. Such crystals commonly found on the Vezere and Dordogne. Australian Aborigines use such crystals for conjuring.
A great number of rubbing stones found in the hut circles. One in each hut. Smooth fine-grained elvan, fine red grit or soft altered slate. Brought from the Teign Valley, near the logan rock above Fingle Bridge, or from the Meavy or Plym River beds. Probably used in rubbing down the seams of skin dresses, or bone needles. A rubbing stone also found in the cist at Merrivale Bridge.

Worth, R. H., 1945, The Dartmoor Hut Circles, 233-256, plates 8, 11, 12 figs 8, 11 (Article in Serial). SDV246120.

Amery Adams, E. + Dewey, H., 1950, Spindle Whorls Found in Devonshire, 326 (Article in Serial). SDV147932.

Spindle whorl found in hut, near hearth between two pairing stones. 3 inches in diameter, 7.5 inches thick, made from baked clay. This is the first instance and so far the only example of a whorl found by the Committee from a Dartmoor hut (citing, Gould, 1896, pg. 185, plate 8).

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1977, SX56NE69 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV260509.

(27/06/1977) The Legis Tor settlement is situated on a southerly slope above the River Plym at 250-270m OD. It consists of a complex of five enclosures, of which A is clearly the primary one.
There are huts within the enclosures and outside. The overall dimensions of the complex are 150m north-south and 200m west-east, covering an area of approximately 3.0 hectares. The enclosure walling is double-faced with rubble infill; thickness 1.2 to 1.6m. The 15 huts are mainly of Type 2 (Type site SX 56 NE 71) and ruinous; four are incorporated into the walling of the enclosures. Their average internal diameter is 5.1m, the largest being 7.0m and the smallest 4.0m. There is also a number of small yards sometimes adjacent to the larger huts, which were possibly stock pens. In six of the huts the entrance is visible, all on the south or south-south-west side. The enclosure wall on the south-west appears to deviate from its logical course to avoid the hut outside the settlement. There is evidence of clearance for cultivation in all the enclosures, and on the lower edges of some there is a soil build-up forming a lynchet against the walls. Surveyed at 1:10 000 on PFD.

Newman, P. + Probert, S., 2005, Ringmoor Training Area: Monument Baseline Condition Survey (Report - Survey). SDV363484.

(15/02/2005) Centred SX 56936527. A field system containing 13 hut circles occupies an area of 6 hectares on the lower south and south-west flanks of Legis Tor. The field system is best preserved on the south where five irregular, adjoining enclosures contain all but one of the huts. These enclosures vary between 0.1 hectare and 0.6 hectares and lie in an area of often dense clitter. Several of the enclosures are further sub-divided. The western portion of the field system is quite poorly preserved and exists as a series of fragmentary banks forming no apparent pattern. A single hut circle lies in this part of the site.
The enclosure walls are largely as described by the Ordnance Survey (1977) though several are little more than low stony banks 1.0m wide and 0.3m high. Two of the enclosures at the north-east edge of the site (one previously recorded as 438926) are simply clearings in the clitter. This site is more extensive than previously recorded and also incorporates the truncated remains of a small enclosure (438932) adjacent to the streamworking remains flanking Legis Lake.
It is obvious from the remains that several of the features described by Ordnance Survey in 1977 as hut circles are the products of later activity on the site as are two very small enclosures.
The hut circles are largely integral with the enclosure banks though several are free-standing. All the huts have level interiors unless otherwise stated. Few display obvious entrances. Described separately; see related records.

Probert, S. A. J., 2010, A Condition Survey of the Archaeological Sites of Ringmoor, Dartmoor Training Area (Report - Survey). SDV360517.

Newman, P., 2018, Archaeological Sites within Ringmoor Training Area, Dartmoor National Park, Devon: A condition survey on behalf of Defence Infrastructure Organisation (Report - Survey). SDV361636.

Depicted on the GIS survey layer.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV147932Article in Serial: Amery Adams, E. + Dewey, H.. 1950. Spindle Whorls Found in Devonshire. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 82. A5 Hardback. 326.
SDV246120Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1945. The Dartmoor Hut Circles. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 77. A5 Hardback. 233-256, plates 8, 11, 12 figs 8, 11.
SDV260468Article in Serial: Baring Gould, S.. 1896. Third Report of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 28. Digital. 179, 184-189 pl.1-9.
SDV260509Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1977. SX56NE69. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Unknown.
SDV360517Report - Survey: Probert, S. A. J.. 2010. A Condition Survey of the Archaeological Sites of Ringmoor, Dartmoor Training Area. A4 Comb Bound.
SDV361636Report - Survey: Newman, P.. 2018. Archaeological Sites within Ringmoor Training Area, Dartmoor National Park, Devon: A condition survey on behalf of Defence Infrastructure Organisation. South-West Landscape Investigations. A4 Comb Bound. [Mapped features: #19111 This point just locates settlement; enclosure details dealt with more fully in MDV3979, ]

Associated Monuments

MDV3979Parent of: Agglomerate enclosure south-west of Legistor Warren (Monument)
MDV50659Parent of: Hut within enclosure south-west of Legis Tor (Monument)
MDV50662Parent of: Hut within enclosure south-west of Legis Tor (Monument)
MDV50665Parent of: Hut within enclosure south-west of Legis Tor (Monument)
MDV50666Parent of: Hut within enclosure south-west of Legis Tor (Monument)
MDV50667Parent of: Hut within enclosure south-west of Legis Tor (Monument)
MDV50668Parent of: Hut within enclosure south-west of Legis Tor (Monument)
MDV50670Parent of: Hut within enclosure south-west of Legis Tor (Monument)
MDV50675Parent of: Hut within enclosure south-west of Legis Tor (Monument)
MDV50676Parent of: Hut within enclosure south-west of Legis Tor (Monument)
MDV50677Parent of: Hut within enclosure south-west of Legis Tor (Monument)
MDV50678Parent of: Hut within enclosure south-west of Legis Tor (Monument)
MDV50680Parent of: Hut within enclosure south-west of Legis Tor (Monument)
MDV50661Parent of: Possible hut on west side of settlement south-west of Legis Tor (Monument)
MDV50672Parent of: Possible hut within enclosure south-west of Legis Tor (Monument)
MDV50679Parent of: Possible hut within enclosure south-west of Legis Tor (Monument)
MDV127486Parent of: Robbed hut on west side of settlement south-west of Legis Tor (Monument)
MDV50633Related to: Fragmentary field system on Legis Tor (Monument)
MDV50669Related to: Post-medieval pound at settlement south-west of Legis Tor (Monument)
MDV50681Related to: Structure on the west edge of enclosure south-west of Legis Tor (Monument)
MDV50663Related to: Structure within enclosure south-west of Legis Tor (Monument)
MDV50664Related to: Structure within enclosure south-west of Legis Tor (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV6023 - POLISHER (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 701 BC?)
  • FDV3015 - RITUAL OBJECT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2201 BC)

Associated Events

  • EDV7443 - Condition survey of archaeological sites in Ringmoor Training Area
  • EDV7569 - Condition survey of Ringmoor Down training area
  • EDV8227 - Ringmoor Training Area: Monument Baseline Condition Survey

Date Last Edited:Apr 26 2021 8:30AM