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HER Number:MDV3352
Name:Prehistoric Settlement on Giant's Hill, Shaugh Prior

Summary

Prehistoric Settlement on Giant's Hill including at least five enclosures with hut circles

Location

Grid Reference:SX 594 668
Map Sheet:SX56NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishShaugh Prior
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishSHAUGH PRIOR

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56NE/60
  • Old SAM County Ref: 499
  • Old SAM Ref Revised: 24190
  • Old SAM Ref: 10690

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946 - 1949, Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs, 2494, 4128-9 (Aerial Photograph). SDV342938.

Photograph taken in March 1948.

Ostridge, J.H., 1950, Giant's Hill Prehistoric Settlement, Shaugh Prior, SX56NE94 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV150857.

Six enclosures and hut circles with walls of turf and heather covered stones 2 metres wide by 0.3 to 0.4 metres high.

National Monuments Record, 1979, SF 1457, 343-346 (Aerial Photograph). SDV140197.

Photograph taken on 1st March 1979.

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

Likely associated with oval enclosure to south. Area approx 0.75 hectares.

Gerrard, S., 1990-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset., MPP 140366. (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

This agglomerated enclosure is linked by a rubble wall to a smaller example lying 24 metres to the east and together these two groups of enclosures together with 16 hut circles form the visible archaeological remains of the enclosed stone hut circle settlement on Giant's Hill.

Thackray, C., 1994, The Upper Plym Valley: the management of an historic landscape, 281-5, 102.1000-1002. (Report - non-specific). SDV143510.

Village settlement on Giant's Hill. Enclosures and hut circles. Late Bronze Age/Iron Age. Bracken covered.

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

(19/03/2002) Centred SX 5952 6680. A number of irregular enclosures containing three hut circles, four probable hut circles, three cairns and a possible military structure on the west flank of Giant's Hill above Mill Corner.
The hut circles, by contrast to the enclosures, are very poorly preserved and have been mutilated by later activities and had surface stone dumped on their walls and interiors. Several features described as huts by previous authorities are now simply stony patches within the enclosures and one appears to be of fairly recent (?military) origin. Only one of the identifiable huts possesses an obvious entrance while most display traces of level interiors.
The cairns are generally well preserved though none present any evidence to suggest the presence of cists or kerbs.
The cist mentioned in the Scheduling description is recorded as SX 56 NE 302.(19/03/2002) Centred SX 5952 6680. A number of irregular enclosures containing three hut circles, four probable hut circles, three cairns and a possible military structure on the west flank of Giant's Hill above Mill Corner.
The hut circles, by contrast to the enclosures, are very poorly preserved and have been mutilated by later activities and had surface stone dumped on their walls and interiors. Several features described as huts by previous authorities are now simply stony patches within the enclosures and one appears to be of fairly recent (?military) origin. Only one of the identifiable huts possesses an obvious entrance while most display traces of level interiors.
The cairns are generally well preserved though none present any evidence to suggest the presence of cists or kerbs.
The cist mentioned in the Scheduling description is recorded as SX 56 NE 302.

Historic England, 2018, National Heritage List for England, 1019081 (National Heritage List for England). SDV360653.

This monument includes two agglomerated enclosures and 16 stone hut circles together forming an enclosed stone hut circle settlement, three round cairns, a cist and a tin prospecting pit lying on the west facing slope of Giant's Hill overlooking the valley of the River Plym. The stone hut circle settlement includes two agglomerated enclosures connected to each other by a rubble wall. The western agglomeration is the largest, includes at least five separate enclosed areas, covers 0.43 hectares and contains eight stone hut circles. The northernmost enclosure is earliest and survives as a 28 metre long by 20 metre wide oval area surrounded by a 2 metre wide and 0.75 metre high rubble bank. Four stone hut circles are attached to the inner face of this enclosure boundary on its eastern side. The second enclosure was added to the southern side of the first and survives as an irregular shaped area measuring 31 metres long by 24 metres wide surrounded by a 3 metre wide rubble bank standing up to 1 metre high. An earlier stone hut circle is incorporated into the southern circuit of this enclosure. The third enclosure is attached to the western side of the second and survives as a 2 metre wide and 0.5 metre high rubble bank defining an irregular shaped area measuring 20 metres long by 16 metres wide. There are two stone hut circles associated with this enclosure. The fourth enclosure is attached to both the second and third. This enclosure is sub-rectangular in shape, measures 32 metres long by 26 metres wide and is denoted by a 2 metre wide and 0.6 metre high rubble bank. A stone hut circle is attached to the inner face of this enclosure wall on its southern circuit. The final enclosure lies south of the fourth and although this is now only visible as a 1.4 metre wide and 0.3 metre high curving bank extending 20 metres southward, the remaining parts probably survive as a buried feature. All eight stone hut circles lying within this agglomerated enclosure include banks of stone and earth each surrounding a circular internal area which vary in diameter between 2m and 5.5m with the average being 3.61m. The height of the surrounding wall varies between 0.3m and 0.7m with the average being 0.58 metres. One of the huts has a visible doorway, six are attached and two are linked to enclosure walling. The second agglomerated enclosure lies to the east and is linked to the first by a 24 etre long rubble bank. This enclosure includes at least two elements, with the earliest one being the northern example. This survives as a 43 metre long by 42 metre wide sub-rectangular area surrounded by a 2m wide and 0.45m high rubble bank with occasional orthostats. Two stone hut circles are attached to the inner face of this enclosure boundary on its northern side, two others are linked to the boundary by a short length of rubble bank a fifth lies in the south western corner. The second enclosure is attached to the south western corner of the first and survives as an oval area 38 metres long by 29 metres wide denoted by a 1.3 metre wide and 0.5 metre high rubble bank also with occasional orthostats. The five stone hut circles within this agglomerated enclosure are similar in character to those lying elsewhere within the settlement. The internal diameters of these huts vary between 2 metres and 3 metres with the average being 2.3 metres. The height of the surrounding wall varies between 0.3 metres and 0.6 metres. In the area between the agglomerate enclosures there are a further three stone hut circles. All three are terraced into the hillslope and survive as stone and earth banks surrounding a circular internal area. The interior of the northern and southern huts measure 3m in diameter, whilst the central one is 3.5m. The surrounding walls vary in height between 0.3 metres and 0.7 metres. The three round cairns lie on the southern periphery of the stone hut circle settlement. The western mound measures 5 metres in diameter and stands up to 0.5 metres high. The northern mound lies 2.5 metres from the first, measures 5.3 metres in diameter and 0.8 metres high. The southern mound measures 7.5 metres long by 5.5 metres wide, stands up to 0.2 metres high and has in the past been excavated or robbed to reveal a cist. The cist is situated at the west-south-west end of the cairn, measures 1.4 metres long, 0.7 metres wide, 0.3 metres deep and is orientated north-east to south-west. Evidence of later interest in the ground underlying the settlement is provided by the survival of a tin prospecting pit. This survives as a sub-rectangular pit measuring 2.3 metres long by 1.2 metres wide and 0.4 metres deep with an associated crescent shaped bank standing up to 0.4 metres high lying immediately downslope.

National Monument Record, 2018, Pastscape, 438767, SX56NE94 (Website). SDV360651.

An enclosed settlement consisting of three separate enclosures situated on a moderate, well drained west facing slope on Giant's Hill.

Dick, A. M., unknown, Giant's Hill Settlement (Personal Comment). SDV150856.

Nb. This site was formerly recorded as a subsheet of Giant's Hill village settlement. The settlement was subdivided to accommodate rescheduling
Nb. Re-rescheduling has now reinstated this site as an agglomerated enclosure.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV140197Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1979. SF 1457. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 343-346.
SDV143510Report - non-specific: Thackray, C.. 1994. The Upper Plym Valley: the management of an historic landscape. 281-5, 102.1000-1002..
SDV150856Personal Comment: Dick, A. M.. unknown. Giant's Hill Settlement.
SDV150857Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ostridge, J.H.. 1950. Giant's Hill Prehistoric Settlement, Shaugh Prior. SX56NE94. SX56NE94.
SDV277946Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. MPP 140366.. [Mapped feature: #122202 ]
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.
SDV342938Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 - 1949. Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Digital). 2494, 4128-9.
SDV350782Report - Survey: Probert, S. A. J. + Fletcher, M. J.. 2002. Plym Valley survey. English Heritage Archaeological Investigation Report. Unknown.
SDV360651Website: National Monument Record. 2018. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk. Website. 438767, SX56NE94.
SDV360653National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2018. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. 1019081.

Associated Monuments

MDV126626Parent of: Conjoined huts in enclosure on Giant's Hill (Monument)
MDV43595Parent of: Hut circle in settlement on Giant's Hill (Monument)
MDV126622Parent of: Hut in enclosure on Giant's Hill (Monument)
MDV55391Parent of: Hut in enclosure on Giant's Hill (Monument)
MDV55394Parent of: Hut or cairn in settlement on Giant's Hill (Monument)
MDV126628Parent of: Possible hut circle in settlement on Giant's Hill (Monument)
MDV55390Parent of: Possible hut in enclosure on Giant's Hill (Monument)
MDV126627Parent of: Single hut in enclosure on Giant's Hill (Monument)
MDV55389Parent of: Structure attached to wall of enclosure on Giant's Hill (Monument)
MDV20052Related to: Enclosures on Giant's Hill (Monument)
MDV20053Related to: Enclosures on Giant's Hill (Monument)
MDV55392Related to: Structures attached to enclosure wall on Giant's Hill (Monument)
MDV55395Related to: Tinners' pit in hut settlement at Giant's Hill (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8148 - The Upper Plym Valley: The Management of an Historic Landscape
  • EDV8155 - Plym Valley Survey

Date Last Edited:Oct 11 2019 11:54AM