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HER Number:MDV5172
Name:Enclosed hut circle settlement at the north-western end of the Avon Dam reservoir, South Brent


Enclosed hut circle settlement at the north-western end of the Avon Dam reservoir with many internal features including hut circles and medieval pens


Grid Reference:SX 669 655
Map Sheet:SX66NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishSouth Brent
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishSOUTH BRENT

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX66NE30
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX66NE/8
  • Old SAM County Ref: 467
  • Pastscape: 441438
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

National Monuments Record, 09/04/1980, NMR SX6765 (Aerial Photograph). SDV146067.

Photograph taken on 9th April 1980.

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

Three adjoining enclosures shown on 19th century map with eleven 'Hut Circles'.

Royal Air Force, 1946 - 1949, Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs, 1890 4273 & 2494 4116-7 (Aerial Photograph). SDV342938.

Photograph taken on 10th December 1946.

Robinson, R., 1977-1979, South Brent Parish Checklist Worksheets, Pages 638-641 of 821, sketch plan (Worksheet). SDV340722.

See this source for full detail

Robinson, R., 1984, List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1984 (Un-published). SDV343082.

Site visited on 19th March 1984.

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

Agglomerated enclosure with four main elements, containing eight hut circles visible on aerial photographs. The enclosure is attached to a reave.

Butler, J., 1993, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East, 154-5, Map 57, Figure 57.22 (Monograph). SDV337765.

'Bishop's Mead 1' in an area which includes the steep hillside below Eastern White Barrow are a group of prehistoric enclosures with hut circles. Surrounding a three unit multiple Enclosure 'A' containing a variety of hut sizes are three smaller ones, Enclosures 'B', 'C' and 'D'.
Enclosure 'A' has been re-used in more recent times, probably in the 13th or 14th century as an appendage to the monastic settlement downstream when the squarish pens were built against the north wall and a massive bank and ditch descending to the river were either constructed or refurbished. There is also evidence of some re-modelling before the end of its initial occupation for Hut '2' of 6.5 metres by 3.6 metres at the centre of the enclosures has been reduced to half size by rebuilding the cross wall as the outer one, giving it a D-shaped appearance. The largest of the eleven buildings Hut '1' at 6 .8 metres diameter has an interior wall. Four small buildings about 3 metres across are associated with Hut '3' at 5.8 metres diameter and Hut '4' at 5.2 metre diameter at the junction of the enclosures. Another small building appears to be an annex to Hut '5' at 6.6 metres diameter in the northern part of the enclosure.

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

Enclosure visible on aerial photograph.

Ordnance Survey, 2020, MasterMap 2020 (Cartographic). SDV363413.

'Settlement' shown on modern mapping.

Historic England, 2020, National Heritage List for England, 1002537 (National Heritage List for England). SDV363414.

Visited in 1961. Hut circles and field system, situated on south side of Avon Valley at 395 metres above a steep fall to the river at 335 metres. The settlement consists of 3 free standing huts 6 to 7.5 metres in diameter and 4 subsidiary ones 3 to 5.5 metres in diameter, with 3 lyncheted and walled fields measuring 45 metres by 50 metres, 30 metres by 20 metres and 35 metres by 45 metres.
Recorded on 5th November 2015. Hut Circle and fields at Bishop's Mead. The monument includes an agglomerated enclosed stone hut circle settlement situated at Bishop’s Meads on a steep north-east facing slope of the Avon Valley. The settlement survives as three roughly oval conjoined enclosures which contain up to 11 stone hut circles and a range of later rectangular pens. The enclosure walls vary in height from 0.3 metres to 1 metre and are up to 5 metres wide. The hut circles vary in internal diameter from 3 metres to 6.8 metres and are defined by outer walls measuring up to 4 metres wide and 1 metre high. Seven hut circles are directly attached to enclosure walls, two are free standing and two others are linked by a wall which also subdivides an enclosure. One hut appears to have been remodelled and is now D-shaped and the largest hut has an interior dividing wall. On the northern side three later small rectangular pens abut an internal enclosure wall. These are probably 13th or 14th century stock pens belonging to a nearby monastic settlement downstream, hence the name ‘Bishop’s Meads’.

National Monuments Record, 2020, Pastscape, 441438, SX66NE30 (Website). SDV363416.

Site visited on 2nd May 1950. Hut circles and enclosures and 3 adjoining courts, Bishop's Mead. All walls of turf covered stones. Enclosure fragmentary in parts, with two entrances at x and y. 'Hut a': remains of hut circle with entrance to north. 'Hut b': no obvious entrance, 'Hut c': no obvious entrance, 'Hut d': probable entrance to north-east, 'Hut e': best preserved hut circle in this group, entrance to south-easte, 'Hut f': in poor condition no visible entrance, 'Hut g': small hut circle, no visible entrance, 'Hut h': entrance to south-east. Two small courts at 'k' and 'j'.
Field Investigation on 7th July 1977. Enclosed settlement consists of three integrated enclosures and two isolated hut circles, and lies on a steep, well drained, north-east facing slope at 395 metres above OD.
Enclosure A at SX 66986550: An ovoid enclosure, 60 metres by 45 metres and covering 0.2 hectares is primary, and has a lynchetted wall of small stones, 2 metres wide, and in fair condition. Part of the wall has been removed when an extension, 35 metres by 20 metres was added to the south-west. It contains three Type 1 hut circles, average internal diameter 4.5 metres, walls 1.3 metres wide and in poor condition, two of which are built against the enclosure wall and one, freestanding is terraced into the slope. Another two terraced hut circles with average internal diameters of 6.5 metres have walls 1.7 metres wide, integral with the enclosure. A sub-rectangular yard, 5.5 metres by 3.5 metres is also built on the line of the enclosure wall.
Enclosure B at SX 66976555: This sub rectangular enclosure, 40 metres by 35 metres and of 0.1 hectares, is either built onto or contemporary with Enclosure A and has lynchetted walls, 2 to 3 metres wide, in fair condition and built of small boulders. It contains a terraced Type 3, hut circle, internal diameter 6.5 metres wall 1.3 metres wide and in poor condition, and 2 small yards, about 3 metres by 2 metres internally, one with an east facing entrance; all are built against the enclosure wall.
Enclosure C at SX 66936552: This enclosure, 45 metres by 35 metres and of 0.1 hectares, is built on to Enclosures A and B. A sharp angle in the fragmentary wall, suggests that it is of two phases. A series of three linked yards, 3.5 metres by 4.2 metres, 6 metres by 3.5 metres and 10 metres by 3.5 metres maximum, are built against the north-west wall. The walling is of coursed, large, boulders in good condition, which suggest
that they are possibly of Medieval date.
The interiors of the enclosures and adjacent hillside, are clear of boulders, but there is no evidence of cultivation. The two isolated Type 1 huts, average internal diameter 6.5 metres, wall 1.5 metre wide, are in poor condition.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV146067Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 09/04/1980. NMR SX6765. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper).
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).
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. 154-5, Map 57, Figure 57.22.
SDV340722Worksheet: Robinson, R.. 1977-1979. South Brent Parish Checklist Worksheets. South Brent Parish Checklist. Worksheet. Pages 638-641 of 821, sketch plan.
SDV342938Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 - 1949. Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Digital). 1890 4273 & 2494 4116-7.
SDV343082Un-published: Robinson, R.. 1984. List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1984. Lists of Field Monument Warden Visits. Printout.
SDV361462Aerial Photograph: Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. 2015-2017. 2015-2017 Aerial Photographs. Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. Photograph (Digital).
SDV363413Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2020. MasterMap 2020. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #94067 ]
SDV363414National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2020. National Heritage List for England. Digital. 1002537.
SDV363416Website: National Monuments Record. 2020. Pastscape. https://www.pastscape.org.uk/. Website. 441438, SX66NE30.

Associated Monuments

MDV129179Parent of: Hut circle in south-west corner of enclosed hut circle settlement at Bishop's Mead, South Brent (Monument)
MDV129174Parent of: Hut circle within enclosed hut circle settlement at Bishop's Mead, South Brent (Monument)
MDV129175Parent of: Hut circle within enclosed hut circle settlement at Bishop's Mead, South Brent (Monument)
MDV129176Parent of: Hut circle within enclosed hut circle settlement at Bishop's Mead, South Brent (Monument)
MDV129177Parent of: Hut circle within enclosed hut circle settlement at Bishop's Mead, South Brent (Monument)
MDV129178Parent of: Hut circle within enclosed hut circle settlement at Bishop's Mead, South Brent (Monument)
MDV129180Parent of: Series of pens against the north wall of enclosed hut circle settlement at Bishop's Mead, South Brent (Monument)
MDV5300Related to: Hut circle attached to remains of an enclosure north-west of the Avon Dam Reservoir, South Brent (Monument)
MDV5301Related to: Hut circle south of the settlement at the Avon Dam Reservoir (Monument)
MDV24795Related to: Reave on Brent Moor (Monument)
MDV24762Related to: Small enclosure to west of north end of Avon Reservoir, South Brent (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Nov 10 2020 12:23PM