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HER Number:MDV5176
Name:Unenclosed hut circle settlement at Bishop's Mead, South Brent


Group of at least three Bronze Age hut circles and some fragments of enclosure walls lying just north-west of the Avon Dam Reservoir. This site is on the local list of Nationally Important Dartmoor sites.


Grid Reference:SX 669 657
Map Sheet:SX66NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishSouth Brent
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishSOUTH BRENT

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Earthworks and walls of Bronze Age hut circle settlement located at the northern end of the Avon Dam Reservoir, comprising three hut circles and fragments of enclosure walls

Other References/Statuses

  • Dartmoor Non-designated Heritage Asset: NI site
  • National Monuments Record: SX66NE29
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 441435
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX66NE/9

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

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

Three 'Hut Circles' shown on 19th century map.

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1890, 4272 (Aerial Photograph). SDV169268.

Royal Air Force, 1948, RAF/CPE/UK/2494, 4116-7 (Aerial Photograph). SDV147533.

Not visible on air photographs.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950/1977, SX66NE29 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV153683.

(02/05/1950) Three small hut circles correct as shown on Ordnance Survey 6 inch mapping:
SX 6697 6579. Diameter 5m, entrance to south-east. In fragmentary condition.
SX 6697 6578. Diameter 4m, no obvious entrance, in fragmentary condition.
SX 6687 6577. Diameter 6m, entrance to south-east, in poor condition.
The walls Are composed of gorse-covered stones average height 0.3m.
(07/07/1977) SX 66966578 Three hut circles of uncertain type, average internal diameter 4.5m the walls about 1.3m wide and in fragmentary condition occupying a small, north-east facing terrace, above a cliff of the River Avon at 370m above OD. Two of the huts are cut back into the slope.
1:10 000 survey revised on PFD.

Robinson, R., 1978, Bishop's Meads hut circles (Worksheet). SDV153684.

Three small hut circles lying close together in a north-south line of the brow of the hill on the right bank of the River Avon in the area known as Bishop's Meads. They are on a north-east facing slope on a small saddle of more level ground, just below the leat. The area is rocky, overgrown with coarse grass, bilberry and bracken. The walls of all circles are low (between 0.25 - 0.5 meters high) but all show up quite well on the Royal Air Force 1946 aerial photograph.

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

Not visible.

Butler, J., 1993, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East, 155, Map 57 (Monograph). SDV337765.

'Bishop's Meads 2' a small settlement occupying a narrow shelf in the hillside on the steep southern slope of the Avon valley. Although bracken-covered, this settlement can be located by the tall pointed slab up-ended by the leat just a few meters uphill. There are four hut circles, roughly aligned north-south, which were partly enclosed. The largest hut circle of 5.5 metres diameter overlooks the river with the others a few metres away with diameters between 2.5 metres and 4.0 metres diameter. Only the southern section of the boundary can be located, existing as a line of earth-fast granite slabs, the greater part having become buried or slipped downhill.

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.

Ordnance Survey, 2013, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV350786.

Three hut circles are depicted on the modern mapping.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV147533Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1948. RAF/CPE/UK/2494. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4116-7.
SDV153683Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950/1977. SX66NE29. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV153684Worksheet: Robinson, R.. 1978. Bishop's Meads hut circles. South Brent Parish Checklist. Digital.
SDV169268Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/CPE/UK/1890. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4272.
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. 155, Map 57.
SDV345444Un-published: Gerrard, S.. 2004. List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor. Digital.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #94072 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV5177Parent of: Hut circle in Bishop's Meads settlement (Monument)
MDV5178Parent of: Hut circle in Bishop's Meads settlement (Monument)
MDV5179Parent of: Hut circle in Bishop's Meads settlement (Monument)
MDV28059Related to: STONE in the Parish of South Brent (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:May 16 2023 2:02PM