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HER Number:MDV5617
Name:Hut or ring cairn on south side of Wigford Down, Meavy

Summary

A circular structure, previously recorded as a hut circle, this circle is large and regular and appears to have been constructed from small stones, now evenly covered by turf, and although sited on slightly sloping ground, no effort was made to level the interior. One partly exposed section shows that some of the stones were laid in courses and that the walls contain no orthostats. The external diameter is a consistent 14.4m, with a measurable internal diameter of 8.8m and the bank does not appear to be spread, standing to a height of only 0.4m. A 1.7m-wide opening cuts through the western arc of the wall, but no door jambs are present, standing or fallen. The construction method of the circle and state of survival is comparable to ring cairns elsewhere on Dartmoor, which would offer a more likely interpretation for this asset. Although a further, alternative explanation for such a regular well-preserved circular structure could be that it was a more recent military asset.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 542 644
Map Sheet:SX56SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishMeavy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishMEAVEY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX56SW4
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56SW/36

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • (Former Type) HUT CIRCLE (Constructed, Bronze Age - 2200 BC to 701 BC (Between))
  • RING CAIRN (Constructed, Bronze Age - 2200 BC to 701 BC (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/106G/UK/1190, 3238-9 (Aerial Photograph). SDV340833.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950, SX56SW4, SX56SW4 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV220607.

Hut circle.

Ralegh Radford, C. A., 1953, Prehistoric Settlements on Dartmoor and the Cornish Moors, 68,73 (Article in Serial). SDV337080.

Price, D. G., 1978, Settlement and ancient fields on Wigford Down, 69-75 (Article in Serial). SDV220620.

National Monuments Record, 1979, SF1520, 113 (Aerial Photograph). SDV149521.

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

Two hut circles freestanding within field system. The southerly one at SX54226445 is scheduled as SAM 562.

Butler, J., 1994, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West, 78, Map 48, Figure 48.1 (Monograph). SDV137656.

Hut circle within field system to the south of Wigford Down part of the scattered settlement 'A'.

GetMapping, 1999 - 2000, Dartmoor 1999-2000 1:1250 Aerial Photography (digital) (Aerial Photograph). SDV345751.

Visible on the aerial photography.

Historic England, 2017, National Heritage List for England, 1002549 (National Heritage List for England). SDV359963.

One of three stone hut circles located on the southern side of Wigford Down. The three stone hut circles survive as rubble built walls measuring up to 2.0 metres wide and 1.1 metres high which enclose circular internal areas of up to 10.5 metres in diameter. The hut circles are partially enclosed within small irregular shaped enclosures.

National Monument Record, 2017, Pastscape, Accessed: 18/09/2017 (Website). SDV359964.

Circular cropmark, probably a hut circle, at SX 54226445.
A possible entrance, facing west is opposite a gap in a low field bank which appears to overlie a hut circle (SX 56 SW 3) to the west.
There appears to be internal features (citing aerial photograph: Royal Air Force, 27/2/46, RAF106G/UK 1190 3238-9)

Various, 2018-2020, PALs Condition Recording forms, WD-17 (Worksheet). SDV362781.

(14/08/2020) Condition assessed as moderate; vegetation encroachment is threatening the feature.

Various, 2018-2020, PALs Condition Recording photographs (Photograph). SDV363073.

Image taken during August 2020 site visit.

Newman, P., 2019-2020, Survey data from various sites on Dartmoor (Cartographic). SDV363779.

Newman, P., 2020, Wigford Down Premier Archaeological Landscape, Dartmoor National Park, Devon. A new survey (Report - Survey). SDV363780.

A circular structure, previously recorded and scheduled (1002549) as a hut circle, though it has an untypical construction method, compared with others in this locality. The circle is large and regular and appears to have been constructed from small stones, now evenly covered by turf, and although sited on slightly sloping ground, no effort was made to level the interior. One partly exposed section shows that some of the stones were laid in courses and that the walls contain no orthostats. The external diameter is a consistent 14.4 metres, with a measurable internal diameter of 8.8 metres and the bank does not appear to be spread, standing to a height of only 0.4 metres. A 1.7 metres wide opening cuts through the western arc of the wall, but no door jambs are present, standing or fallen.
The construction method of the circle and state of survival is comparable to ring cairns elsewhere on Dartmoor, which would offer a more likely interpretation for this asset. Although a further, alternative explanation for such a regular well-preserved circular structure could be that it was a more recent military asset, its vegetation-covered appearance on a 1946 aerial photograph, would rule out a World War II gun pit or the likes of.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV137656Monograph: Butler, J.. 1994. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West. Three. Paperback Volume. 78, Map 48, Figure 48.1.
SDV149521Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1979. SF1520. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 113.
SDV220607Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950. SX56SW4. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index. SX56SW4.
SDV220620Article in Serial: Price, D. G.. 1978. Settlement and ancient fields on Wigford Down. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 110. Unknown. 69-75.
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.
SDV337080Article in Serial: Ralegh Radford, C. A.. 1953. Prehistoric Settlements on Dartmoor and the Cornish Moors. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. 18. Digital. 68,73.
SDV340833Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/106G/UK/1190. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 3238-9.
SDV345751Aerial Photograph: GetMapping. 1999 - 2000. Dartmoor 1999-2000 1:1250 Aerial Photography (digital). Digital.
SDV359963National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2017. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. 1002549.
SDV359964Website: National Monument Record. 2017. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk. Website. Accessed: 18/09/2017.
SDV362781Worksheet: Various. 2018-2020. PALs Condition Recording forms. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital. WD-17.
SDV363073Photograph: Various. 2018-2020. PALs Condition Recording photographs. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital.
SDV363779Cartographic: Newman, P.. 2019-2020. Survey data from various sites on Dartmoor. GIS ShapeFile. Digital. [Mapped feature: #95476 ]
SDV363780Report - Survey: Newman, P.. 2020. Wigford Down Premier Archaeological Landscape, Dartmoor National Park, Devon. A new survey. Southwest Landscape Investigations. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV2219Part of: Parallel reave system on Wigford Down (Monument)
MDV119818Related to: Hut circle in field system on south side of Wigford Down, Meavy (Monument)
MDV2397Related to: Hut circle in field system on Wigford Down, Meavy (Monument)
MDV40209Related to: Hut circle on south side of Wigford Down, Meavy (Monument)
MDV2375Related to: Hut circle on south side of Wigford Down, Meavy (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8316 - Wigford Down PAL survey

Date Last Edited:Apr 15 2021 12:23PM