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HER Number:MDV58436
Name:Prehistoric Field System, Lowton West, Fernworthy Forest


Remains of an extensive field system associated with a dispersed hut settlement.


Grid Reference:SX 663 831
Map Sheet:SX68SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • MPP Archaeological Item Dataset: 144118
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68SE/365
  • Old SAM Ref: 28671(P)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FIELD SYSTEM (Bronze Age - 2200 BC to 701 BC)

Full description

Gerrard, S., 1990-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset., MPP 144118 (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

Site visit 30th May 1997. Field system associated with a dispersed hut settlement. A group of fields associated with a cluster of hut circles. Dense forestry covering much of the field system makes it very difficult to establish its true character and extent.

Fugro-BKS, 2013, Fernworthy Forest LiDAR survey (Cartographic). SDV351778.

Field system visible.

Newman, P., 2013, Fernworthy Forest Sites Survey (Un-published). SDV351708.

English Heritage, 2013, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV350785.

Dispersed stone hut circle settlement and associated fields 490 metres south-east of Silk House.
The monument, which falls into six areas, includes a dispersed stone hut circle settlement and associated fields situated on a north east facing slope overlooking the valley of the Lowton Brook. The settlement contains at least 12 stone hut circles together with a number of lengths of rubble walling forming part of a field system. The stone hut circles within the settlement all survive as banks each surrounding an internal circular area which varies from 14.51 to 55.39 square metres with the average being 30.56 square metres. The height of the surrounding walls vary between 0.6m and 1.3m, with the average being 0.91m. Four of the huts have visible doorways and the orthostatic, rubble bank and coursed walling building traditions are all represented.
Despite afforestation, the dispersed stone hut circle settlement and associated fields lying west of Lowton Brook survives well and contains archaeological structures, features and deposits, relating to the exploitation of this part of the moor during the Bronze Age period.

Newman, P., 2013, The Archaeology of Fernworthy Forest, Dartmoor, Devon, 28-29 (Report - Survey). SDV351784.

Fieldwork together with LiDAR transcription has shown that more of the field system associated with the hut circle settlemet at Lowton West survives than was previously thought. This fits with 19th century reports of tracklines, reves and enclosures prior to the encroachment of conifers. The remains of the field system today, however, are fragmentary but probably represents a developed system of rectangular enclosures or parallel reves similar to those found on other parts of Dartmoor. The field boundaries survive as turf-covered stony banks, the main axis running broadly south-west to north-east.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV277946Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. MPP 144118.
SDV350785National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2013. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV351708Un-published: Newman, P.. 2013. Fernworthy Forest Sites Survey. Digital.
SDV351778Cartographic: Fugro-BKS. 2013. Fernworthy Forest LiDAR survey. Digital. [Mapped feature: #96066 ]
SDV351784Report - Survey: Newman, P.. 2013. The Archaeology of Fernworthy Forest, Dartmoor, Devon. Southwest Landscape Investigations. Digital + A4. 28-29.

Associated Monuments

MDV105624Related to: Hut circle within dispersed settlement west of Lowton Brook at Fernworthy Forest, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV6599Related to: Hut circle within settlement west of Lowton Brook in Fernworthy Forest, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV104672Related to: Lowton Brook West Settlement in Fernworthy Forest, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6203 - Archaeological Survey of Fernworthy Forest
  • EDV7389 - Fernworthy Forest condition survey 1996
  • EDV7410 - Fernworthy Forest condition survey 1992
  • EDV8409 - Dartmoor Royal Forest Project

Date Last Edited:Feb 27 2023 9:38AM