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HER Number:MDV5897
Name:Hut circle settlement on Beardown Hill


Four hut circles and a small sub-square structure can be identified, all apparently freestanding and with walling of small and medium sized stones.


Grid Reference:SX 610 764
Map Sheet:SX67NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX67NW/47
  • Old SAM Ref: 34474.1
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Untitled Source (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV24.

Vis=2/9/1953 (os) three further circles located. Hut circles marked on os 1:10560 map (1964) at: sx61177645, sx61107644, sx61107639.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV266673.

Hut circles.

RCHM APP 1985, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV266675.

Only one of these hut circles is visible at sx61077638, on raf 1946 ap (rchm app 1985).

NMR CITING OS, Untitled Source (Report - Survey). SDV266676.

Vis=12/9/1978 (os) centred at sx 611764 on the e-facing slope of beardown hill above the west dart river are 4 hut circles. All are in poor condition and probably of type 1. Their average internal diameter is 4.5m. With walling 1.0m. Thick. Only one has a definite entrance still visible, on the s side. There is no evidence of cultivation the vicinity.(type site sx 56 se 19) (nmr citing os).

NMR CITING FLETCHER, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV266678.

Four hut circles and a small sub-square structure can be identified, all apparently freestanding and with walling of small and medium sized stones. I) sx61077638. A hut circle, prominently situated and levelled into the slope. It is 4m to 4.5m in diameter internally with a tumbled wall 1m to 1.6m wide and 0.4m high. There are a number of inner facing slabs and the entrance was probably in the e-se. Ii) sx61087644. A hut circle levelled into the slope with an 0.4m high backscarp. It measures 3.6m by 2.9m internally with a fragmentary wall, 0.9m wide and 0.2m to 0.3m high. One large boulder has been incorporated; the entrance was probably in the se. Iii) sx61087644. A hut circle levelled into the slope with 0.6m high front and backscarps. It measures 3.9m by 3.8m internally with a ragged wall, up to 1.1m wide and 0.2m to 0.3m high. A well defined entrance on side is flanked by large boulders, there is no evidence of inner facing slabs. Iv) sx61057645. A hut circle levelled into the slope and built up to a height of 0.6m at the front. It has an internal diameter of 6.2m e/w by 5.2m n/s with walling 1m to 1.4m wide and 0.3m high. The entrance, in the se is adjacent to a pronounced swelling in the wall, c 2.5m by 1.4m which may be a small chamber or mutilation caused by stone robbing. A number of small upright slabs on the inside of the wall seem to be remnants of internal facing. V) sx61087646. A small squarish structure internally 2.4m e/w by n/s lies against a group of large earthfast boulders. Much of the walling is of small and medium sized boulders and averages 0.8m wide and 0.3m high, but the e side consists of contiguous upright slabs 0.4m high. No entrance can be seen. On the n side there is a stony mound 0.8m across. The structure may be a small store and similar square buildings have been noted in settlements elsewhere in this part of dartmoor. The field system, which lies between 400m and 430m od on a fairly steep hillslope, was probably linked to both settlements. Three rather fragmentary blocks can be detected, though almost certainly some features have been effaced by shallow erosion gullies and others are probably hidden under the peat. Centred sx 60847614. At least 2 plots bounded by sinuous turf covered walling from 1.1m to a spread 2.7m wide and on average 0.4m high. A number of low facing slabs occur on the s side. There are 2 turf-covered ? clearance heaps; one at sx60867615 which lies at the end of a wall, is 3.5m by 2.7m and at maximum, 0.6m high. The second at sx60847615 is disturbed. It is 3.3m in diameter and 0.3m high; both are composed of stones, boulders and small slabs. There is a pronounced peat build up against the uphill side of the plot walls and a row of four tin pits lie amidst a clitter spread to the se. A number of linear erosion gullies separate the first and second group. Centred at sx60887628, is a group of at least 3 plots, bounded by similar walling, 0.8m to 1.7m wide and 0.4m high. A curvilinear ? head dyke extends nw for c 250m. Of boulder, stone and slab construction it is, at maximum 2.2m thick and 0.8m high, it is scarped into the slope in places. There are two associated ? clearance cairns; one at sx60887632 is rather amorphous, 2.4m in diameter and 0.5m high. The second at sx 0707634 is 3.3m by 3.0m and 0.4m high; both are composed of stones and small slabs. The third element, to the e of the devonport leat, is centred at sx60957644. The area is overlaid by thick peat with scattered earthfast boulders and walling is difficult to trace. It is up to 1.3m wide and 0.4m high composed of small boulders and low upright slabs and apparently forms a sub-oval enclosure probably sub-divided. No hut circles were detected in the 2 blocks w of the leat in what must have been an impressive prehistoric field system (nmr citing fletcher).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV266680.


Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV266681.

Aph=raf/cpe/uk/1890 2469-2470(10/12/1946).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV266682.

Des=fletcher, m. J. /(8/8/1988)/rchme field investigation.

RCHM, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV7666.

Vis=8/8/1988 (rchm) centred sx 61087644. A small apparently unenclosed settlement at 380m od with vestiges of an extensive field system to the w. Both occupy c 7ha of a fairly steep e hillslope overlooking the west dart river. The area is covered by a deep peat layer and close-cropped moorland pasture with scattered patches of clitter. The devonport leat crosses the slope along the 410m contour and separates the settlement from much of the field system and isolates a larger settlement to the s.

English Heritage, 2005-2008, Prehistoric Survey Information (Report - Survey). SDV345521.

Two prehistoric settlements and associated field systems 810m north east of Beardown Farm.

English Heritage, 2013, National Heritage List for England, 1021177 (National Heritage List for England). SDV350785.

The two prehistoric settlements and associated field systems 810m north east of Beardown Farm survive comparatively well. These settlements lie close to one of the largest prehistoric settlements on Dartmoor and thus provide a marked contrast to their neighbour. Much of the monument is covered in dense peat deposits which will contain environmental information and provide a protective cover for the archaeological remains.
The monument, which falls into four separate areas of protection, includes two prehistoric settlements and associated field systems lying on an east facing slope of Beardown Hill overlooking the valley of the West Dart River. The northern prehistoric settlement includes a cluster of at least five stone hut circles. The stone hut circles survive as circular banks surrounding an internal area which varies between 2.4m and 5.2m in diameter. The height of the surrounding walls vary between 0.3m and 0.6m and four of the huts have visible doorways. The southern settlement includes at least eight stone hut circles together with several lengths of enclosure walling. The internal diameter of these stone hut circles varies between 3m and 4.3m and the surrounding walls are up to 0.7m high. Four of the huts have visible doorways and one has a drainage ditch around its upper circuit. The field systems are situated between the two settlements and are defined by a series of sinuous low rubble banks standing 1.4m wide and up to 0.4m high. The northern field system includes at least five fields, whilst the southern one is much smaller and includes two fields.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV24Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV266673Migrated Record:
SDV266675Migrated Record: RCHM APP 1985.
SDV266676Report - Survey: NMR CITING OS.
SDV266678Migrated Record: NMR CITING FLETCHER.
SDV266680Migrated Record:
SDV266681Aerial Photograph:
SDV266682Migrated Record:
SDV345521Report - Survey: English Heritage. 2005-2008. Prehistoric Survey Information. English Heritage. Digital. [Mapped feature: #96233 ]
SDV350785National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2013. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. 1021177.
SDV7666Migrated Record: RCHM.

Associated Monuments

MDV69263Related to: Field system on Beardown Hill (Monument)
MDV69264Related to: Field system on Beardown Hill (Monument)
MDV19902Related to: The Devonport Leat, Dartmoor (Monument)
MDV5896Related to: UNENCLOSED HUT CIRCLE SETTLEMENT in the Parish of Dartmoor Forest (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jun 12 2018 4:28PM