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HER Number:MDV6215
Name:Settlement north-east of Moorlands Farm


This settlement comprises at least six hut circles and an associated field system covering seven hectares north-east of Moorlands Farm. This site is on the local list of Nationally Important Dartmoor sites.


Grid Reference:SX 629 736
Map Sheet:SX67SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Earthworks and walls of a Bronze Age hut circle settlement and field system in bend of West Dart River to north-east of Moorlands Farm

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 443238
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX67SW/2
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • UNENCLOSED HUT CIRCLE SETTLEMENT (Early Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 2200 BC to 42 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, RAF/V588510, 8510? (Aerial Photograph). SDV234380.

Other details: (pt 2)32.

Royal Air Force, 1947, RAF/CPE/UK/2149, 4429-30 (Aerial Photograph). SDV282746.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950 - 1980, SX67SW2 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV234378.

Two hut circles. Hut A is located at SX62987372. The entrance appears to be to the south where a single standing stone remains. Condition is poor and very much overgrown. This hut circle looks to have been of the single walled type. Diameter measures 5.3 meters, height 0.3 meters. Hut B is located at SX62977371 and is of double walled type, much ruined. Diameter measures 6.5 meters, height 0.4 meters. Fragments of old field boundaries around. 2/9/1950
Centred at SX630736 is the remains of a system of irregular-shaped fields covering 6.0 hectares. The boulder walls measure 1.2 meters wide and 0.4 meters high and are visible over most of the north-facing hillslope. Only three free standing hut circles are visible, all in poor condition. Two are Type 2 and the other, at SX62937371, is a Type 1 and sub-divided. Their diameters vary from 4.5 meters to 6.4 meters, while the walling averages 1.0 meter thick and 0.3 meters high. Only one hut has an obvious entrance and that is to the south-east. 14/2/1980 Other details: Includes plan.

Fox, A., 1969, Swincombe Survey, 19 (Report - Survey). SDV250998.

A group three circular huts, diameters 15.5 feet (4.72 meters), 18 feet (5.49 meters), 19 feet (5.79 meters), with associated fields, mainly rectilinear.

National Monuments Record, 1969 - 1976, NMR SX6373, 2 (Aerial Photograph). SDV234379.

National Monuments Record, 1979, NMR SF1133, 334-5 (Aerial Photograph). SDV234381.

Hemery, E., 1983, High Dartmoor, 464 (Monograph). SDV249702.

On the north of a walled part of the Sherberton track, there is an arrangement of set stones suggestive of a stone circle remnant; nearby is a curious relic consisting of two very short and converging single stone rows, one housing six members, and the other seven.

Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Interpretation). SDV319854.

Twelve hut circles (five of them freestanding) are visible in an agglomerated field system. The field system has at least twelve elements.

Fletcher, M. J., 1988, Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England (Report - Survey). SDV214888.

A well defined prehistoric settlement and field system centred at SX63007366 occupies approximately 7 hectares of gently rounded north-facing spur. The site lies between 314 meters and 331 meters above sea level and is covered by rough moorland pasture with scattered patches of clitter and large boulders. It is delimited to the north by the wide and sinuous West Dart River, to the east by the narrow valley of the Rue Lake Stream with its extensive linear streamworking sites and to the west by steep slopes and a rather insignificant stream. A linear drystone wall which crosses the neck of the spur may mark the southern extent of the site although it is possible that any prehistoric field boundaries in this area would have been stripped out and the stones used as material for this wall.
Parts of the field system have been almost completely covered by blanket peat especially on the upper east-facing hillslope where most of the boundaries are traceable only by the tips of boulders protruding through the turf or by vague linear channels which form on the lower site of the buried features. It is not unreasonable to suggest that some boundaries and possibly habitation sites have been completely submerged under the peat layer. Evidence of stone splitting, especially in the area centred at SX630977370, may point to the destruction of some prehistoric features on the site.
Five, possibly six, habitation sites are identifiable; two are apparently freestanding and the remainder are linked to or incorporated in field boundaries.
The fields are of a fairly uniform size and have accreted from a central core out across the top and upper slopes of the spur. The visible remains may not as suggested represent the complete field pattern which could be partially hidden under the peat layer. The evident field boundaries are traceable as narrow lines of both small and medium-sized boulders set mostly in a single row about 0.4 meters in height with the occasional orthostat or upright slab up to 0.7 meters in height incorporated on line. Large earth-fast boulders have been utilised where they occur on line especially in the scattered clitter spreads on the north slopes. Soil creep is evident on the steeper slopes; the stony lynchets, up to 0.6 meters in height, form part of the field boundaries on the north-west hillslope. Six large irregularly spaced boulders centred at SX62957370 apparently enclose an area about 11 meters across; this feature could possibly be a small enclosure or pound however it may simply be a fortuitous natural boulder group. Three isolated upright slabs at SX62847357, SX62927358 and SX62947358, each about 0.7 meters high, may mark the positions of stripped-out or buried field walls.
Of the 12 hut circles noted by the Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments in England Aerial Photograph Project six are listed in the report, the remainder are almost certainly not archaeological features. Five of these sites can be identified as either large isolated boulders or groups of small natural boulders and the sixth is a group of reeds.
The features noted by Hemery, are most probably elements of this settlement and field pattern although they were not positively identified on the ground.

Butler, J., 1993, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East, 216 (Monograph). SDV337765.

Four hut circles recorded within field system.

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.

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

Map object based on this Source.

Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.

Map object based on this Source.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV214888Report - Survey: Fletcher, M. J.. 1988. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Field/Recording In. Unknown.
SDV234378Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950 - 1980. SX67SW2. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV234379Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1969 - 1976. NMR SX6373. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 2.
SDV234380Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. RAF/V588510. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Unknown. 8510?.
SDV234381Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1979. NMR SF1133. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 334-5.
SDV249702Monograph: Hemery, E.. 1983. High Dartmoor. High Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 464.
SDV250998Report - Survey: Fox, A.. 1969. Swincombe Survey. Unknown. 19.
SDV282746Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/CPE/UK/2149. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4429-30.
SDV319854Interpretation: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
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. 216.
SDV344030Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
SDV345444Un-published: Gerrard, S.. 2004. List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor. Digital.
SDV345521Report - Survey: English Heritage. 2005-2008. Prehistoric Survey Information. English Heritage. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV54361Parent of: Hut circle in settlement north-east of Moorlands (Monument)
MDV54362Parent of: Hut circle in settlement north-east of Moorlands (Monument)
MDV54363Parent of: Hut circle in settlement north-east of Moorlands (Monument)
MDV78741Parent of: Hut circle in settlement north-east of Moorlands (Monument)
MDV54364Parent of: Hut circle in settlement to the north-east of Moorlands (Monument)
MDV54365Parent of: Possible hut circle in settlement north-east of Moorlands Farm (Monument)
MDV54479Related to: Hut circle in settlement north-east of Moorlands Farm (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Mar 31 2017 4:30PM