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HER Number:MDV6453
Name:Settlement east of Mel Tor


The remains of two hut circles and related enclosure(s) and fragmentary field system. The huts average 7.5 metres in diameter and have single retaining slabs.


Grid Reference:SX 695 725
Map Sheet:SX67SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishWidecombe in the Moor
Ecclesiastical ParishWIDECOMBE IN THE MOOR

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX67SE1
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 442860
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX67SE/67
  • Old SAM County Ref: 758
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX67SE1

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

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

One 'Hut Circle' shown on 19th century map.

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1890, 2376-7 (Aerial Photograph). SDV140289.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1953/1980, SX67SE1 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV345956.

(21/03/1953) The bank and inner walling of this hut are in relatively good condition. The hut is inset into the hill sloping east from Mel Tor. The entrance is on the eastern side and here the surrounding bank is highest and widest. The large stones set on edge marking its inner perimeter are all still standing. The hut surface, which is irregular is grass covered, as is its encircling bank. The hut centre is lower by 100 millimetres for a diameter of 2 metres. Four grass and lichen covered stones are inset into the hut circle's surface, but their purpose is not known. No finds were made. Other details: Cross section Sketch.
(05/05/1980) The published hut circle, of Type 1/2 (SX 56 SE 19) and SX 56 NE 71) is cut into a steep west slope and has a levelled interior measuring 7.5m in diameter. There are single retaining slabs around the western half, the largest being 2.3m long, 1.1m high and 0.3m thick. The eastern half, which is built up to a height of 0.4m, has free standing double walling 1.5m wide and 0.8m high with a rubble infill and an entrance gap on the south east. The structural condition of the hut is good but it is overgrown with furze.
At SX 69517256 there is a scooped depression which seems to represent a hut stripped of its stone. It has an internal diameter of 6.5m and is cut back to a depth of 0.7m on the west side with traces of a turf rim on the east (see plan).
The huts are now on the perimeter of a field system of about 8ha extending around Mel Tor and forming part of the Holne-Corndon complex (SX 67 SE 94). On the west side of the Tor there is much surface stone and the fields are irregular and small, averaging about 10.0m by 20.0m. Field walls are of rubble, 0.5m high and 1.0m wide, with occasional large orthostatic slabs. On the steeper east side, there are similar banks and also lynchets up to 1.5m high. Generally the fields are more rectilinear up to 20.0m wide and 40.0m long, with the long sides paralleling the contours.
Huts surveyed at 1:2500 on MSD; field system delineated on OS 6".

Ancient Monuments, 1968, Settlement east of Mel Tor (Schedule Document). SDV345953.

SX 6952 7253 Settlement; hut circles and field system east of Mel Tor. Single hut, lined with slabs internally, and well preserved. Entrance gap to the south east. There are about three fields associated with the hut, one above and two below. A second hut platform lies to the north-west, close beside the track from which all the stones have been removed for modern field walls. There are larger lynchetted fields extending up the tor. The scheduled area covers the south-eastern part of the larger settlement. Other details: Monument 758.

Beeson, M. M. R. + Masterman, M. C. H., 1979, An Archaeological Survey of Enclosed Land in Widecombe-In-The-Moor Parish, 973 (Report - Survey). SDV337078.

Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, SX67SE (Cartographic). SDV345957.

Hut circle which appears to be incorporated into the wall of an enclosure, close to what appears to be another enclosure.

Butler, J., 1991, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume One - The East, 118-9 (Monograph). SDV299725.

Mel Tor farmstead and enclosure. The track follows the field wall around Mel Tor corner and then almost immediately cuts through the yard of a Prehistoric farmstead. This was laid out in the lee of the tor, which has been included in the western boundary of the farm. The downhill fields lay within the present ones and have been completely cleared away. Naturally many slabs have been robbed from the walls but a well preserved round house survives close to the track. The floor has been levelled into the hillside with an entrance facing downhill. A passageway crosses the end of the paddock uphill though it is uncertain whether it continued as far as the hut. Other details: Map 11, Site 4, Figure 11.2.

Gerrard, S., 2004, List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor (Un-published). SDV345444.

An extension to the Scheduled Prehistoric settlement to the east of Mel Tor was considered for designation as a Scheduled Ancient Monument in 2004. Other details: Site 42.

National Monuments Record, 2010, 442860 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV345958.

The remains of two hut circles and a field system. The huts average 7.5 metres in diameter and have single retaining slabs.

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

Two 'Hut Circles' shown on modern mapping close to the track on the eastern side of the settlement.

Environment Agency WMS, 2022, Environment Agency LIDAR Composite DTM 2022 - 1m (Cartographic). SDV365447.

Ordnance Survey, 2023, Mastermap 2023 (Cartographic). SDV365227.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV140289Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/CPE/UK/1890. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 2376-7.
SDV299725Monograph: Butler, J.. 1991. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume One - The East. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume One - The East. One. Paperback Volume. 118-9.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV337078Report - Survey: Beeson, M. M. R. + Masterman, M. C. H.. 1979. An Archaeological Survey of Enclosed Land in Widecombe-In-The-Moor Parish. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. Vols I - V. A4 Comb Bound. 973.
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.
SDV345953Schedule Document: Ancient Monuments. 1968. Settlement east of Mel Tor. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV345956Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1953/1980. SX67SE1. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV345957Cartographic: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. SX67SE. Air Photographs Unit. Map (Paper).
SDV345958National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2010. 442860. National Monuments Record Database. Website.
SDV365227Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2023. Mastermap 2023. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #141267 Two huts marked on based mapping, which is supported by the lidar data, ]
SDV365447Cartographic: Environment Agency WMS. 2022. Environment Agency LIDAR Composite DTM 2022 - 1m. Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital. [Mapped feature: #141269 Enclosure, ]

Associated Monuments

MDV25367Parent of: Field system east of Mel Tor, Widecombe (Monument)
MDV26252Parent of: Hut circle east of Mel Tor, Widecombe (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV1246 - Widecombe parish Survey

Date Last Edited:Sep 25 2023 12:11PM