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HER Number:MDV6731
Name:Hemstone South Hut Circle Settlement, Fernworthy

Summary

Unenclosed Bronze Age hut circle settlement in a clearing in Fernworthy Forest comprising seven hut circles and two cairns. All are in very poor condition due to past episodes of conifer plantation.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 647 837
Map Sheet:SX68SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX68SW26
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68SW/3
  • Old SAM County Ref: 960
  • Old SAM Ref: 28674
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX68SW26
  • Pastscape: 443951

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Baring Gould, S., 1901, Seventh Report of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee, 137 (Article in Serial). SDV249499.

North of Hemstone Rocks and about 200 yards from the brow of the 'clatter' are the remains of a kistvaen, three ruined cairns and three hut circles. One was examined and a flint scraper and a cooking stone was discovered.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950, SX68SW26 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV243437.

The area occupied by these hut circles is under afforestation. A search was made and the probable remains of a number of huts were found. These huts had all been severely mutilated during the tree planting operations and not possible to identify individually due to dense undergrowth. (1950)
The undergrowth has now been cleared in this area and the remains of these hut circles are sufficiently well-defined to be retained on the plan. (1951)


Grinsell, L. V., 1978, Dartmoor Barrows, 145 (Article in Serial). SDV273224.

Grinsell refers to two ring cairns in the north-east corner of the site.


Gerrard, S., 1990-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset., MPP 144147 (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

Site visit 28th April 1997. Unenclosed hut settlement. Hut circle diameters (A 7.32 metres, B 5.49metres, C 4.57metres, D 4.27metres, E 3.66metres).


Butler, J., 1991, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North, 157, Map 35.7 (Monograph). SDV219155.

Eight huts, 3.0 to 6.5 metres in diameter can be found in small clearings in the plantation. All were overplanted which caused considerable damage to them. Several short lengths of field walls are also visible disappearing into the trees.


Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England, 1993-1998, Dartmoor Royal Forest Project, 02-AUG-1995 (Report - Survey). SDV346608.

Centred SX 64818380. A group of seven hut circles, a possible cist, and several fragments of contemporary field system lie in a series of clearings in a coniferous plantation 200 metres north-north-east of Hemstone Rocks. All the features have been severely damaged by past forestry activities and the two huts on the east margin of the site are still overplanted. The huts (detailed below) are generally small with internal diameters in the range 3.1 metres to 5.5 metres and do not possess obvious entrances. A further hut depicted by Butler (1991) is situated at SX 64858384 in the north-east corner of the site. It is visible as a very disturbed partial stony ring 6.5 metres in diameter with an undulating raised interior and may represent one of the ring cairns described by the Sites and Monuments Register. Its mutilated form precludes a more definite interpretation.
The cairn described by Grinsell (1978) lies at SX 64768380 on the extreme western edge of the site. It consists of a crude circle of stones 1.7 metres in overall diameter with a level interior. There is no trace of a cist nor any mound material. Low stony banks around 1.2 metres wide and up to 0.6 metres high link several of the huts but overall form no discernible pattern.
Details of hut circles: all dimensions are in metres; internal diameter; wall width; wall height; remarks:-
SX 64778379, 5.5, 0.9, 0.5, E wall partially destroyed.
SX 64798381, 5.0, 0.9, 0.5, E wall partially destroyed.
SX 64808377, 3.3, 0.9, 0.4.
SX 64818377, 3.1, 0.9, 0.8, disturbed by forestry - now almost square in shape.
SX 64818378, 3.2, 1.4, 0.5, almost square.
SX 64858380, 3.6, 1.2, 0.4, overplanted.
SX 64848381, 4.5, 0.9, 0.25, incomplete circle of boulders and slabs, overplanted.


Ordnance Survey, 2013, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV350786.

All of the hut circles except the most south-western of the group, discovered in 2013 by Newman are depicted on the modern mapping.


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

Despite afforestation, the unenclosed stone hut circle settlement, section of field system and two cairns 330m north east of Hemstone Rocks survive well and contain archaeological structures, features and deposits relating to prehistoric exploitation of this area. The presence of two cairns and a small area of field system in such close proximity to the settlement is unusual and provides information about the integration of domestic, agricultural and ritual practices.
The monument includes seven stone hut circles, two cairns and an area of field system situated on a gentle east facing slope overlooking the valley of the South Teign River. The hut circles survive as banks each surrounding an internal circular area which varies from 8 to 28.26 square metres with the average being 15.72 square metres. The height of the surrounding walls varies between 0.3m and 0.6m, with the average being 0.44m. Two of the huts have visible doorways and the walls are of orthostatic or rubble bank construction. The cairns lie immediately north of the settlement and both were partly excavated by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee in 1901. The western structure is a ring cairn and survives as a 6.2m diameter central area surrounded by a 0.5m wide and 0.4m high bank. The second cairn lies close to the first and survives as an 8m diameter and 0.8m high mound, with two separate pits cut into its surface. These pits are probably the result of the work carried out by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee.


Newman , P., 2013, The Archaeology of Fernworthy Forest, Dartmoor, Devon, 34, Fig 30 (Report - Survey). SDV351784.

On a south-east facing slope in the upper reaches of the South Teign valley is a clearing containing seven hut circles and two cairns. All are in very poor condition having been exposed to up to three episodes of conifer planting. It is also likely that the huts were of a less robust type than others within the project area and that the two cairns were thoroughly disturbed, even before the Dartmoor Exploration Committee explored the site in July 1900 (Baring Gould 1901). They reported excavating one hut circle from which they retrieved a flint scraper and a cooking stone but also remains of a cist and three ruined cairns. Unfortunately, their site description leaves much doubt as to the locations of these features, which cannot be identified with certainty.


National Monument Record, 2014, Pastscape, 443951 (Website). SDV355682.

Seven hut circles, a possible cist, a possible ring cairn and fragments of contemporary walling 200 yards North of Hemstone Rocks. NMR No. SX68SW26. Record last updated: N/A

Sources / Further Reading

SDV219155Monograph: Butler, J.. 1991. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Two. Paperback Volume. 157, Map 35.7.
SDV243437Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950. SX68SW26. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV249499Article in Serial: Baring Gould, S.. 1901. Seventh Report of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 33. Digital. 137.
SDV273224Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1978. Dartmoor Barrows. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 36. A5 Paperback. 145.
SDV277946Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. MPP 144147.
SDV346608Report - Survey: Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England. 1993-1998. Dartmoor Royal Forest Project. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Field/Recording In. Unknown. 02-AUG-1995.
SDV350785National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2013. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #98401 ]
SDV351784Report - Survey: Newman , P.. 2013. The Archaeology of Fernworthy Forest, Dartmoor, Devon. Digital + A4. 34, Fig 30.
SDV355682Website: National Monument Record. 2014. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk. Website. 443951.

Associated Monuments

MDV6730Parent of: Cairn north of Hemstone Rocks Settlement, Fernworthy (Monument)
MDV6732Parent of: Hut circle in Hemstone South settlement, Fernworthy (Monument)
MDV6733Parent of: Hut circle in Hemstone South settlement, Fernworthy (Monument)
MDV6734Parent of: Hut circle in Hemstone South settlement, Fernworthy (Monument)
MDV6735Parent of: Hut circle in Hemstone South settlement, Fernworthy (Monument)
MDV6736Parent of: Hut circle in Hemstone South settlement, Fernworthy (Monument)
MDV6737Parent of: Hut circle in Hemstone South settlement, Fernworthy (Monument)
MDV6738Parent of: Hut circle in Hemstone South settlement, Fernworthy (Monument)
MDV104643Parent of: Hut circle south of the Hemstone South settlement, Fernworthy (Monument)
MDV104643Related to: Hut circle south of the Hemstone South settlement, Fernworthy (Monument)
MDV6729Parent of: Ring cairn north of Hemstone Rocks Settlement, Fernworthy (Monument)
MDV58437Related to: Hemstone Field System (Monument)
MDV6740Related to: Hemstone North Hut Circle Settlement, Tom's Hill, Fernworthy (Monument)
MDV104643Parent of: Hut circle south of the Hemstone South settlement, Fernworthy (Monument)
MDV104643Related to: Hut circle south of the Hemstone South settlement, Fernworthy (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6203 - Archaeological Survey of Fernworthy Forest
  • EDV6216 - Condition Surveys of Ancient Monuments on Forestry Commission Land
  • EDV7389 - Fernworthy Forest condition survey 1996
  • EDV7410 - Fernworthy Forest condition survey 1992

Date Last Edited:Jul 16 2014 2:25PM