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HER Number:MDV6746
Name:Broadun Ring enclosed settlement on Broad Down, Dartmoor Forest

Summary

Broadun Ring an enclosed prehistoric settlement of 115 metres by 70 metres and covering about 0.7 hectares with 12 hut circles of which 10 were excavated in 1893

Location

Grid Reference:SX 637 801
Map Sheet:SX68SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Archaeological Record
  • National Monuments Record: SX68SW9
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68SW/7
  • Old SAM County Ref: 336
  • Old SAM Ref: 34493
  • Pastscape: 443924

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ENCLOSED HUT CIRCLE SETTLEMENT (Constructed, Bronze Age - 2200 BC to 701 BC)

Full description

Prowse, A. B., 1891, The Ancient Metropolis of Dartmoor, 310 (Article in Serial). SDV245176.

On the eastern slope of Broad Down on the right bank of the East Dart is an enclosure, semicircular with nine hut circles just below the Powder Mill leat. Eleven hut circles have been excavated, four being clustered together. Hearths and 'cooking holes' found, some huts have a paved dais. Small finds included charcoal, pot-boilers and flint flakes.

Burnard, R., 1894, Exploration of the Hut Circles in Broadun Ring and Broadun, 189-190 (Article in Serial). SDV246116.

Rowe, S., 1896, A Perambulation of the Royal Forest of Dartmoor and the venville precincts, 174 (Monograph). SDV249697.

Wall, J. C., 1906, Ancient Earthworks, 607 (Article in Monograph). SDV341465.

Burnard, R., 1906, Early Man, 349 (Article in Monograph). SDV322231.

Royal Air Force, 1949, RAF/540/176, 5121-2 (Aerial Photograph). SDV224083.

Ordnance Survey, 1950, SX68SW9, SX68SW9 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV245174.

Six hut circles and enclosure. Hut A has walls of unusually large boulders, one of which on the western perimeter appears to be living rock. Entrance not obvious. Hut B has a wall of turf and large stones; entrance not obvious. Hut C has an entrance to the south south east. Hut D is very small with walls of turf and stone and a probable entrance to the south south east. Hut E is the remains of a hut or court with a wall of small turf covered stones and no obvious entrance. Hut F is the ruins of a hut or court with wall of turf covered stones and no obvious entrance. The enclosure remains are of the usual Dartmoor type the walling has been extensively robbed for newtake walls, one of which utilises the west wall of the enclosure for part of its length. Enclosure walling length W - X completely demolished. Length X - Y partially demolished, consisting of large stones. Length Y - Z of unusually large stones and of good condition. No obvious entrance to the enclosure.

Royal Air Force, 1951, RAF/540/483, 4047-8 (Aerial Photograph). SDV224087.

Photograph taken on 24th April 1951.

National Monument Record, 1979, SF1510, 411-3 (Aerial Photograph). SDV224088.

Robinson, R., 1983, List of Field Monument Warden Visits (Site Visit). SDV114314.

Visited on 11th October 1983.

Greeves, T. A. P., 1983, Middle Merripit Survey Drawing (Plan - measured). SDV321106.

Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Dartmoor) - Dartmoor Pre-NMP (Cartographic). SDV319854.

The eastern wall of this enclosure is scattered over a wide distance, while the western wall is incorporated into a field boundary. Only 3 of the internal hut circles are visible on 1951 aerial photograph.

Sainsbury, I. S., 1989, Broadun Ring (Site Visit). SDV245180.

At SX63708017. The remains of an enclosed settlement, known locally as Broadun Ring, containing possibly 12 hut circles, lies as 425 metres OD on fairly steep slopes in an area of rough grass and scattered boulders. The enclosure measures 115 metres north-north-east to south-south-west and by 70 metres transversely covering about 0.7 hectares. A thick rubble wall now quite collapsed and spread from 4 metre-6 metres wide and up to 1.2 metres high in places. Several good outer facing stones are visible around the north-west and south-west where it has been more severely robbed to form a modern wall which overlies the west side. The inner face around the south-east arc is roughly coursed. No definite entrance is visible though a lessening of rubble and a slight gap suggests one may have been in the north-east. Internally there are several hut circles, 8 free standing and possibly 4 set against the enclosure wall. Nos 1-8 appear to be good huts whilst 9-12 may be huts but could be later constructions from wall rubble. Most were excavated or examined by Burnard, but he does not refer to 11 and 12. Huts 1-5 range in diameter from 2.5 metres to 6 metres within crudely constructed, now turf covered, walls of stone and large boulders, 1.3 metres to 1.7 metres wide and about 0.4 metres high. None have well defined entrances but 4 possible ones are in the south-east to south-south-west. A table of further information on the enclosure is held in the archive.

Butler, J., 1991, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North, 38-9, Map 27, Figure 27.1 (Monograph). SDV219155.

Broadun Ring. Fifty metres above the East Dart the newtake wall alters course around the inside of the uphill edge of Broadun Ring, all but the largest blocks of the ancient wall providing material for the present one. Elsewhere the wall has collapsed and spread to 3.5 metres across except in the south-east corner where several courses of stone still in place show that originally it stood well over a metre high. A gap in the wall nearby may be the original gateway down to the river as there are no displaced stones on the downhill side. The numerous blocks scattered within show that there was no serious attempt by the inhabitants to clear the interior. The compound was investigated in 1893 when ten of the huts were excavated.

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

Enclosure shown on survey.

Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC, 2015-2017, 2015-2017 Aerial Photographs (Aerial Photograph). SDV361462.

Visible on aerial photograph.

Ordnance Survey, 2022, Mastermap 2022 (Cartographic). SDV364674.

'Settlement' shown on modern mapping.

Historic England, 2022, National Heritage List for England, 1021334 (National Heritage List for England). SDV364675.

The monument comprises a prehistoric enclosed settlement known as Broadun Ring situated on a south-east facing slope overlooking the valley of the East Dart River. The enclosure survives as an oval shaped area denoted by a boulder faced wall measuring up to 6 metres wide and standing up to 1.2 metres high. The interior of the enclosure measures 119 metres north to south by 79 metres east to west and contains at least 13 stone hut circles varying between 3.5 metres and 8.5 metres in internal diameter. A gap in the south-eastern length of the enclosure wall may represent an original entrance. Most of the huts within the enclosure have visible doorways and six are attached to the inner face of the enclosure. The largest hut within the settlement has a rectangular platform built within its interior. Some of the huts appear to have been refurbished, suggesting reuse perhaps in the historic period. Ten of the huts within the settlement were partially excavated by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee in 1893 and this work revealed hearthstones, charcoal, flints and pot boilers. A small number of pits within the enclosure represent the site of historic stone splitting activity. A drystone wall leading alongside the inner face of the western side of the enclosure bank stands up to 1.5 metres high and represents a post-medieval field boundary.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV114314Site Visit: Robinson, R.. 1983. List of Field Monument Warden Visits.
SDV219155Monograph: Butler, J.. 1991. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Two. Paperback Volume. 38-9, Map 27, Figure 27.1.
SDV224083Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1949. RAF/540/176. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 5121-2.
SDV224087Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1951. RAF/540/483. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4047-8.
SDV224088Aerial Photograph: National Monument Record. 1979. SF1510. National Monument Record Aerial Photograph. Unknown. 411-3.
SDV245174Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey. 1950. SX68SW9. SX68SW9.
SDV245176Article in Serial: Prowse, A. B.. 1891. The Ancient Metropolis of Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 23. 310.
SDV245180Site Visit: Sainsbury, I. S.. 1989. Broadun Ring. RCHME Field Investigation.
SDV246116Article in Serial: Burnard, R.. 1894. Exploration of the Hut Circles in Broadun Ring and Broadun. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 26. Digital. 189-190.
SDV249697Monograph: Rowe, S.. 1896. A Perambulation of the Royal Forest of Dartmoor and the venville precincts. Perambulation of the Forest of Dartmoor. Unknown. 174.
SDV319854Cartographic: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project (Dartmoor) - Dartmoor Pre-NMP. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
SDV321106Plan - measured: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1983. Middle Merripit Survey Drawing. Middle Merripit Survey Drawing. Digital.
SDV322231Article in Monograph: Burnard, R.. 1906. Early Man. Victoria History of the County of Devon. 1. A4 Hardback. 349.
SDV341465Article in Monograph: Wall, J. C.. 1906. Ancient Earthworks. Victoria History of the County of Devon. Hardback Volume. 607.
SDV345521Cartographic: English Heritage. 2005-2008. Prehistoric Survey Information. English Heritage. Digital.
SDV361462Aerial Photograph: Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. 2015-2017. 2015-2017 Aerial Photographs. Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. Photograph (Digital). [Mapped feature: #136784 ]
SDV364674Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2022. Mastermap 2022. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV364675National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2022. National Heritage List for England. Digital. 1021334.

Associated Monuments

MDV20484Parent of: Drift lane from Postbridge to Rowtor Gate (Monument)
MDV132712Parent of: Group of four hut circles within Broadun Ring settlement on Broad Down, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV132711Parent of: Hut circle within Broadun Ring settlement on Broad Down, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV132713Parent of: Hut circle within Broadun Ring settlement on Broad Down, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV132714Parent of: Hut circle within Broadun Ring settlement on Broad Down, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV132715Parent of: Hut circle within Broadun Ring settlement on Broad Down, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV132716Parent of: Hut circle within Broadun Ring settlement on Broad Down, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV132717Parent of: Hut circle within Broadun Ring settlement on Broad Down, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV132718Parent of: Hut circle within Broadun Ring settlement on Broad Down, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV5946Related to: Broadun enclosed hut circle settlement, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV132767Related to: Hut circle within Lower Broadun enclosure, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV132768Related to: Hut circle within Lower Broadun enclosure, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV6805Related to: Lower Broadun enclosure, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV132769Related to: Small pen and building within Lower Broadun enclosure, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV675 - OSA=SX68SW9
  • EDV676 - Excavation at Broadun Ring
  • EDV677 - Field Monument Warden Visit
  • EDV678 - Field Monument Warden Visit
  • EDV679 - Field Monument Warden Visit
  • EDV680 - RCHME Field Investigation
  • EDV8648 - Middle Merripit Farm, Duchy Farms Survey
  • EDV8409 - Dartmoor Royal Forest Project

Date Last Edited:Apr 14 2022 12:03PM