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HER Number:MDV7758
Name:Cairn or hut circle on Whitehorse Hill


The remains of a possible hut circle or cairn is visible as a crude circle of upright stones. The stones are partially turf-covered and measure up to 0.4 metres high.


Grid Reference:SX 617 850
Map Sheet:SX68NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Structural remains of a possible prehistoric cairn or hut circle on Whitehorse Hill

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX 68 NW 38
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68SW/59
  • Pastscape: 443866
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CAIRN? (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 701 BC (Between))
  • HUT CIRCLE? (Bronze Age - 2200 BC to 701 BC (Between))

Full description

Le Messuerier, B., 1975, Ruined hut / circular feature, 21/5/1975 (Worksheet). SDV268767.

Circular feature. Some evidence of walling outside the northern side. Walling stones are on edge. Floor consists of tumbled stones. Door probably on eastern side. Peat cutting nearby.

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

Not visible on 1947 Royal Air Force aerial photograph.

Gerrard, S., 1993-2002, Monument Protection Programme Alternative Action Report (Report - non-specific). SDV145710.

Considered under the Monument Protection Programme. Despite an extensive search of this area this stone hut circle could not be found. The area denoted by the grid reference includes a scatter of stones which have been exposed by peat cutting. Many of these stones are apparently edge set but none of them could be resolved by the MPPA into any form of structure.

English Heritage, 2005, Industrial Survey Information (Report - Survey). SDV346396.

National Monument Record, 2016, Pastscape, Accessed 20/09/2016 (Website). SDV359354.

At SX 61718500, in peat diggings on the east side of Whitehorse Hill at 580 metres OD, there appears to be a prehistoric hut circle of Type 1. Much ruined and rubble-filled, the internal diameter measures 1.8 metres, the walling being of rubble 0.4 metres high and 1.2 metres thick with a few inner facing slabs up to 0.6 metres high.
On the north side the upright slabs are augmented or supported by drystone walling of three courses forming a block 0.6 metres square and 0.3 metres high and which protrudes from the general perimeter. No entrance is descernible.
The top of the hut is 0.3 metres lower than a nearby peat face which has already had at least one cut.
Surveyed at 1:10 000 on MSD. See ground photographs (citing Quinnell, N. V., Field Investigators Comments, 04/09/1979).
Report as in Authority 1 now published Report as in Authority 1 now published (citing Le Messurier, B., Transactions of the Devonshire Association, 111, 1979, 66).
SX 61728501. A possible prehistoric cairn protrudes from the side of a peat cutting on the gentle south-east-facing slope of Whitehorse Hill. This feature survives as a crude circle of upright slabs and blocks, 3.3 metres north to south by 2.5 metres overall, part concealed by turf. The interior is stoney, relatively flat and lies approximately 0.3 metres above the present ground level. There is no obvious cist nor any sign of a possible entrance.
The walling noted by authorities 1 and 2 may simply be tumble or dumping by peat cutters. As an original constituent feature of this monument these stones are unconvincing.
There are no other recognisable prehistoric features in the immediate area though it has been suggested that nearby peat cutter's shelter occupies the site of an earlier hut circle (MDV116631) (citing Probert, S. A. J., Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments in England Field Investigation, 02/09/1993).
This enigmatic feature which may be the remains of a kerbed cairn is well preserved. There is no threat to this monument (citing Fletcher, M., English Heritage Field Investigation, 20/10/2003).

Sources / Further Reading

SDV145710Report - non-specific: Gerrard, S.. 1993-2002. Monument Protection Programme Alternative Action Report. English Heritage. Unknown.
SDV268767Worksheet: Le Messuerier, B.. 1975. Ruined hut / circular feature. Worksheet. Digital. 21/5/1975.
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.
SDV346396Report - Survey: English Heritage. 2005. Industrial Survey Information. English Heritage. Digital. [Mapped feature: #104520 ]
SDV359354Website: National Monument Record. 2016. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk. Website. Accessed 20/09/2016.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Sep 20 2016 2:53PM