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HER Number:MDV8055
Name:Prehistoric Settlement at Smallacombe Rocks, Ilsington

Summary

Prehistoric settlement at Smallacombe Rocks associated with a parallel reave system including four rectilinear enclosures and four hut circles on both sides of one parallel reave and just to the north of another

Location

Grid Reference:SX 756 781
Map Sheet:SX77NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishIlsington
DistrictTeignbridge
Ecclesiastical ParishILSINGTON

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument 1002531: Settlement on Smallacombe Rocks
  • SHINE: Earthworks of a Bronze Age parallel reave system with three main east-west boundary works, an enclosure hut circles and cairns, a medieval enclosure, a pillow mound, an area of post-medieval tin pits and a post-medieval field system on Haytor Down

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 455002
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX77NE/11
  • Old SAM County Ref: 452
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX77NE 9
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

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

'Hut Circles' shown on 19th century map to the east of 'Grea Tor' with a 'Logan Stone' shown further west.


Baring Gould, S., 1897, Fourth Report of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee, 156-9 (Article in Serial). SDV337081.

Hut circles, Smallacombe Rocks, Haytor Down. Area in and about the tor has been enclosed by a wall, two hut circles (Nos 1 and 4) being placed on each side of the approach to this enclosure from the down. Traces of walls connecting these two circles are almost obliterated. Other details: Plates 6-7.


Worth, R. H., 1945, The Dartmoor Hut Circles, 225-56 (Article in Serial). SDV246120.

Other details: Plates 5-12.


Ralegh Radford, C. A., 1952, Prehistoric Settlements on Dartmoor and the Cornish Moors, 73-4 & 84 (Article in Serial). SDV337080.

Four hut circles set in middle of small rectangular enclosures with traces of lynchetting. Fields can be traced to the south for nearly 137.0 meters but have been largely destroyed by Medieval cultivation.


Fox, A., 1954, Celtic Fields and Farms on Dartmoor in Light of Recent Excavations at Kestor, 87 (Article in Serial). SDV231175.


Department of Environment, 1960, Smallcombe Rocks Settlement (Schedule Document). SDV337082.

Settlement on Smallacombe Rocks. Settlement of at least two huts bounded by a stone wall on the edge of the tor plateau, wall on three sides. Large huts with internal diameter of 8.23 meters. One outlying hut of 6.10 meter internal diameter. Large rectangular fields stretch out to the east moorland. Pottery early Iron Age to Romano British, now in Torquay Museum.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1960, SX77NE 9 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV337083.

Four hut circles in rather poor condition. Fragmentary field walls probably contemporary are visible close to the huts and to the south. Other details: Plan.


Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, SX77NE (Cartographic). SDV337084.

Three freestanding hut circles are visible bounded on three sides (north west and south) by walls. The northern wall continues eastward as a reave. Another hut circle is attached to the south wall at SX75697717.


Everett, C., 1988, Haytor Down - Summary of Archaeological Features, HD79, Map 6 (Report - Survey). SDV359684.


Butler, J., 1991, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume One - The East, 26, Figure 2.1 (Monograph). SDV299725.

Settlement in the lee of Smallacombe Rocks commanding an extensive view to the west. The site was too exposed for reoccupation in Medieval times. The boundaries of the settlement were laid out in a geometric arrangement at the end of a long reave, with four east to west walls built parallel to it. The reave extends over a kilometre to the east. The summit of the tor was enclosed by a well-preserved wall roughly in the shape of a parallelogram 120 metres across. The entrance was probably on the western side where gaps are shown in the wall. The north wall was extended to form a second enclosure and two further enclosures were were added to the south of the reave leaving a narrow corridor between them and the next reave to the south, apparently to allow access from the high ground to Becka Brook. This corridor is 22 metres wide at the east end and 6 metres at the west end. The four hut circles were excavated by Dartmoor Exploration Committee in 1896. Hut 1: diameter 9.2 metres with walls 1.2-1.4 metres thick and 1.3 metres above the original floor level. They were built of both vertical and coursed slabs infilled with small stones and earth. The entranc was to the south-south-east. Some artefacts were recovered. Hut 2: diameter 6.7 metres is well below ground level with an entrance to the south. Hut 3: diameter 7.4 metres had a large block protruding 0.4 metres above floor level near the east wall and set firmly in the ground. Hut 4: diameter 9.2 metres is joined to the enclosure wall by a short bank. Finds from this hut included a flint knife, fragments of at least two pots and a 'rubber' stone. Extensive layers of charcoal near the north-west walls indicated the position of fireplaces. Other details: Map 2, Site 1, Figure 2.1.


Newman, P., 2002, Haytor Down, Ilsington, Devon, 8-9, Figure 3 (Report - Survey). SDV346395.

Smallacombe Rocks Prehistoric settlement associated with the parallel reave system. The primary enclosure is a rough parallelogram and occupies the mainly level plateau of the tor. A reave joins the centre of the eastern side of the enclosure and continues into the settlement comprising at least four fields. A second parallel east to west reave passes 12 metres to the southcreating a narrow strip of partially enclosed land. Ther are four hut circles associated with the fields. A semi-circular stony bank built against the face of the central tor outcrop at SX75587824 could be a hut circle or a later shelter.


Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England, 2002, Haytor Down: The Archaeology (Plan - measured). SDV359685.

Settlement shown on survey.


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

Prehistoric settlement at Smallacombe Rocks considered for designation as a Scheduled Ancient Monument in 2004. Other details: Number 12.


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

Extent of settlement shown.


National Monuments Record, 2010, 455002, 455002 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV345525.

Enclosure with associated hut circles and field system at Smallacombe Rocks. The primary enclosure is a rough parallelogram in shape and occupies the mainly level plateau of the tor, the stony enclosure walls filling in the gaps between the rock outcrops on the western side. A reave joins the enclosure on its eastern central section and additional rectangular elements have been added to the east and south of the enclosure, incorporating the reave to make a total of four compartments. A second east-west reave passes only 12 metres from the southern enclosure wall, creating a narrow strip of partially enclosed land between the two features. Several stone cutting pits of the late-18th - early 19th century granite industry are dispersed within the settlement. There are four hut circles associated with the fields, all were excavated in the 19th century.


Ordnance Survey, 2016, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359352.

'Hut Circles' shown on modern mapping to the east of Smallacombe Rocks.


Historic England, 2016, National Heritage List for England, 1002531 (National Heritage List for England). SDV359353.

Smallacombe Rocks Prehistoric Settlement. The monument includes a stone hut circle settlement within part of the Rippon Tor coaxial field system surrounding Smallacombe Rocks and overlooking the Becka Brook. The settlement survives as four stone hut circles, a shelter and four rectangular fields. The stone hut circles are defined by orthostatic and rubble built walls and range in size between 6.6m and 8.8m in diameter internally. A semi-circular stony bank built against the face of the central rock outcrop could be a hut or possibly a later shelter. It has an internal diameter of 3.8m with a bank measuring 3.3m wide and 0.4m high. Surrounding the hut circles and tor are four roughly rectangular fields which form part of the Rippon Tor coaxial field system. The field walls are well built and measure up to 0.5m high and 1m wide and contain many taller orthostats. Three of the huts are attached to the enclosure walls and one is freestanding. The stone hut circles were excavated by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee in 1896 and produced flints, charcoal, a rubbing stone and some incised and decorated pottery. Many of the stones surrounding the tor show evidence of later stone working activity. The monument is crossed by several well defined paths.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV231175Article in Serial: Fox, A.. 1954. Celtic Fields and Farms on Dartmoor in Light of Recent Excavations at Kestor. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. 20. Unknown. 87.
SDV246120Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1945. The Dartmoor Hut Circles. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 77. A5 Hardback. 225-56.
SDV299725Monograph: Butler, J.. 1991. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume One - The East. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume One - The East. One. Paperback Volume. 26, Figure 2.1.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV337080Article in Serial: Ralegh Radford, C. A.. 1952. Prehistoric Settlements on Dartmoor and the Cornish Moors. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. 18. Unknown. 73-4 & 84.
SDV337081Article in Serial: Baring Gould, S.. 1897. Fourth Report of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 29. A5 Hardback. 156-9.
SDV337082Schedule Document: Department of Environment. 1960. Smallcombe Rocks Settlement. The Schedule of Monuments. Letter.
SDV337083Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1960. SX77NE 9. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV337084Cartographic: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. SX77NE. Air Photographs Unit. Map (Paper).
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. [Mapped feature: #107345 ]
SDV345525National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2010. 455002. National Monuments Record Database. Website. 455002.
SDV346395Report - Survey: Newman, P.. 2002. Haytor Down, Ilsington, Devon. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Report. A1/2/1999. A4 Spiral Bound. 8-9, Figure 3.
SDV359352Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV359353National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2016. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. 1002531.
SDV359684Report - Survey: Everett, C.. 1988. Haytor Down - Summary of Archaeological Features. HD79, Map 6.
SDV359685Plan - measured: Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England. 2002. Haytor Down: The Archaeology. A1 Folded.

Associated Monuments

MDV72894Parent of: Enclosure within Smallacombe Rocks Prehistoric Settlement, Ilsington (Monument)
MDV72895Parent of: Hut Circle at Smallacombe Rocks Prehistoric Settlement, Ilsington (Monument)
MDV72896Parent of: Hut Circle at Smallacombe Rocks Prehistoric Settlement, Ilsington (Monument)
MDV72897Parent of: Hut Circle at Smallacombe Rocks Prehistoric Settlement, Ilsington (Monument)
MDV72898Parent of: Hut Circle at Smallacombe Rocks Prehistoric Settlement, Ilsington (Monument)
MDV115777Related to: Hut Circle or Shelter at Smallacombe Rocks Prehistoric Settlement , Ilsington (Monument)
MDV26591Related to: Pillow Mound at Smallacombe Rocks, Ilsington (Monument)
MDV8102Related to: Prehistoric Enclosure east of Hole Rock, Manaton (Monument)
MDV115779Related to: Prehistoric Hut Circle within Enclosure east of Hole Rock, Manaton (Monument)
MDV26623Related to: Prehistoric Parallel Reave System east of Smallacombe Rocks (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV1734 - SHERD (Early Iron Age to Roman - 700 BC to 409 AD)

Associated Events

  • EDV7021 - Haytor Down: Survey Report (Ref: A1/2/1999)

Date Last Edited:Aug 5 2016 12:35PM