MDE1040 - Probable Bronze Age hut circles between Trentishoe Down and Holdstone Down (Monument)


Two hut circles of a probable Bronze Age date are visible as circular banks of soil and stone, terraced into a north facing slope. They measure approximately 10 metres in diameter.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

Centred SS 6271 4811. Two Bronze Age hut circles approximately 12 metres in diameter, located on a level terrace on a north slope in rough moorland. They comprise circular banks of soil and stone, 0.4 metres high internally and 0.5 metres high externally. The west circle has an entrance in the north side and the east circle an entrance on the south side. They are well preserved and clearly visible on Ordnance Survey aerial photographs. Surveyed at 1:2500. [1,2] (SS 6271 4811) Hut Circles (NR). [3] Two hut circles centred at SS 6271 4811. They lie on the west side of a north to south field wall on generally north facing slopes at 250 metres above Ordnance Datum. The eastern hut is centred at SS 62716 48106. It is roughly circular, measuring 7.4 metres north to south and 8.1 metres east to west (measurements to bank centres), and roughly 10.6 metres overall. The feature is defined by a bank of stone and earth, 1.5 metres wide and 0.5 metres high. It has been terraced by 0.5 metres into the natural slope on the south side and consequently built up on the north side. Traces of facing stones are visible on the inner side of the bank in the southwest quadrant. The entrance lies on the southeast, but has been disturbed possibly by the dumping of material into it from a quarry track which passes the hut immediately on its southern side. The area has recently been partly burnt off. The western hut is centred at SS 62706 48112. It is of irregular shape, and might even be described as subtriangular. It measures 7.6 metres north to south and 9.7 metres east to west (measurements to bank centres), and has corresponding overall measurements of 9.5 metres and 12.2 metres. It is defined by a bank of earth and stone with a maximum width of 2.7 metres and a height of 0.6 metres. The feature has been terraced into the natural slope on the south side. The entrance lies on the north (downslope) side and has been enlarged by robbing of the bank. It consequently now measures 2.5 metres wide. Within it lies a recumbent stone slab 0.85 metres long and 0.25 metres wide, which may have been a jamb. The odd shape of the earthwork may be partly explained by the presence of a quarry track on the south side. It is possible that this has impinged on the hut and straightened the southwestern arc. Both huts take advantage of a slight fold in the hillside, and appear to be well sheltered from any westerly weather, a characteristic of the other huts on the north side of Holdstone Down and Trentishoe Down (see MDE8574 and MDE8961). There is no evidence for clearance or cultivation in association with these two huts. Resurveyed at 1:2500 scale. [4,5] Two hut circles, probably of Bronze Age date, are clearly visible as earthworks on aerial photographs on the north eastern side of Trentishoe down. [6,7] There are recent surface drainage gutter clips to the south edge of the west hut circle, otherwise no change. [9] The site is in good condition but more exposed due to burning of adjacent heather, gorse and bracken. [11] This record was enhanced as part of the pilot project for the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer. [12,13]

Sources/Archives (13)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Aerial photograph reference number . Ordnance Survey, 72/065 51.52.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Field Investigators Comments. MJ Fletcher, F1, 30 August 1972.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1980. 1:10000 Map, 1980. 1:10000.
  • <4> Technical drawing: Sainsbury, I. and Wilson-North, R.. 1993. Trentishoe, SS 64 NW 4, 7, 15, 31, 32, 33, 37/ink survey . 1:2500. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Field Investigators Comment. R Wilson-North, F2, 18 May 1993.
  • <6> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/72065 050-051 (15 April 1972).
  • <7> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 64 NW. MD002171.
  • <8> Index: Ordnance Survey. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Record Card.
  • <9> Report: McDonnell, R.. 1986. Archaeological survey on Exmoor 1985/86: Trentishoe Down; a summary report. 273.
  • <10> Report: The National Trust. 1984. Holdstone Down, Devon. 5.
  • <11> Report: National Trust. 1994. Archaeological Site Monitoring Report.
  • <12> Archive: Historic England. 2016. NRHE to HER prototype website test. 34667.
  • <13> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 34667, Extant 12 July 2016.



Grid reference Centred SS 62714 48108 (30m by 23m) (GPS derived)
Map sheet SS64NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (5)

External Links (3)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 12087
  • Devon SMR: SS64NW/9
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20201
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO19
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 NW7
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • National Trust HER Record: MNA107754
  • National Trust HER Record: MNA107826
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 34667

Record last edited

May 5 2021 11:21AM


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