MDE11941 - Prehistoric hut circles or post-medieval charcoal burning platforms near Broad-ways-feet (Monument)


Two circular platforms, situated in woodland on the south bank of the East Lyn River, are possibly either prehistoric hut circles or post-medieval charcoal burning platforms.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

The remains of two circular features or platforms are located on fairly level ground in woodland close to the south bank of the East Lyn River. They may be associated with a further two platforms to the west (see MMO1702). The first, at SS 7503 4892, is an embanked platform 9.6m in diameter. It is well defined with a bank 1.1 metre wide and 0.4 metres high. The feature is terraced into the slope on the southern side. A break of 1.8 metres on the western side may mark a former entrance. The interior is slightly sunken below the surrounding ground surface. The site lies in a former coniferous plantation and is disturbed by stumps and tree holes. The second, at SS 7505 4892, is less well defined. It consists of an amorphous, sub-circular platformed area, measuring 8.2 metres in diameter, defined by a low bank (0.9 metres wide) on the west and north. It is cut into the natural slope on the south and east by 0.4 metres. The classification and date of these two features is not certain. They are clearly reminiscent of prehistoric hut circles: they are platformed into the natural slope, are defined by banks and they have possible entrance gaps. However, their topographic position within a deep wooded valley, is not commonly associated with prehistoric settlement on Exmoor; and neither is there any trace of an associated field system. Another context for the construction of such features is the medieval and post-medieval woodland economy. However, known examples of charcoal burning platforms around Watersmeet (see MDE11680 and MDE11741) exhibit a less complex form, appearing as no more than slight ovoid platforms, measuring 8 metres by 4 metres, on steep natural slopes. It is possible that the bank was erected to control the amount of draught to the mounds. If these features are interpreted in an early context of the woodland economy. The reuse of occupation sites for charcoal burning in the post-medieval period has been well attested at Cowal, on the west coast of Scotland. [1,2]

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <1> Serial: Current archaeology vol 1 no 1 (March 1967) - . 204-210.
  • <2>XY Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 4 August 1994. [Mapped features: #46925 1st platform, ; #46926 2nd platform, ]



Grid reference Centred SS 7504 4892 (20m by 0m) (2 map features)
Map sheet SS74NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 NE34
  • National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1002067

Record last edited

Jul 26 2021 9:26PM


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