MDE1296 - Hut Circles and Field System on Thorn Hill (Monument)

Summary

The remains of a prehistoric settlement, on the lower north-facing slopes of Thorn Hill, are visible as three well-defined hut circles and an associated field system. The evidence includes a small rectangular field, a fragment of field wall, a lynchet and a stone clearance cairn.

Please read the .

Type and Period (5)

Protected Status

Full Description

Marked as 'Hut Circle' (1) Between Warcombe Water and Ruckham Combe (2) A retaining kerb 9 paces in diameter, near spring-head. Possibly a hut circle. (3) The published entry (9) applies to a roughly semi-circular patch of stones with a maximum diameter of 9.0m. There is no specific kerbing and if the patch was originally circular the northern half is now overlaid by peat. It is most unlikely to be a hut circle and in its present state is not particularly convincing as a cairn. It may be a natural patch of stone since much protrudes from the peat in this area. 1:2500 survey revised. (4) SS 72904374. The remains of a settlement of three hut circles and an associated field system evidenced by a small rectangular field, a fragment of field wall, a lynchet and stone clearance heap.The settlement is situated across a significant shelf on the gentle north-facing lower slopes of Thorn Hill, about 360 metres above OD. The area is covered by heather, bracken and rough grass and has a scattering of surface stone. It lies about one hundred metres north of the Devon/Somerset County Boundary, which is marked here by a series of boundary stones and a wire fence. There are good views northwards along Ilkerton Ridge, down the valley of the West Lyn River and across the Furzehill Common and Cheriton Ridge but the view to the south is limited by the rising ground of the Chains. A rough track crosses the site from north-west to south-east. SS 7287343743. Hut A is visible as a levelled platform, 5 metresnorth to south by 4.6 metres. It is edged around its front by a collapsed wall now reduced to a stoney heather-clad scarp, about 2.5 metres maximum width and 0.5 metres high. The rear of the platform is marked by a similar, though prominent low inner facing scarp, 1.2 metres wide and 0.4 metres high. A break in the scarp along the slope in the north-north-east may be the entrance. Several stones of the wall protrude through the heather around the W and some have tumbled down the slope. SS 7292343761. Hut B is a similar though smaller and less well-defined platform, about 4.7 metres internally, set into the slope. It is visible mainly as a turf-covered front scarp, 2 metres wide and 0.5 metres high, and rear scarp, 2 metres wide and 0.3 metres high. No entrance is evident though it may have been along the slope in the south-west. The hut is skirted by a track in the South.SS 7289243759. Hut C is a well-defined levelled platform, of 7 metres internal diameter, edged around its front northern side by a collapsed wall now reduced to a stoney turf-covered scarp, about 2 metres maximum width and 0.5 metres high. The rear of the platform is marked by a similar, though less pronounced inner facing scarp, 1.6 metres wide and 0.4 metres high, mainly covered by heather and bracken. A break in the scarp along the slope in th enorth-north-east may mark the entrance. Several stones of the wall protrude through the heather and some have tumbled down the slope in the north-east. SS 72914372. Some 40 metres south west of hut B is a small field, about 30 metres north-east to south-westW by 20 metres. Its northern edge is defined partly by a low field wall evident as a turf-covered rickle of stones, some 14 metres long, 2 metres wide and 0.2 metres maximum height with a stone clearance heap, 4 metres in diameter and 0.2 metres high, attached to its south-west end. A lynchet, 1.3 metres wide and 1.3 metres high, defines its southern side. This site was originally noted on the 1891 Ordnance Survey (6) as a single hut circle which was not seen as convincing by Quinnell (4) in 1974. However, the finds of the two other huts plus the small field, walling, lynchet and stone clearance heap, although in poor condition, now leave the interpretation as a small settlement presumably of prehistoric origin.Surveyed at 1:2500 by GPS. (5) The three hut circles, lynchet and rectangular fields are barely discernible on aerial photographs of the area, suggesting the features are extremely subtle. However, they can be seen on the RAF photographs taken in 1952 (7)

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560.
  • <2> Monograph: Page, W. (editor). 1906. The Victoria History of the County of Devon. Archibald Constable and Company, Limited (London). 1. P. 629.
  • <3> Monograph: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Archaeology of Exmoor: Bideford Bay to Bridgewater. David and Charles Limited. P. 195.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Field Investigators Comments. Quinell, N. V. 08/10/1974.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Field Investigators Comment. Sainsbury, I. S. 27/06/1995.
  • <6> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1896. County Series, First Edition 6 Inch Map. 1:10560. 1891 (Surveyed 1887-88). Devon Sheet 7 SW.
  • <7> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 540/931 3084-85. 08/11/1952.
  • <8> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SW. MD002182.
  • <9> Index: Ordnance Survey. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Record Card. ss74sw26.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7290 4372 (94m by 107m) (Centred on)
Map sheet SS74SW
Civil Parish LYNTON AND LYNMOUTH, NORTH DEVON, DEVON

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Related Articles (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS 74 SW 61
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 12271
  • Devon SMR: SS74SW/61
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20345
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO106
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW26
  • National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 35400

Record last edited

Oct 23 2013 1:20PM

Feedback?

Your feedback is welcome. If you can provide any new information about this record, please contact us.