MDE1298 - Late prehistoric hut circle on Thorn Hill Ridge (Monument)


A probable prehistoric hut circle is visible as a turf covered stone wall. It has also been interpreted as a Bronze Age ring cairn, which cannot be entirely ruled out.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

(SS 72804358) Hut Circle (NR) [1] Hut circles between Warcombe Water and Ruckham Combe. [2] SS 7280 4359. A circular ring of stones in perfect condition. It is uncertain whether this is a hut circle (there may be an entrance at the southeast) or a ring cairn; 10 paces diameter and 1 foot high. [3] SS 7279 4357. A circular bank 8.6 metres overall diameter and 0.4 metres high, slightly damaged or depressed in the southeast. It is situated near the top of Thorn Hill ridge, and would seem more likely to be a ring cairn than a hut circle. The bank is composed of small stone and soil with no retaining stones or outer ditch. Resurveyed at 1:2500. [4,5] SS 72802 43574. A hut circle measures 7 metres north to south by 6.8 metres between the centres of a turf covered stone wall 1.6 metres to 2.2 metres wide and 0.2 metres to 0.5 metres high. It appears to be levelled into the slope. There is no definite break for an entrance but a lowering of the wall in the north suggests its position. A hollow in the south appears to be the result of robbing with a lowering of the wall to its east side. Extant hut circles are not common on Exmoor however there are examples and several (SS 74 SW 26, 140) are evident on the slopes 200 metres to the northeast of this site. This was originally classified as a hut circle [1] and although [3] suggests it is more likely to be a ring cairn (and this cannot be excluded) on balance it would appear that the original classification of a hut circle was correct. Surveyed at 1:2500 by GPS. [6,7] The hut circle described above is clearly visible on aerial photographs as a circular bank. A slight break in the bank is apparent in the south, which may represent an entranceway; however, this is by no means certain. [8,9] The feature is depicted on 2021 MasterMap data at SS 7280 4357 and labelled as a hut circle. [10] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [11]

Sources/Archives (11)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560.
  • <2> Monograph: Page, W. (editor). 1906. The Victoria History of the County of Somerset. 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. pp 51, 195.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Quinnell, N.V.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, 8 October 1974.
  • <5> Photograph: Quinnell, N.V.. 1974. PROBABLE RING CAIRN AT LYNTON AND LYNMOUTH. 207/J/14. B/W.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 4 May 1995.
  • <7> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1896. County Series, First Edition 6 Inch Map. 1:10560. 1891 (Surveyed 1887-88), Devon 7SW.
  • <8> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 540/931 3085-86 (8 November 1952).
  • <9> Archive: English Heritage. 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SW. MD002182.
  • <10>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 2021. MasterMap data. 1:2,500. [Mapped feature: #47030 ]
  • <11> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35406, Extant 11 January 2022.



Grid reference Centred SS 7280 4357 (9m by 9m)
Map sheet SS74SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (3)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS74SW/48
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 12256
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20330
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO107
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW28
  • National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35406

Record last edited

Jan 18 2022 2:42PM


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