MDE8574 - Prehistoric remains on Holdstone Down (Monument)


A prehistoric hut circle measuring 9.7 metres in diameter. In the vicinity are fragmentary remains of clearance cairns and linear clearance or field banks, which appear to be contemporary. Summary from record MMO272: A hut circle measuring 9.7m in diameter bound by a stoney banks 1.4m wide and 0.4m high is visible on aerial photographs and at ground level. In the vicinity are linear clearance and clearance cairns.

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Type and Period (4)

Protected Status

Full Description

A hut circle, centred at SS 6233 4813, is situated on northeast facing slopes on the north side of Holdstone Down. It lies 260 metres above Ordnance Datum, on ground starting to fall steeply northwards towards the coastal cliffs. The feature is clearly visible on aerial photographs (see [1]). The hut is circular with a diameter of 9.7 metres. It is terraced into the natural slopes on its south side and it is defined by a stony bank, 1.4 metres wide and 0.4 metres in height. A break of 0.9 metres in the bank on the southeast side probably marks the original entrance. To the westnorthwest of the hut is a natural linear terrace, measuring some 180 metres in length and up to 80 metres in width. On this are the fragmentary remains of clearance cairns and linear clearance or field banks. There are two lengths of banking. The first emerges from the southwest quadrant of the hut for some 7 metres before becoming a slight lynchet scarp curving northwestwards. After some 22 metres it reverts to a bank for a further 14 metres before it is lost. The second, lying 60 metres northwest of the hut, is a curving length of stony bank, 46 metres long, 1.2 metres wide and 0.4 metres high. At its northeast end it begins on the north edge of the natural terrace, and to the southwest fades as it approaches the southern edge of the terrace. A number of small clearance cairns survive in the area of the hut and banks, and appear to be contemporary with them. They average 1.3 metres in diameter and survive to only 0.3 metres in height. At SS 6220 4818 an elliptical stony mound 4.8 metres in length and 0.4 metres high is probably a substantial clearance cairn, although the possibility that it is a sepulchral cairn cannot be completely ruled out. [1-3] A hut circle is visible as a subtle earthwork on aerial photographs to the north of Holdstone Down. It is surrounded by a substantial earthern bank, which measures up to 3 metres in width. The total diameter of the hut circle including this bank appears to be approximately 15 metres. The cairns described above are not visible on aerial photographs. [4-6] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [7]

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Aerial photograph reference number . NLAP/RCHME: SF 1460/2/230.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 3 June 1993.
  • <3> Technical drawing: Sainsbury, I. & Wilson-North, R.. 1993. Holdstone Down/ink survey . 1:1000. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <4> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. MAL 71076 005 (16 August 1976).
  • <5> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. NMR SF1460 (6428/1/228) (7 March 1979).
  • <6> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 64 NW. MD002171.
  • <7> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 762135, Extant 4 November 2021.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 60596
  • Devon SMR: SS64NW/91
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE21662
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO272
  • Local List Status (Candidate)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 NW12
  • National Park: Exmoor Natonal Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 762135



Grid reference Centred SS 6231 4813 (62m by 38m) Surveyed
Map sheet SS64NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Related Articles (1)

Record last edited

Nov 4 2021 1:25PM


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