MSO8739 - Alleged prehistoric hut circles on Withypool Hill (Monument)


Alleged prehistoric hut circles on Withypool Hill could not be found during field investigation in 1995. It is possible that features dating to the Second World War may have been mistaken for much earlier features.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

SS 837346. Hut circles in this position on H St G Gray map sheet. [1] No further information. [2] No trace of the alleged hut circles could be found at the NGR cited. [3] Very dense heather covered the area. There were a series of three depressions in the hill side between 10 and 20 metres across, at SS 83693 34580, which had the superficial appearance of platforms though very blurred and tenuous. These could be natural or artifical features. [4] No evidence of hut circles in the vicinity of Withypool Hill can be seen on the aerial photographs available to the Exmoor National Mapping programme survey. However a number of roughly circular and possibly embanked earthworks associated with Second World War military training activities can be seen on aerial photographs of the 1940s and it is possible these were mistaken for much earlier features. It is not clear which features in particular may have been noted. These appear to have been levelled in the years following the war. [5-7] The site was visited as part of a desk based assessment of Withypool Hill. Hut circles recorded by St George Gray in 1905. No trace of these have subsequently been identified either from inspection of aerial photographs or field visits. Earthwork features associated with World War Two training activity have been noted in the vicinity, and appear to have been levelled after the war. The features were not identified during the 2017 field survey. [8]

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Map: Gray, H.St.G.. 1905. Gray's Annotated Ordnance Survey 6 Inch Map. 1:10560. Map sheet 56NE.
  • <2> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information or Staff Comments. E Dennison, Somerset County Council, 7 June 1984.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 6 April 1995.
  • <4> Verbal communication: Bray, L.S.. 2008. Withypool Hill Site Visit.
  • <5> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 160G/UK/1655 (F20) 3295-6 (11 July 1946).
  • <6> Unassigned: Hegarty, C.. RCHME/EH Aerial Photographers Comment. 6 March 2009.
  • <7> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 83 SW. MD002197.
  • <8> Report: Passmore, A. and Dean, R.. 2018. Withypool Hill, Withypool, Exmoor Park: Results of archaeological desk-based assessment, measured and photographic survey of Withypool Stone Circle, and geophysical survey.



Grid reference Centred SS 837 345 (85m by 138m) (Estimated from sources)
Map sheet SS83SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO507
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11740
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 SW16
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1051584
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 34308

Record last edited

Feb 27 2018 4:26PM


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