<< Our Photo Pages >> Lowton Brook West Settlement - Ancient Village or Settlement in England in Devon

Submitted by AngieLake on Friday, 06 November 2009  Page Views: 6218

Multi-periodSite Name: Lowton Brook West Settlement Alternative Name: Fernworthy Hut Circles
Country: England County: Devon Type: Ancient Village or Settlement
Nearest Town: Chagford  Nearest Village: Frenchbeer / Lettaford
Map Ref: SX663834
Latitude: 50.634917N  Longitude: 3.891959W
Condition:
5Perfect
4Almost Perfect
3Reasonable but with some damage
2Ruined but still recognisable as an ancient site
1Pretty much destroyed, possibly visible as crop marks
0No data.
-1Completely destroyed
3 Ambience:
5Superb
4Good
3Ordinary
2Not Good
1Awful
0No data.
4 Access:
5Can be driven to, probably with disabled access
4Short walk on a footpath
3Requiring a bit more of a walk
2A long walk
1In the middle of nowhere, a nightmare to find
0No data.
4 Accuracy:
5co-ordinates taken by GPS or official recorded co-ordinates
4co-ordinates scaled from a detailed map
3co-ordinates scaled from a bad map
2co-ordinates of the nearest village
1co-ordinates of the nearest town
0no data
4

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I have visited· I would like to visit

Catrinm visited on 16th Jul 2022 - their rating: Cond: 3 Amb: 4 Access: 4

Catrinm visited on 16th Jul 2022 - their rating: Cond: 4 Amb: 4 Access: 4 Much more overgrown in July 2022... but still beautiful.

AngieLake have visited here

Average ratings for this site from all visit loggers: Condition: 3.5 Ambience: 4 Access: 4

Lowton Brook West Settlement
Lowton Brook West Settlement submitted by AngieLake : Stones to the NE arc of the hut circle. (Vote or comment on this photo)
Ancient Village or Settlement in Devon

This is a large well-sited hut circle, the northernmost of several apparently, though we only saw this one while exploring in September 09. It is visible from the road around Fernworthy reservoir. It is noticeable high up on the right of the road as you return to the car park and toilets from a visit to Froggymeade circle. [See map on site page.] After parking just below it, by a forest track gateway, look for the easy path up to it. (See photo).

Having checked my 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities Vol.2 - The North' by Jeremy Butler, he lists it under Lowton Brook West. This is what he says:
"Many prehistoric settlements occupied the slopes on the northern spur of Assycombe Hill, between the Lowton and Assycombe Brooks. Much has been irrecoverably lost, first to the enclosures surrounding Assycombe and Lowton Farms which were already abandoned and ruinous by the middle of the nineteenth century, long before the afforestation of the hillside which has been much more damaging.
Eleven huts can be found, with some difficulty, in small clearings approachable from the nearest track. The largest hut (9.1m), furthest north, has been incorporated in a later field wall and so survives almost intact, though one stone lying at the centre has a neat series of five slots cut along its length in preparation for use as a gatepost. The others are of medium to large size (5.0-8.0m) with entrances, where visible, opening to the south-east. Short lengths of walling attached to several huts are soon lost within the trees but are obviously part of their surrounding field walls."

It certainly has a lovely setting and view towards the reservoir now, though in ancient times - if not surrounded by trees - the occupants would have obviously looked over a dry valley.

Update November 2019: This settlement is featured on the Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks (PDW) website - see their entry for the Lowton Brook W. Settlement.

This site is also recorded as Pastscape Monument No. 443867, which describes this as a massively constructed hut circle. Described as a 'dispersed hut circle settlement with 12 hut circles spread over a distance of 550 metres north-south', it is also included as MV104672 (Lowton West Settlement, Fernworthy Forest) on the Devon and Dartmoor HER, and scheduled as Historic England List ID 1017983 (Dispersed stone hut circle settlement and associated fields 490m south east of Silk House).
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Lowton Brook West Settlement
Lowton Brook West Settlement submitted by AngieLake : A cist-like structure in part of the lower walls of the hut circle. Perhaps it's just a fallen door post? (Vote or comment on this photo)

Lowton Brook West Settlement
Lowton Brook West Settlement submitted by Postman : You can see these stones from the road, I've been past here a dozen times but couldn't see them until I looked for them, probably a life lesson in there somewhere. (1 comment - Vote or comment on this photo)

Lowton Brook West Settlement
Lowton Brook West Settlement submitted by Postman : Looking over the best hut to the rest of the settlement. (Vote or comment on this photo)

Lowton Brook West Settlement
Lowton Brook West Settlement submitted by Postman : I can see four hut circles in this picture, can you? (Vote or comment on this photo)

Lowton Brook West Settlement
Lowton Brook West Settlement submitted by AngieLake : Another view of stones to the NE arc of the circle. Though it was probably just collapsed from the portal, it seemed as if it had been placed there deliberately, like a cist or something. (Vote or comment on this photo)

Lowton Brook West Settlement
Lowton Brook West Settlement submitted by AngieLake : Looking into the hut circle at the stone Butler describes as: "..one stone lying at the centre has a neat series of five slots cut along its length in preparation for use as a gatepost."

Lowton Brook West Settlement
Lowton Brook West Settlement submitted by AngieLake : Standing inside the hut circle and looking towards the reservoir below. The stone that had been cut with five slots lies on the ground at bottom left corner of pic.

Lowton Brook West Settlement
Lowton Brook West Settlement submitted by AngieLake : The higher arc of the wall of the hut circle overlooking the valley of Fernworthy Reservoir.

Lowton Brook West Settlement
Lowton Brook West Settlement submitted by AngieLake : Looking across the hut circle from above, towards Fernworthy Reservoir.

Lowton Brook West Settlement
Lowton Brook West Settlement submitted by AngieLake : This 9.1m wide hut circle is the norhternmost, and largest remaining of the Lowton Brook West Settlement on the southern side of Fernworthy Reservoir.

Lowton Brook West Settlement
Lowton Brook West Settlement submitted by AngieLake : The hut circle at Fernworthy, on the southern side of the reservoir, is the northernmost hut of the Lowton Brook West settlement.

Lowton Brook West Settlement
Lowton Brook West Settlement submitted by Postman : This is better than some stone circles I've been to.

Lowton Brook West Settlement
Lowton Brook West Settlement submitted by Postman : What's this then? (1 comment)

Lowton Brook West Settlement
Lowton Brook West Settlement submitted by Postman : Ten a penny are hut circles on Dartmoor, but I really liked this one, kicked myself hard for not searching it out earlier.

Lowton Brook West Settlement
Lowton Brook West Settlement submitted by Postman : Close to the road. The grass is mercifully kept at bay, could've taken the cuttings with them though I had to clean all the stones.

Lowton Brook West Settlement
Lowton Brook West Settlement submitted by Postman : The best house of the bunch is under the tree with the orangey leaves

Lowton Brook West Settlement
Lowton Brook West Settlement submitted by Postman : Second house to the south, Not Edna's house she's next up the hill.

Lowton Brook West Settlement
Lowton Brook West Settlement submitted by Postman : The grassy bit by the broken wall is another hut circle.

Lowton Brook West Settlement
Lowton Brook West Settlement submitted by Postman : Our house, in the middle of our street.

Lowton Brook West Settlement
Lowton Brook West Settlement submitted by Postman : Two more huts fifty yards off picture left, one to my right and two more fifty yards behind me.

Lowton Brook West Settlement
Lowton Brook West Settlement submitted by Postman : Nice house, next door is by the tree on the right.

Lowton Brook West Settlement
Lowton Brook West Settlement submitted by Postman : Quite a good hut circle in the foreground and a lesser one marked by the stones beyond.

Lowton Brook West Settlement
Lowton Brook West Settlement submitted by Postman : A bit more unkempt than some of the better examples.

Lowton Brook West Settlement
Lowton Brook West Settlement submitted by Postman : This one is the least obvious and furthest south.

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Nearby sites listing. In the following links * = Image available
 357m NE 40° East Lowton settlement* Ancient Village or Settlement (SX6653783668)
 786m SSW 193° Assycombe Hill* Cairn (SX66108264)
 807m NE 39° Metherall Settlement* Ancient Village or Settlement (SX66838401)
 838m SSW 196° Assycombe* Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue (SX66058260)
 889m ENE 65° The Heath Stone* Standing Stone (Menhir) (SX6712083750)
 996m NW 311° Fernworthy Cairn E* Cairn (SX65568407)
 1.0km NW 307° Fernworthy Cairn 4* Cairn (SX65518403)
 1.0km NNE 24° Thornworthy Cairn* Cairn (SX6674284335)
 1.0km NW 308° Fernworthy stone row SE* Stone Row / Alignment (SX65498407)
 1.1km NW 309° Fernworthy Cairn SE* Cairn (SX65498409)
 1.1km NW 309° Fernworthy* Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue (SX65488410)
 1.1km NW 309° Fernworthy stone row SW* Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue (SX6547984105)
 1.1km NW 310° Fernworthy circle* Stone Circle (SX65488411)
 1.1km NW 309° Fernworthy Cairn SW* Cairn (SX65478410)
 1.2km NW 319° Fernworthy Cairn N* Cairn (SX65548433)
 1.2km NW 319° Fernworthy stone row N* Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue (SX6553884336)
 1.3km SE 130° Hurston Ridge* Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue (SX67308251)
 1.3km SE 129° Hurston Ridge Settlement* Ancient Village or Settlement (SX67338253)
 1.4km ESE 114° Chagford Common Cairn* Cairn (SX6757182800)
 1.5km WNW 284° Hemstone Rocks Platform Cairn Circle* Cairn (SX6485683806)
 1.5km WNW 286° Hemstone Rocks Ring Cairn and Cist* Cairn (SX6485283850)
 1.5km WNW 283° Fernworthy settlement* Ancient Village or Settlement (SX6481183777)
 1.6km WNW 295° Froggymead Settlement* Ancient Village or Settlement (SX649841)
 1.6km NE 51° Yardworthy* Stone Row / Alignment (SX6760184393)
 1.7km NNE 11° Thornworthy Down Stone Row / Alignment (SX66688505)
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