<< Our Photo Pages >> Broadun Settlement - Ancient Village or Settlement in England in Devon

Submitted by AngieLake on Wednesday, 21 April 2010  Page Views: 5076

Multi-periodSite Name: Broadun Settlement Alternative Name: Broadun Settlement, Broadun Pound
Country: England County: Devon Type: Ancient Village or Settlement
Nearest Town: Princetown  Nearest Village: Postbridge
Map Ref: SX6354179928
Latitude: 50.603072N  Longitude: 3.929671W
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
2 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.
3 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
5

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graemefield visited on 1st Mar 2017 - their rating: Cond: 3 Amb: 4 Access: 2

AngieLake have visited here

Broadun Settlement
Broadun Settlement submitted by AngieLake : A pair of hut circles, view to approx West towards Hameldown. (Vote or comment on this photo)
Ancient Settlement in Devon. This huge walled enclosure lies on the south east facing slope of Broad Down, commanding excellent views down the valley of the East Dart River towards Postbridge. As you walk up the river valley towards it the hill dominates the view ahead. The site isn't easy to pick out because it is so large. Several ruined hut circles remain.

Access to that area is by crossing a small, gushing tributary stream/ streams (Braddon Lake) in the dip below the hill, then climbing up the steep slope and over a stile near the leat and the lower wall of the settlement. A slab of granite forms a bridge across the leat, across which you follow the obvious track uphill and immediately find yourself inside Broadun, with the stones of ruined hut circles beginning to appear around you.

Butler writes in his 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, Vol 2, The North':

"Broadun. Less than 100m southward of Broadun Ring is the far bigger prehistoric pound of Broadun, one of the largest single enclosures on Dartmoor. Here also a newtake wall follows the inner edge of the ancient one which has suffered accordingly, being in few places more than 0.3m high. Only on the south-east side does the modern wall part company to take its own course downhill, but there the pound wall is even more severely damaged by the Powder Mills Leat on its long journey towards the Cherry Brook.

Some 32 huts are clearly defined, and a number of stone heaps scattered about may be the remains of others. They are mainly grouped towards the centre, with a clear area between them and the circuit wall, except on the south-east side where the newtake expands downhill. Probably the outer huts were completely dismantled as another source for the present boundary. Almost all the huts are small (3.0-4.5m) but as at Broadun Ring one hut near the centre much exceeds the rest in size (7.0m). Only a few have identifiable entrances.

Following their investigation of Broadun Ring, Burnard and Baring-Gould turned their attention to this settlement. It is not now possible to identify the 11 huts that were dug into as they carefully replaced the soil and turf afterwards. Most of those excavated appear to have been dwellings, if the presence of hearthstones, charcoal and pot-boilers are taken as evidence for it. The charcoal was mainly oak, indicating that it was growing locally at that time. Flints and rubbing stones were also discovered in some of them, as were pebbles of white quartz. The latter are not an uncommon find in huts and Burnard suggested they may have been gaming pieces or slingshots."

End of quote.

His mention of oak reminded me of the ancient twisted dwarf oaks of Wistman's Wood, which is not that far away from here.

While admiring the views from here the outline of the enclosure of Roundy Park with the huge cist/cairn beside it in the valley below, is very noticeable. Maybe these settlement dwellers had some rituals beside the river that involved that burial place?

In the distance to S and SE is also the modern plantation of Bellever Forest which masks the numerous megalithic sites on Lakehead Hill and Bellever Tor areas.

I was heading for Broadun Ring, further around the contour of the hill to the North, so after investigating the hut-circles in centre and NW, I headed towards the NE of the settlement, where I came across a re-building of the newtake walls to make a 'modern pen', as described on Butler's plan. Just near its entrance is an opening and track that took me towards Broadun Ring.

Update August 2019: This settlement also features on the Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks website - see their entry for the Broadun Enclosed Settlement. It is also recorded as Pastscape Monument No. 443926 and scheduled as Historic England List ID 1021333 (Broadun prehistoric enclosed settlement, 780m NNW of Archerton). The Devon & Dartmoor HER also includes an entry for MDV6800 Late Neolithic to Late Bronze Age enclosure.
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Broadun Settlement
Broadun Settlement submitted by AngieLake : Broad Down dominates the view ahead when walking up the East Dart River valley. It's only about a mile from Postbridge, though a fairly steep climb, and walking boots advisable. Crossing the tributary stream might need some waterproof shoes as it's a big boggy there, but I found a dry way around it by going up around the wet bits. Otherwise, stepping stones provide access for those with bett... (3 comments - Vote or comment on this photo)

Broadun Settlement
Broadun Settlement submitted by AngieLake : In the NE area against the newtake wall is this 'modern pen' as Butler describes it. Just here the track leads N around the contour of the hill towards Broadun Ring, a smaller, oval enclosure with more hut circle remains. (Vote or comment on this photo)

Broadun Settlement
Broadun Settlement submitted by AngieLake : A pair of hut circles, view approx SW. (Vote or comment on this photo)

Broadun Settlement
Broadun Settlement submitted by Bladup : A hut in Broadun Settlement. (Vote or comment on this photo)

Broadun Settlement
Broadun Settlement submitted by Bladup : This modern wall is built on the inside of the ancient bank [on the right].

Broadun Settlement
Broadun Settlement submitted by Bladup : A hut in Broadun settlement.

Broadun Settlement
Broadun Settlement submitted by Bladup

Broadun Settlement
Broadun Settlement submitted by Bladup : The modern wall is built on the ancient inner bank.

Broadun Settlement
Broadun Settlement submitted by Bladup : A hut in Broadun settlement.

Broadun Settlement
Broadun Settlement submitted by AngieLake : The smaller first hut found by the track, with two more behind it. View approx NW.

Broadun Settlement
Broadun Settlement submitted by AngieLake : Two hut circles and a view to approx ENE.

Broadun Settlement
Broadun Settlement submitted by AngieLake : A jumble of stone remains in the NW of the area could be the larger construction against the wall in Butler's plan.

Broadun Settlement
Broadun Settlement submitted by AngieLake : After crossing the leat, look up, and follow this track. Here, the first hut circle that I spotted peeped above the grass.

Broadun Settlement
Broadun Settlement submitted by AngieLake : The stile which gives almost immediate access to Broadun Settlement. (And a handy place to sit and get your breath back, while admiring the views!)

Broadun Settlement
Broadun Settlement submitted by AngieLake : A plan drawn up after Butler's in his book 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, Vol 2, The North'. See site page for more info. (The site page describes an easy way through this area to Broadun Ring.)

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Nearby sites listing. In the following links * = Image available
 295m NNE 31° Broadun Ring* Ancient Village or Settlement (SX6369980178)
 458m ESE 123° Roundy Park Cairn* Cairn (SX6392079669)
 487m SSE 161° Chittaford Down Platform Cairn Circle and Cist* Cairn (SX6368779463)
 516m ESE 122° Roundy Park settlement* Ancient Village or Settlement (SX63977964)
 736m S 182° Chittaford Down cairn circle and cist* Cist (SX6350179193)
 1.1km SSE 163° Archerton Tennis Court cist* Cist (SX63847886)
 1.2km SE 133° Archerton Newtake Cist* Cist (SX6438179105)
 1.3km SSE 152° Archerton Settlement* Ancient Village or Settlement (SX6410078800)
 1.3km ESE 109° Ringhill Stone Row / Alignment (SX64737948)
 1.4km SSW 213° Hollowcome Cairn and Cist* Cist (SX62757879)
 1.5km SSW 213° Hollowcombe Cairns* Barrow Cemetery (SX627787)
 1.5km SE 134° National Park Visitors Centre Postbridge* Museum (SX6463578836)
 1.6km NNE 13° Lade Hill Brook Beehive Hut* Ancient Mine, Quarry or other Industry (SX63938145)
 1.8km ESE 112° Maggie Cross* Ancient Cross (SX6516679216)
 1.8km NNE 18° White Ridge SW cairn* Round Cairn (SX64158162)
 1.9km SE 142° Lakehead Newtake Cist* Cairn (SX64687838)
 2.0km SSE 152° Kraps Ring* Ancient Village or Settlement (SX64427814)
 2.0km NNE 19° White Ridge SW settlements* Ancient Village or Settlement (SX64258181)
 2.1km S 189° Arch Tor* Cairn (SX63167784)
 2.1km NE 55° Stannon Newtake West Cairn and row* Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue (SX65338110)
 2.2km ENE 58° Stannon Newtake cist* Cist (SX65468105)
 2.2km SSW 204° Stennan Hill 1* Cairn (SX6257377905)
 2.3km SW 224° Higher White Tor stone row* Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue (SX6191778362)
 2.3km SSW 203° Stennan Hill 3* Cairn (SX62607783)
 2.3km SSE 158° Lakehead Cairn Circle 1* Ring Cairn (SX6435677766)
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