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

Submitted by AngieLake on Wednesday, 21 April 2010  Page Views: 5378

Multi-periodSite Name: Broadun Ring
Country: England County: Devon Type: Ancient Village or Settlement
Nearest Town: Princetown  Nearest Village: Postbridge
Map Ref: SX6369980178
Latitude: 50.605356N  Longitude: 3.927532W
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:
2Not Good
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

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I have visited· I would like to visit

Catrinm visited on 27th May 2024 - their rating: Cond: 2 Amb: 3 Access: 3 Ring /enclosure viewed from the other side of the valley is interesting

AngieLake have visited here

Broadun Ring
Broadun Ring submitted by AngieLake : The hut circle at NW that I thought might be Butler's 'hut 1'. View here looking North, with wall of enclosure behind. (Vote or comment on this photo)
If you've read the notes on Broadun settlement's site page you'll know that Broadun Ring is just a bit further to the North around the same contour of Broad Down hill, overlooking the valley of the East Dart River, which heads north to south just there, before swinging towards SE as it passes Roundy Park.

It's quite a climb up the hill but well worth it for the views. There are not as many ruined hut circles here but their stones were probably taken to build the newtake wall.
I was intrigued by a pointed stone near the NE of the enclosure, which also aligns NE to the 'Sheepfold' feature on the other slope of the river valley, and to distant Fernworthy Forest.

Butler, in his 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, Vol 2, The North' has this to say:

"Broadun Ring"
"By the time the first settlers to build their dwellings and enclosures in stone had arrived, the lower East Dart valley had been the home of many previous generations from mesolithic times onwards. These earlier folk lost and discarded thousands of worked flints in the valley which have since been brought up to the surface and collected from the surrounding fields. Hundreds were found, all within a few metres, at Greyhound Marsh and over a hundred and fifty at Ringhill a short distance away, sites where they had obviously been fashioned. Other prolific find spots in the area have been Runnage, Huccaby, Brownberry and Lower Merripit.

By three millennia ago the Postbridge district was one of the most densely populated areas on the moor and may never have been entirely deserted after this time. From Lade Hill Brook southwards to Dartmeet, prehistoric banks and enclosures reappear on the few open spaces on the higher ground that here remained undeveloped. A variety of settlement types can be found within the valley, from individual farmsteads with just a pair of huts, such as Bellever Tor North and Laughter Tor West, multiple field systems like those on Riddon Ridge" ... "or higher upriver, the single enclosures surrounding a large number of huts like Broadun Ring.

Fifty metres above the East Dart the newtake wall alters course around the inside of the uphill edge of Broadun Ring, all but the largest blocks of the ancient wall providing material for the present one. Elsewhere the wall has collapsed and spread to 3.5m across except in the south-east corner where several courses of stone still in place show that originally it stood well over a metre high. A gap in the wall nearby may perhaps be the original gateway down to the river as there are no displaced stones on the downhill side. The numerous blocks scattered within show that there was no serious attempt by the inhabitants to clear the interior.

The compound, like neighbouring Broadun, was investigated by Burnard and Baring-Gould in 1893. They excavated ten of the huts and perhaps were also responsible for some of the small pits elsewhere within the enclosures. None of the huts yielded anything exceptional, though five produced some evidence of occupation in the form of a hearth-stone or charcoal. A few flint fragments and pot-boilers were also found but not a single shard of pottery.

Apart from hut 1* (7.0m), by far the largest, all the huts are small (2-4m). A feature of hut 1 is the interior wall, a platform 0.7m high by 2m wide, which extends two-thirds of the way across the centre. It is still perfectly visible having been rebuilt by Burnard from the loose stones found on the floor of the hut. Immediately outside it, but now no longer visible, was a small hut barely 2m in diameter which was thought to have been a storeroom. The curious group of four huts built against each other a few metres away are badly damaged but two were probably dwellings and the other pair identified as store-houses."

End of quote.

*I'm not sure if I did locate this one. The photo of the hut in the NW was (I thought at the time) the largest, but I didn't see the group of four... so could be muddled with them.

Update August 2019: This enclosed settlement is also featured on the Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks (PDW) website - see their entry for the Broadun Ring Enclosed Settlement. It is also recorded as Pastscape Monument No. 443924 and scheduled as Historic England List ID 1021334 (Prehistoric enclosed settlement known as Broadun Ring, 500m north west of Hartland Tor).
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Broadun Ring
Broadun Ring submitted by AngieLake : The pointed stone near the NE of the wall of Broadun Ring, here aligned to NE with the feature on the opposite side of the valley, called 'The Sheepfold', and Fernworthy Forest in the distance. (Vote or comment on this photo)

Broadun Ring
Broadun Ring submitted by AngieLake : A very large stone in the wall at the East of Broadun Ring. (Vote or comment on this photo)

Broadun Ring
Broadun Ring submitted by AngieLake : I think this was another view of the first hut against the SE of Broadun Ring's wall, this time looking down the valley of the East Dart towards Postbridge. Note the oval outline of Roundy Park in the valley below. (Vote or comment on this photo)

Broadun Ring
Broadun Ring submitted by AngieLake : The first hut I came across, built up against the wall in the SE of Broadun Ring enclosure. (Vote or comment on this photo)

Broadun Ring
Broadun Ring submitted by AngieLake : The hut that I thought was Butler's 'hut 1' in NW area of Broadun Ring, looking towards SE. (Vote or comment on this photo)

Broadun Ring
Broadun Ring submitted by AngieLake : From the pointed stone (seen at a different angle) looking back along the lower east wall towards Roundy Park (above stone) in the valley below.

Broadun Ring
Broadun Ring submitted by AngieLake : The second or third hut in a group near the SE of Broadun Ring. View to approx SW.

Broadun Ring
Broadun Ring submitted by Bladup : A hut just inside the bank at Broadun Ring.

Broadun Ring
Broadun Ring submitted by Bladup : A hut at Broadun Ring.

Broadun Ring
Broadun Ring submitted by Bladup : A hut inside Broadun Ring.

Broadun Ring
Broadun Ring submitted by Bladup : The bank at Broadun Ring.

Broadun Ring
Broadun Ring submitted by AngieLake : Looking back across Broadun Ring from its upper NW area, to the lower limit of its walls. (The pointed stone is just visible left of centre, near the green on the opposite hill).

Broadun Ring
Broadun Ring submitted by AngieLake : A rough plan of Broadun Ring after Butler.

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