HUT 20, SKOMER ISLAND, ROUND HOUSE AT THE WICK SETTLEMENT
Map Reference SM70NW
Grid Reference SM72800880
Unitary (Local) Authority Pembrokeshire
Old County Pembrokeshire
Community Marloes and St Brides
Type of Site FIELD SYSTEM, HUT CIRCLE SETTLEMENT, ROUND HOUSE (DOMESTIC)
Broad Class Agriculture and Subsistence
Period Iron Age
Site Description Hut 20, a stone-built round house of the Iron Age or Roman period, is one of the best preserved and most accessible round house settlements on Skomer Island. The round house measures 10m east-west externally by 8m north-south. The door is east facing. The field boundary immediately to the east of the round house kinks east to avoid it, suggesting the hut was already extant when the fields around it were laid out.
Hut 20 is not a typical Iron Age/Romano-British round house. John Evans' detailed survey (1990, Figure 13) shows it to be oval in shape. The southern internal wall is almost straight, with a right-angle at the east end adjacent to the door; the northern internal wall bows out in an arc. In many ways this shape could suggest later repair and rebuilding. Perhaps Hut 20 was re-used during later periods, particularly during medieval and post-medieval warrening episodes when warreners would have required accomodation? This may account for the very clear and open condition of the monument, and its extant inner walls, which suggest periods of clearance or even informal excavation in historic times.
Hut 20 sits within the well-preserved field systems at The Wick (NPRN 415715), on the southern part of Skomer Island. The fields appear to be later in date and different in character to the more ephemeral co-axial (parallel) field systems to the south, which survive on a coastal headland between The Wick and The Mew Stone (NPRN 415557).
T. Driver, RCAHMW, 16th Dec 2011; updated June 2016
Reference: Evans J. G. 1990. An Archaeological Survey of Skomer Island, Dyfed. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. Volume 56.