Carolyn Hillyer and Nigel Shaw (creators of Dartmoor ‘roundhouse’)


On 1 December 2006, at Moretonhampstead, the 9th Dartmoor Society Award was presented to artists and musicians Carolyn Hillyer and Nigel Shaw by Dr Tom Greeves, chairman of the Society.

The award is in the form of a unique hand-crafted ceramic plate made and designed by the renowned calligrapher Susanne Haines and potter
Penny Simpson. It is given annually to those who, in the opinion of the Society, have made a special contribution to Dartmoor.
At the presentation, Tom Greeves said, ‘This award marks in particular the imaginative, pioneering and courageous decision of Carolyn Hillyer
and Nigel Shaw to work with skilled Dartmoor craftspeople to create their own ‘prehistoric’ roundhouse, using materials from the moor.
Initial opposition from Dartmoor National Park Authority was overcome, and the stunning structure was completed in 2002. It uses some 30
tonnes of granite, and timber sourced from Dartmoor woodlands — oak, hemlock, hazel and yew. The rye grass for the roof thatch came from

‘Inside is a space 22ft in diameter, partially paved with stones and with a central hearth. This is used extensively by Carolyn and Nigel for
educational and community purposes and for their own artistic work — most notably, one of many CDs (Dartmoor Roundhouse, 2005) was
recorded within the house, with music played by Nigel on flutes he had made from thirteen indigenous Dartmoor tree species. Carolyn, a singer
and song writer, also makes drums from the skins of red deer on Dartmoor.’

‘As a partnership, Carolyn and Nigel have shown the possibilities of a previously unexplored relationship between Dartmoor people and their
environment, bridging nature and culture, and have been an inspiration to us all.’