Ancient Monuments

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Enclosure and hut circles on Erme Plains

A Scheduled Monument in Cornwood, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4686 / 50°28'7"N

Longitude: -3.9232 / 3°55'23"W

OS Eastings: 263612.087434

OS Northings: 64966.224403

OS Grid: SX636649

Mapcode National: GBR Q7.SS0T

Mapcode Global: FRA 27NT.KD4

Entry Name: Enclosure and hut circles on Erme Plains

Scheduled Date: 1 January 1900

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004573

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 806

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Cornwood

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


Four stone hut circles within an enclosure forming part of a larger enclosed stone hut circle settlement, 300m south west of the confluence of Hook Lake and River Erme.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 11 November 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes four stone hut circles within an enclosure forming part of a larger enclosed stone hut circle settlement situated on the Erme Plains on an east facing slope overlooking the River Erme. The settlement survives as an oval enclosure defined by a rubble wall built up to 2.5m wide and 0.6m high to which four stone hut circles are attached on the interior, three to the west and one to the south east. These stone hut circles measure up to 2.5m in diameter internally, are defined by 1.1m wide rubble built walls and are much obscured by interior tumble. The enclosure has four entrances two on the northern side and two on the southern side.

This enclosure forms part of a much larger settlement defined by enclosures containing hut circles but these are not included within the scheduling because they have not been formally assessed.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Dartmoor is the largest expanse of open moorland in southern Britain and, because of exceptional conditions of preservation, it is also one of the most complete examples of an upland relict landscape in the whole country. The great wealth and diversity of archaeological remains provide direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the early prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, major land boundaries, trackways, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains, gives significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time.

Stone hut circles and hut settlements were the dwelling places of prehistoric farmers on Dartmoor. They mostly date from the Bronze Age, with the earliest examples on the Moor in this building tradition dating to about 1700 BC. The stone-based round houses consist of low walls or banks enclosing a circular floor area; remains of the turf or thatch roof are not preserved. The huts may occur singly or in small or large groups and may lie in the open or be enclosed by a bank of earth and stone. Although they are common on the Moor, their longevity and their relationship with other monument types provide important information on the diversity of social organisation and farming practices amongst prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period.

Despite significant reduction in the heights of the walls through collapse the four stone hut circles within an enclosure forming part of a larger enclosed stone hut circle settlement 300m south west of the confluence of Hook Lake and River Erme survive comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, use, social organisation, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, Volume Four – The South-East , (1993)
PastScape Monument No:-442165

Source: Historic England

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