Hut circles in Erme Valley
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1002607
Date first listed: 05-Jun-1972
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: South Hams (District Authority)
National Park: DARTMOOR
National Grid Reference: SX 63797 64112
An unenclosed stone hut circle settlement 460m north east of the confluence of the Bledge Brook and River Erme.
Reasons for Designation
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 reduction in the heights of the walls of two of the stone hut circles the unenclosed stone hut circle settlement 460m north east of the confluence of the Bledge Brook and River Erme survives well and lies within the Erme Valley rich in archaeological remains from many periods and ranging from ritual and settlement sites to later industrial remains. This settlement is particularly well built and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, use, relative chronologies of the huts, domestic arrangements, social organisation, agricultural practices and the overall landscape context of the settlement.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 11 November 2015. The 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 an unenclosed stone hut circle settlement situated on the lower western slopes of Quickbeam Hill to the east of the River Erme. The settlement survives as up to eight stone hut circles with a single orthostatic and rubble built wall connecting two of the huts. The stone hut circles are substantially built from coursed stone and orthostats standing up to 0.9m high and vary in size internally from 7m to 9m in diameter. Two of the huts are apparently incomplete, surviving as partial arcs of walling and one of these has an interior dividing wall. Where entrances are visible they are south facing.
Further archaeological remains in the vicinity are scheduled separately.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: DV 809
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, Volume Four – The South-East , (1993)
PastScape Monument No:-442182
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing