Enclosure and hut circles on Erme Plains
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- South Hams (District Authority)
- National Park:
- National Grid Reference:
- SX 63614 64965
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.
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 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.
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.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- DV 806
- Legacy System:
- RSM - OCN
Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, Volume Four – The South-East , (1993)
PastScape Monument No:-442165
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