Unenclosed stone hut settlement with enclosures north of Piles Copse


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012765

Date first listed: 05-Jun-1972

Date of most recent amendment: 06-Dec-1991


Ordnance survey map of Unenclosed stone hut settlement with enclosures north of Piles Copse
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: South Hams (District Authority)

Parish: Harford

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 64367 62738


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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 provides 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 divisions, 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. This site, just above the scarp of the steep east side of the Erme Valley, is a well-preserved example of an unenclosed stone hut settlement and provides important evidence of how early farming and stock-rearing communities lived on the Moor.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


Low stone walls or banks enclosing a circular internal floor area form the remains of timber and turf or thatch-roofed dwellings occupied by farmers of the prehistoric period. They may occur singly or in larger groups and were sometimes built within a surrounding boundary bank or enclosure. On Dartmoor, the tradition of building round stone-based houses can be traced back to the second millennium BC, probably from about 1700 BC onwards. The Dartmoor landscape also includes many discrete plots of land enclosed by stone walls, which acted as stock pens or protected areas for crop growing. Many examples date to the Bronze Age (c.2500 - 500 BC), though earlier and later ones exist. This unenclosed stone hut settlement on the steep eastern slope of the Erme Valley, consists of twenty-two hut circles, with enclosures and lengths of bank. The huts are terraced into the hillside and lie in two main groups, ranging in size from 5 to 11m. with walls up to 3m. thick and a metre high, there are small enclosures and sections of wall or bank associated with the huts. At the south of the settlement are two enclosures 23m. and 18m. across, without huts or divisions. Three tinners' caches point to later use of the site.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 10521

Legacy System: RSM


Devon County SMR (SX 66 SW-015),
Devon County SMR (SX 66 SW-044),
Devon County SMR (SX 66 SW-045),
Devon County SMR (SX 66 SW-046),

End of official listing