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HER Number:MDV13169
Name:Building and enclosure on Butterdon Hill, Harford


Building and enclosure on Butterdon Hill. Recorded as a fire beacon. Remains of a rectangular building of 14 metres by 7 metres with walls 1.6 metres wide by 0.6 metres high with an entrance in the southern corner. Rectangular enclosure on west side of building of 18 metres long with a distinctive upright triangular stone on the north wall. Probably associated with seasonal grazing.


Grid Reference:SX 655 586
Map Sheet:SX65NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishHarford
Civil ParishUgborough
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishHARFORD

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX65NE/250

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BUILDING (Constructed, Post Medieval to Modern - 1540 AD to 2013 AD)
  • BEACON (XIX - 1804 AD to 1811 AD)

Full description

Crossing, W., 1912 (1965), Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor, 394 (Monograph). SDV320981.

National Monument Record, 1976, SX6558, 2, 240-244 (Aerial Photograph). SDV166651.

Photograph taken on 22nd April 1979.

Hankin, C. F., 1977-1980, Harford Parish Checklist (Worksheet). SDV149931.

Butterdon Hill Beacon at altitude 365 metres. Two records of 1804 and circa 1811 have been found of a fire beacon on Butterdon Hill during the period of the Napoleonic Wars. The presence of the fire beacon may account for the "foundations of three small, comparatively modern enclosures close to the centre cairn" on Butterdon Hill, mentioned by Crossing. These 'foundations' show as the perimeters of small rectangular areas, each not more than a few square metres, marked by small granite boulders; all sited close to the south side of the centre cairn, on the Harford- Ugborough boundary.

Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Dartmoor) - Dartmoor Pre-NMP (Cartographic). SDV319854.

L- shaped wall visible on aerial photograph.

Bray, L., 2017, Foundations on the summit of Butterdon Hill, Visited 21/08/2017 (Worksheet). SDV363034.

SX 65541 58648. The most prominent part of this feature consists of tumbled walling up to 2.0 metres wide and 0.5 metres high defining the remains of a rectilinear building measuring c. 12 metres long by 7.0 metres wide with its long axis orientated north-north-west to south-south-east. Remains of facing are visible on the northern wall. Less clear is the walling surrounding a roughly rectangular area to the west of the building, possibly defining a yard measuring c. 9.0 metres by 17 metres.

Bray, L. + Crabb, A., 2017, HER Field Updates (Cartographic). SDV361914.

Location plotted and feature photographed on 21/08/2017 (L. Bray).

Various, 2018-2020, PALs Condition Recording forms, UG24 (Worksheet). SDV362781.

(05/09/2019) Condition assessed as very good; currently no damage agents affecting feature.

Various, 2018-2020, PALs Condition Recording photographs (Photograph). SDV363073.

Images taken during September 2019 visit.

Riley, H., 2021, Archaeological Survey: Ugborough Premier Archaeological Landscape, Harford and Ugborough, 16, 7.3.4, Figure 33 (Report - Survey). SDV364697.

Remains of a rectangular building with an internal division and a yard attached to its western side lies on south edge of the large summit cairn on Butterdon Hill. It has been identified as associated with a fire beacon on Butterdon Hill. The building and enclosure are more likely to be associated with transhumance.

Riley, H., 2021, UG21 heritage asset database and gazetteer of sites (Report - Survey). SDV364699.

Visited on 11th January 2021,surveyed and photographed. Building and enclosure, Butterdon Hill: remains of rectangular building, 14 metres north-west to south-east, 7 metres north-east to south-west, walls of turf-covered stony banks, 1.6 metres wide, 0.6 metres high, entrance in southern corner; rectangular enclosure 18 metres north-east to south-west on west side of building; distinctive upright triangular stone on north wall; probably associated with seasonal grazing.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV149931Worksheet: Hankin, C. F.. 1977-1980. Harford Parish Checklist. Parish Checklist. Digital.
SDV166651Aerial Photograph: National Monument Record. 1976. SX6558. National Monument Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 2, 240-244.
SDV319854Cartographic: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project (Dartmoor) - Dartmoor Pre-NMP. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
SDV320981Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1912 (1965). Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 394.
SDV361914Cartographic: Bray, L. + Crabb, A.. 2017. HER Field Updates. GIS ShapeFile. Digital.
SDV362781Worksheet: Various. 2018-2020. PALs Condition Recording forms. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital. UG24.
SDV363034Worksheet: Bray, L.. 2017. Foundations on the summit of Butterdon Hill. Worksheet. Digital. Visited 21/08/2017.
SDV363073Photograph: Various. 2018-2020. PALs Condition Recording photographs. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV3173Related to: Beacon at High Willhays (Monument)
MDV4816Related to: Beacon east of West Mill Tor (Monument)
MDV9508Related to: BEACON in the Parish of Bridford (Monument)
MDV64246Related to: BEACON in the Parish of Bridford (Monument)
MDV8474Related to: BEACON in the Parish of Cheriton Bishop (Monument)
MDV6152Related to: Beacon on Meldon Hill (Monument)
MDV8442Related to: Bowden Beacon; possible site (Monument)
MDV7977Related to: Buckland Beacon (Monument)
MDV6883Related to: Fire beacon, Cawsand Hill (Monument)
MDV2915Related to: Large Cairn on Butterdon Hill, Ugborough (Monument)
MDV7823Related to: Medieval fire beacon, Buckfastleigh (Monument)
MDV13811Related to: Possible beacon, Hennock (Monument)
MDV25032Related to: Possible wall west of cairn at Butterdon Hill, Harford (Monument)
MDV2387Related to: Rowber Beacon, Buckland Monachorum (Monument)
MDV2388Related to: Shaugh Beacon (Monument)
MDV7956Related to: Site of a Beacon on Brent Hill, South Brent (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8770 - Archaeological Survey: Ugborough Premier Archaeological Lanscape, Harford and Ugborough

Date Last Edited:Jul 17 2023 11:47AM