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HER Number:MDV4254
Name:Prehistoric settlement at Piles Corner, Harford


Prehistoric settlement at Piles Corner with several adjoining enclosures, two internal and three external hut circles


Grid Reference:SX 646 621
Map Sheet:SX66SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishHarford
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishHARFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX66SW48
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX66SW/17
  • Old SAM County Ref: 815
  • Old SAM Ref: 10530
  • Pastscape: 442318

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ENCLOSURE (Constructed, Bronze Age - 2200 BC to 701 BC (Between))
  • UNENCLOSED HUT CIRCLE SETTLEMENT (Constructed, Bronze Age - 2200 BC to 701 BC (Between))

Full description

Cambridge Committee for Aerial Photography, CPE/UK 2494, 3049-50 (Aerial Photograph). SDV156973.

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

Sub-circular enclosure shown as 'Hut Circles' on 19th century map with two internal hut circles and with two more to the east.

Brooking-Rowe, J., 1894, 6th Report of the Committee on Devonshire Records, 86 (Article in Serial). SDV157021.

Baring Gould, S., 1900, A Book of Dartmoor, 83 (Monograph). SDV277387.

Royal Air Force, 1945, December Photograph, 53/52 (Aerial Photograph). SDV165876.

National Monuments Record, 1976, NMR SX6460, 2 (Aerial Photograph). SDV157244.

Photograph taken on 12th April 1969.

National Monuments Record, 1976, SX6462, 1 (Aerial Photograph). SDV138837.

Hankin, C. F., 1977-1979, Harford Parish Checklist (Worksheet). SDV149931.

A rectangular enclosure circa 55 metres east-west by 40 metres north-south on ground sloping down west towards the River Erme. The wall is complete and a gateway in the centre of the south wall is probably the original entrance. The enclosed area has been cleared of stones. In the north east corner of the enclosure there is a curved wall 1.8 metres wide which appears to have partitioned off a small area, or it may be a hut circle set right against the enclosure wall. Just outside the south wall of the enclosure, an old wall or land division runs east-west down the slope of the hill towards Piles Copse. There are traces of other land divisions on the east of the enclosure within the present boundaries of Higher Piles. The area around the hut group has been very much disturbed, and it is difficult to trace five huts as recorded by the Ordnance Survey. Near the north east corner there is a hut circle, diameter 10.6 metres and another can be traced about mid way along the wall of the enclosure. The remains outside the enclosure as shown on the Ordnance Survey 6" map are fragmentary. The air photograph taken in December 1945 shows the enclosure with three hut circles outside the north east and the two circles inside towards north, one contiguous with the wall. A circle outside the west wall turns out to be a natural mound with a spring of water breaking there.

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

D-shaped enclosure visible on aerial photograph containing three hut circles with three more to the east. A short linear feature is attached to the south side of the enclosure.

Robinson, R., 1986, List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1986 (Un-published). SDV345664.

Site visted on 19th December 1986.

Butler, J., 1993, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East, 46-7, Map 54, Figure 54.6 (Monograph). SDV337765.

Settlement at 'Piles Corner South'. Originally there were at least five adjoining enclosures but the upper three are now incomplete their northern boundaries sacrificed to the newtake wall. Central to the settlement is a walled pound covering 0.13 hectares with the wall spread to 3.0 metres across. The original entrance may have been between Hut Circles '1' and '2' built across the perimeter and both wth cross walls. To the north-east are three more hut circles. To the west is a large rectangular enclosure of 0.63 hectares its lower border merging into the clitter within Piles Copse.

GeoInformation Group Ltd, 2010, 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution) (Aerial Photograph). SDV346026.

Features visible on aerial photograph.

Ordnance Survey, 2020, MasterMap 2020 (Cartographic). SDV363413.

'Settlement' of an enclosure with two internal and three external hut circles shown on modern mapping with a linear feature extending to the west.

Historic England, 2020, National Heritage List for England, 103108 (National Heritage List for England). SDV363414.

Drystone walled enclosure, maximum four courses high. There are two hut circles against the eastern side. The northern hut circle is well preserved, with walling 4 courses high. This is a roughly circular enclosure situated on the steep west-facing slope of Higher Piles newtake at Piles Corner. It is 60 metres in diameter, with walls 2 to 3 metres thick and 0.5 metres high, and a 2 metres wide entrance on the south side. There are two hut circles attached to the inside of the wall, one 10 metres in diameter with walls 2 metres thick and 0.3 metres. high, the other 8 metres in diameter with walls 2 metres thick and 0.5 metres high with lynchets on the uphill side. Three further hut circles lie outside the enclosure to the east; all are terraced and approximately 9 metres in diameter, with walls which include large set stones up to 0.7 metres high and each with an entrance facing the south.

National Monuments Record, 2020, Pastscape, 442318, SX66SW48 (Website). SDV363416.

Centred at SX 64686212 this enclosed settlement and 3 detached hut circles lie on a steep, well drained, west facing slope at 350 metres above OD. At SX 64666211 is an oval enclosure, 50 metres by 40 metres covering 0.2 hectares with walling, 2.0 metres wide and 0.6 metres high, faced with orthostats and coursing and lynchetted to a height of 1.8 metres on the upper slope. The enclosure contains two internal hut circles with three unenclosed hut circles to the east.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV138837Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1976. SX6462. National Monument Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 1.
SDV149931Worksheet: Hankin, C. F.. 1977-1979. Harford Parish Checklist. Parish Checklist. Digital.
SDV156973Aerial Photograph: Cambridge Committee for Aerial Photography. CPE/UK 2494. 3049-50.
SDV157021Article in Serial: Brooking-Rowe, J.. 1894. 6th Report of the Committee on Devonshire Records. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 26. Unknown. 86.
SDV157244Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1976. NMR SX6460. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. 2.
SDV165876Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1945. December Photograph. 53/52.
SDV277387Monograph: Baring Gould, S.. 1900. A Book of Dartmoor. A Book of Dartmoor. Unknown. 83.
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.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV337765Monograph: Butler, J.. 1993. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East. Four. Paperback Volume. 46-7, Map 54, Figure 54.6.
SDV345664Un-published: Robinson, R.. 1986. List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1986. Lists of Field Monument Warden Visits. Printout.
SDV346026Aerial Photograph: GeoInformation Group Ltd. 2010. 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution). 2010 Aerial Photographs. Digital. [Mapped feature: #125092 ]
SDV363413Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2020. MasterMap 2020. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV363414National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2020. National Heritage List for England. Digital. 103108.
SDV363416Website: National Monuments Record. 2020. Pastscape. https://www.pastscape.org.uk/. Website. 442318, SX66SW48.

Associated Monuments

MDV128055Parent of: Hut circle east of enclosure at Piles Corner, Harford (Monument)
MDV128053Parent of: Hut circle north-east of enclosure at Piles Corner, Harford (Monument)
MDV128054Parent of: Hut circle north-east of enclosure at Piles Corner, Harford (Monument)
MDV128052Parent of: Hut circle within enclosure at Piles Corner, Harford (Monument)
MDV128051Parent of: Hut circle within prehistoric enclosure at Piles Corner, Harford (Monument)
MDV128057Parent of: Large enclosure to the west of pound at Piles Corner, Harford (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8082 - Survey of the Upper Erme Valley

Date Last Edited:Dec 4 2020 1:00PM