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HER Number:MDV4289
Name:Field system of adjoining and isolated enclosures east of River Erme, Harford


Field system of four or five adjoining enclosures and three or four separate enclosures to the west all to the east of the River Erme.


Grid Reference:SX 645 625
Map Sheet:SX66SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishHarford
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishHARFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX66SW85
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 442418
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX66SW/45
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX66SW/46
  • Old SAM County Ref: 813
  • Old SAM Ref: 10521

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ENCLOSURE (Constructed, Bronze Age - 2200 BC (Between) to 701 BC (Between))
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Constructed, Bronze Age - 2200 BC (Between) to 701 BC (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1948, RAF/CPE/UK/2494, 3049-3050 (Aerial Photograph). SDV147533.

National Monument Record, 1969, NMR SX6468, 3 (Aerial Photograph). SDV226078.

Photograph taken on 12th April 1969.

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

Site visited on 24th April 1978. At approximately 80 metres east of the River Erme, a low curved line of stones marks the north wall of what appears to have been an enclosure. The whole area is strewn with stones and is difficult to interpret. The site is between a wet grassy area on the left bank of the river, and a clitter on steeply rising ground to the east. In April 1978 no other part of the enclosure perimeter could be seen. The whole area is strewn with stones and is difficult to interpret. The ground falls away west to the river, and rises steeply amidst a clitter to the east. A circular enclosure with diameter 15 metres. The west wall has almost gone. The walls that remain are no more than 0.5 metres high. There is no obvious entrance. A hut circle diameter 6.5 metres is just outside the north west wall; scattered medium sized stones height 0.5 metres. North-east of the enclosure there is a line of another wall which appears to extend the area of the enclosed ground from the hut circle on the north west to the east side of the enclosure. The width of this extension is south-north 20 metres, east-west 18 metres. Fragments of walls or banks south-east to north-west may have divided this area into two parts. The area is now quite unsuitable for enclosures, and it seems likely that the steeply rising ground on the east has at some time fallen and scattered rocks over what was cleared ground. Another small enclosure can be traced just above steep hillside. Probably circular 15 metres diameter, walls 0.5 metres high, earth over stone. This could be the fourth enclosure in this area sited by the Ordnance Survey in the 1950's.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1978, SX66SW85 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV172191.

(04/01/1978) Two probable Bronze Age enclosures situated on a west facing slope at 290m OD about 70.0m from the River Erme.
The northern enclosure is in the form of an irregular pentagon, some 23.0m across with walling of tumbled rubble, generally 2.0m wide and 0.6m high. The interior seems only partly cleared of stone. Within the south side of the enclosure a poorly defined platform of 6.0m diameter is probably a hut site. There is an oddly in-turned entrance on the north side with no external track or terrace way leading to it.
The second enclosure (to the southeast) is D-shaped and measures internally about 18.0m across with an entrance in the east side. It has similar walling with one orthostat at the entrance on the east side, and is up to 1.5m high, externally, on the lower south side. The interior is fairly clear of stone and there is no visible evidence of settlement, yet both enclosures appear to be for habitation. Features may be concealed beneath the unusually large amount of hill wash and build-up of peat resulting from the steep situation.
Surveyed at 1:10 000 on MSD.

Robinson, R., 1982, List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1982 (Un-published). SDV345608.

Site visited on 2nd June 1982.

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

Enclosure visible and recorded.

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

Site visited on 19th December 1986.

Butler, J., 1993, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East, 48, Map 54, Figure 54.8 (Monograph). SDV337765.

Group of small enclosures most of which are merely irregularly shaped clearings but there are three approximately rectangular on the western edge of the clitter which are bounded by double walls of slabs.

Newman, P., 2018, Erme Valley Survey data (GIS and Excel spreadsheet) (Cartographic). SDV361913.

Field system shown on survey.

Newman, P., 2018, The Upper Erme Valley, Dartmoor National Park, Devon: An Archaeological Survey, Appendix 1 (Report - Survey). SDV362921.

Partial remains of nine, crudely-built enclosures, sited within an area of dense clitter at the foot of the steep lower slope on the east side of the River Erme, 210 metres north of Piles Copse. The enclosures appear to be simple crude clearings amongst the clitter whereby granite boulders were pushed into lines to form boundaries. However, the spaces within are not completely clear. Some of these alignments may have been formed geologically within the clitter streams, but others were certainly deliberate constructions. Several of the enclosures are attached in a group while others appear to be unattached. The largest is 27 metres by 23 metres, the smallest is 15 metres by 13 metres. No hut circles are associated with these enclosures, although huts within another group exist to the north-west. The construction date and purpose of these enclosures is uncertain, though a prehistoric date seems likely.

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

'Enclosures' marked on modern mapping.

Historic England, 2020, National Heritage List for England, 1012765 (National Heritage List for England). SDV363414.

At the south of the settlement are two enclosures 23 metres and 18 metres across without huts or divisions.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV147533Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1948. RAF/CPE/UK/2494. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 3049-3050.
SDV149931Worksheet: Hankin, C. F.. 1977-1980. Harford Parish Checklist. Parish Checklist. Digital.
SDV172191Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1978. SX66SW85. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV226078Aerial Photograph: National Monument Record. 1969. NMR SX6468. National Monument Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 3.
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.
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. 48, Map 54, Figure 54.8.
SDV345608Un-published: Robinson, R.. 1982. List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1982. Lists of Field Monument Warden Visits. Printout.
SDV345664Un-published: Robinson, R.. 1986. List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1986. Lists of Field Monument Warden Visits. Printout.
SDV361913Cartographic: Newman, P.. 2018. Erme Valley Survey data (GIS and Excel spreadsheet). GIS ShapeFile. Digital. [Mapped feature: #123981 ]
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. 1012765.

Associated Monuments

MDV13221Related to: Field System to the north of Piles Copse, Harford (Monument)
MDV129448Related to: Hut circle within prehistoric settlement to the north of Piles Copse, Harford (Monument)
MDV129449Related to: Hut circle within prehistoric settlement to the north of Piles Copse, Harford (Monument)
MDV4253Related to: Settlement north of Piles Corner, Harford (Monument)
MDV4252Related to: Settlement of prehistoric enclosures and hut circles to the north of Piles Copse, Harford (Monument)
MDV19977Related to: Tinners' cache near prehistoric settlement north of Piles Copse (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8082 - Survey of the Upper Erme Valley

Date Last Edited:Jan 25 2022 10:28AM