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HER Number:MDV4332
Name:Unenclosed hut circle settlement north of Downing's House, Cornwood


Settlement north of Downing's House consisting of three enclosures and 16 hut circles. This site is on the local list of Nationally Important Dartmoor sites.


Grid Reference:SX 637 631
Map Sheet:SX66SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishCornwood
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishCORNWOOD

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Bronze Age settlement north of Downing's House on Harford Moor consisting of three enclosures and at least sixteen hut circles

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX66SW/75
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950 - 1977, SX66SW14 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV155458.

Two enclosures and 15 hut circles in poor condition. (1950).
A sub circular enclosure, diameter 35.0 meters, a possible entrance on the east side. (1977)

National Monuments Record, 1976, NMR SX6363, 4 (Aerial Photograph). SDV156571.

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

Visible and recorded with fourteen hut circles (these are the same hut circles as those described in SX66SW/94).

Butler, J., 1993, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East, 51-52, Map 54, Figure 54.12 (Monograph). SDV337765.

Three enclosures and 16 scattered hut circles, many of them large, most of which are buried underneath the ground surface, which has been subject to peat cutting in the area. The pound to the north has no attached hut circles but moving southwards the other two pounds have one and two circles respectively attached to their south-western corners, which are generally smaller in size than the freestanding circles in the settlement. Other details: Figure 54.12.

Gerrard, S., 2004, List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor (Un-published). SDV345444.

This site was considered for designation as a Scheduled Ancient Monument during the Monument Protection Programme. The programme ended before the entire list of sites was successfully scheduled so this is included on a local list of Nationally Important Sites.

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

All three enclosures and at least 16 hut circles are visible, although there may be more, previously unrecorded circles showing in the area.

Ordnance Survey, 2013, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV350786.

Enclosures and hut circles shown as 'Settlement' on modern mapping.

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

Newman, P., 2018, The Upper Erme Valley, Dartmoor National Park, Devon: An Archaeological Survey, Appendix 1, Figure 15 (Report - Survey). SDV362921.

A dispersed prehistoric settlement on the north-east slope of Stall Down, approximately 180 metres west of the River Erme, on a moderate slope. The settlement comprises three small ovoid enclosures and 17 ruined hut circles. The enclosures all have walls of spread, turf-covered stony banks, up to 2.6 metres wide, mostly lower than 0.5 metres high. The northern enclosure has an has an intact circuit with an internal area of 0.1 hectare. The southern enclosure is 0.06 hectares, and has an almost intact circuit but for an 8 metre stretch which may be buried. This enclosure has two attached external hut circles on the west side and one possible smaller example. The third enclosure to the west is an incomplete sub-rectangle of 0.015 hectares. A small hut circle is attached to the western exterior. The size, construction and condition of the hut circles varies, though a majority appear to have been well constructed from manageable granite boulders and edge-set slabs, with facings, or parts of, surviving in situ on several of the huts. Externally they were embanked with earth and stone, which is now mostly turf covered. Eight of the huts are of similar internal diameter, between 8 metres and 9 metres. Thirteen of the huts are freestanding, notably including the 8 larger examples. Entrance positions, where visible, are on the south-south-east arc of the circle The huts attached to the enclosures are all much smaller at 3 to 5 metres diameter, with very little visible stone. The settlement lies within an area populated with molinia grass, and although the huts are unaffected by the grass, several huts and one enclosure have a covering of rushes, rendering detail indiscernible.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV155458Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950 - 1977. SX66SW14. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV156571Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1976. NMR SX6363. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. 4.
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. 51-52, Map 54, Figure 54.12.
SDV345444Un-published: Gerrard, S.. 2004. List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor. Digital.
SDV346026Aerial Photograph: GeoInformation Group Ltd. 2010. 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution). 2010 Aerial Photographs. Digital.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV361913Cartographic: Newman, P.. 2018. Erme Valley Survey data (GIS and Excel spreadsheet). GIS ShapeFile. Digital. [Mapped feature: #91686 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV79061Parent of: Circular enclosure in settlement north of Downing's House, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV28109Parent of: Enclosure in settlement north of Downing's House (Monument)
MDV4356Parent of: Partial enclosure in settlement north of Downing's House, Cornwood (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8082 - Survey of the Upper Erme Valley

Date Last Edited:Dec 20 2019 3:21PM