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HER Number:MDV4897
Name:Merrivale hut circle settlement


Settlement comprising 37 Bronze Age hut circles and four sub-rectangular enclosures. Within the guardianship area managed by Dartmoor National Park Authority.


Grid Reference:SX 556 749
Map Sheet:SX57SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishWALKHAMPTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX57SE19
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 440079
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57SE/53
  • Old SAM County Ref: 332
  • Old SAM Ref Revised: 12/01/1996
  • Old SAM Ref: 24191

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Wilkinson, J. G., 1862, On British Remains on Dartmoor, 115-117 (Article in Serial). SDV277122.

Other details: Plate 8.

Baring Gould, S., 1895, Second Report of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee, 86 (Article in Serial). SDV271711.

Six of the huts were examined in 1895. Two of them yielded hearths.

Stephens, F. W., 1900, Sketch (Plan - sketch). SDV219154.

Worth, R. H., 1943, The Prehistoric Pounds of Dartmoor, 280-302 (Article in Serial). SDV320337.

Worth considers them to be Early Bronze Age. The enclosure at SX 556750 has been encroached upon by the garden of a cottage built in 1802.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950, SX57SE19 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV219145.

Group of 38 hut circles and 3 enclosures.

Ancient Monuments, 1950, Untitled Source (Site Visit). SDV219147.

An open settlement of over 25 huts, some with small enclosures, which could represent paddocks. Most of the huts are large and well built; average diameters measure between 6.1 - 8.25 meters. Condition of the circles is fair, although the huts have been robbed for road metalling.

Royal Air Force, 1964, F63/58/6399, 042-3 (Aerial Photograph). SDV229824.

Group of hut circles and enclosures visible on air photographs.

St. Joseph, J. K. S., 1967, Unknown title, 60-61 (Article in Serial). SDV219152.

National Monuments Record, 1976, SX5574/1 (Aerial Photograph). SDV219153.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1980, SX57SE19 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV221726.

(25/02/1980) A group of three dozen hut circles and four enclosures, centred at SX 55597499, occupy 6.0ha of a slight NW slope. Six huts are within or attached to the enclosures; the remainder are free standing. All are on open moorland; bisected by the A 384. It is probable that the huts were originally of Type 2 (SX 56 NE 71) with double walling, but many have been robbed to varying degrees, so that typology is uncertain. Internal diameters range from extremes of 2.7m. to 8.2m. but are commonly Between 5.8m. and 7.2m.; walling is usually 1.3m. wide and 0.7m. high. Where visible entrances are to the S and SW.
Two enclosures 'A' and 'D' have a little double walling but are mainly of single-non-contiguous blocks and slabs up to 0.8m. high. Part of 'D' consists of a band of clitter. Each of the enclosures has breaks in the walling but no clear entrance, and a single hut terminating a length of wall.
Enclosures 'B' and 'C' are heavily walled with double slabs and piled blocks, 2.2m. wide and up to 1.0m. high. 'B' has an entrance gap of 2.7m. in the S and incorporates two hut circles. 'C' has three gaps, two probably modern, in the NW and SW and an original, 2.0m. wide in the E. There is one internal hut circle and another, much ruined, on the outer face of the NW wall.
There is no obvious field associated with the settlement. Surveyed at 1:10 000 on MSD and at 1:2500.

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

Three enclosures and twenty hut circles are visible wholly or partly on map SX57SE. Two hut circles are within an enclosure at SX55517496.

Butler, J., 1991, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North, 72-74 (Monograph). SDV219155.

Part of the Merrivale Bridge East settlement. A well preserved settlement despite the proximity of the road, which has bisected at least one hut circle. Stone-robbing has taken place however and when six huts were excavated in 1895 by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee they were found to have been previously disturbed, possibly by road menders (Baring Gould). A series of stone pits is also noticeable in the area; evidence that this resource has been utilised in the past. 36 hut circles and four enclosures identified, with most of the huts unenclosed. The huts vary in size, from 2.7 to 9.5 meters in diameter; the majority are between 6.0 and 7.0 meters. Where entrances are visible they tend to face south or south-west. The enclosures are irregular constructions sited in stony areas, despite area of stone-free hillside in the vicinity and seem to have been built after the huts, their irregular double-slabbed enclosing walls a result of the inclusion of many earth-fast granite boulders in the perimeter. The settlement lies within 50 meters of the Merrivale stone rows and associated monuments but are likely to be a later construction, deliberately sited near to the ancient monuments.

Gerrard, S., 1994, MPP/133501 (Site Visit). SDV219156.

See linked records in Relationships section for further detail.

Griffith, F. M., 1996, DAP/ABF, 3-6 (Aerial Photograph). SDV319876.

Probert, S. A. J. + Fletcher, M. J., 2000, The Merrivale Guardianship Area, Walkhampton, Devon, 6-7 (Report - Survey). SDV344969.

(21/01/2000) Centred SX55597498. Thirty seven hut circles lie on both sides of the B3357 on the SW flank of Little Mis Tor some 500m E of Merrivale Bridge.
The huts are in varying degrees of preservation, those nearest the road generally having been heavily robbed to provide stone,while four (25, 26, 27 and 28) on the S fringe of the site have had slit trenches cut into their interiors or extremities. All the huts have been terraced into the gentle SW facing slope to provide level, slightly ovoid interiors which range in diameter from 2.6m (23) to 9.3m (21). The huts generally possess low, well-built walls averaging 1.4m wide and 0.5m high many displaying signs of a double ring of orthostsat with a rubble infill. Entrances are apparent in 18 huts and all are oriented towards the S quadrant.
One hut (5) now exists as a stoney crescent on the N verge of the road. Limited reoccupation of the huts or their sites is evidenced at the single hut (36) which lies within the central enclosure and has a small circular structure built into its S side while hut 21 displays several phases of external refurbishment. The date of these reoccupations is uncertain. The fragments of four sub-rectangular enclosures are associated with the huts. Varying in size from 0.06ha to 0.24ha they are bounded by stoney banks averaging 1.5m wide and 0.6m high. These features have suffered heavily from stone robbing and none possess obvious entrances. Five hut circles (8, 15, 16, 24 and 36) are associated with these enclosures, three (8, 16 and 24) are adjoined by the enclosure walls (see hut records).

Dartmoor National Park + English Heritage, 2004, Merrivale: An Archaeological Landscape (Leaflet). SDV320201.

Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.

Historic England, 2021-2022, NRHE to HER website, Accessed 23/08/2021 (Website). SDV364039.

Includes a brief accessible account of the remains for visitors (English Heritage: Edited by Katy Carter, 2004, Heritage Unlocked: Guide to free sites in Devon, Dorset and Somerset, 26-27).

Sources / Further Reading

SDV219145Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950. SX57SE19. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV219147Site Visit: Ancient Monuments. 1950.
SDV219152Article in Serial: St. Joseph, J. K. S.. 1967. Unknown title. Antiquity. 41. 60-61.
SDV219153Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1976. SX5574/1. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Unknown.
SDV219154Plan - sketch: Stephens, F. W.. 1900. Sketch. Digital.
SDV219155Monograph: Butler, J.. 1991. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Two. Paperback Volume. 72-74.
SDV219156Site Visit: Gerrard, S.. 1994. MPP/133501. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset..
SDV221726Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1980. SX57SE19. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV229824Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1964. F63/58/6399. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Unknown. 042-3.
SDV271711Article in Serial: Baring Gould, S.. 1895. Second Report of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 27. Digital. 86.
SDV277122Article in Serial: Wilkinson, J. G.. 1862. On British Remains on Dartmoor. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 18. Unknown. 115-117.
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.
SDV319876Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1996. DAP/ABF. Devon Aerial Photograph. 3-6.
SDV320201Leaflet: Dartmoor National Park + English Heritage. 2004. Merrivale: An Archaeological Landscape. A5 Stapled.
SDV320337Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1943. The Prehistoric Pounds of Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 75. A5 Hardback. 280-302.
SDV344030Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #93377 ]
SDV344969Report - Survey: Probert, S. A. J. + Fletcher, M. J.. 2000. The Merrivale Guardianship Area, Walkhampton, Devon. English Heritage. 1247982. A4 Comb Bound + Digital. 6-7.
SDV364039Website: Historic England. 2021-2022. NRHE to HER website. https://nrhe-to-her.esdm.co.uk/NRHE. Website. Accessed 23/08/2021.

Associated Monuments

MDV53408Parent of: Earth and rubble bank near Merrivale hut circle settlement (Monument)
MDV53408Related to: Earth and rubble bank near Merrivale hut circle settlement (Monument)
MDV4898Parent of: Enclosure with associated hut circle, Merrivale settlement (Monument)
MDV4612Parent of: Enclosure with hut circle, Merrivale settlement (Monument)
MDV4905Parent of: Enclosure with internal hut circle, Merrivale settlement (Monument)
MDV4905Related to: Enclosure with internal hut circle, Merrivale settlement (Monument)
MDV4913Parent of: Enclosure with two hut circles, Merrivale settlement (Monument)
MDV4913Related to: Enclosure with two hut circles, Merrivale settlement (Monument)
MDV4603Parent of: Hut circle 1, Merrrivale settlement (Monument)
MDV4903Parent of: Hut circle 10, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV4615Parent of: Hut circle 11, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV4901Parent of: Hut circle 12, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV4620Parent of: Hut circle 13, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV53403Parent of: Hut circle 14, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV4621Parent of: Hut circle 15, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV4618Parent of: Hut circle 16, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV78479Parent of: Hut circle 17, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV4907Parent of: Hut circle 18, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV4908Parent of: Hut circle 19, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV4600Parent of: Hut circle 2, Merrrivale settlement (Monument)
MDV4909Parent of: Hut circle 20, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV4915Parent of: Hut circle 21, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV4989Parent of: Hut circle 22, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV4916Parent of: Hut circle 23, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV78477Parent of: Hut circle 24, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV4899Parent of: Hut circle 25, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV4900Parent of: Hut circle 26, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV4984Parent of: Hut circle 27, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV4985Parent of: Hut circle 28, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV53407Parent of: Hut circle 29, Merrivale settlement (Monument)
MDV4601Parent of: Hut circle 3, Merrrivale settlement (Monument)
MDV4990Parent of: Hut circle 30, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV4988Parent of: Hut circle 31, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV4986Parent of: Hut circle 32, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV4987Parent of: Hut circle 33, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV4910Parent of: Hut circle 34, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV4912Parent of: Hut circle 35, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV4906Parent of: Hut circle 36, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV53404Parent of: Hut circle 37, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV4602Parent of: Hut circle 4, Merrrivale settlement (Monument)
MDV4617Parent of: Hut circle 5, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV4604Parent of: Hut circle 6, Merrrivale settlement (Monument)
MDV4614Parent of: Hut circle 7, Merrrivale settlement (Monument)
MDV4613Parent of: Hut circle 8, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV4902Parent of: Hut circle 9, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV4616Parent of: Hut circle AA, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV53409Parent of: Millstone within enclosure, Merrivale settlement (Monument)
MDV4904Parent of: Site of hut circle K, Merrivale Settlement (Monument)
MDV4619Parent of: Site of hut circle KK, Merrivale settlement (Monument)
MDV53410Parent of: Slit trenches within Merrivale settlement (Monument)
MDV28493Related to: Clearance cairn close to the Merrivale hut circle settlement (Monument)
MDV53408Parent of: Earth and rubble bank near Merrivale hut circle settlement (Monument)
MDV53408Related to: Earth and rubble bank near Merrivale hut circle settlement (Monument)
MDV4905Parent of: Enclosure with internal hut circle, Merrivale settlement (Monument)
MDV4905Related to: Enclosure with internal hut circle, Merrivale settlement (Monument)
MDV4913Parent of: Enclosure with two hut circles, Merrivale settlement (Monument)
MDV4913Related to: Enclosure with two hut circles, Merrivale settlement (Monument)
MDV131684Related to: Isolated upright stones, Merrivale (Monument)
MDV51392Related to: Modern pit, Merrivale settlement (Monument)
MDV18990Related to: Plague market site at Merrivale (Monument)
MDV20665Related to: Warrener's House, Merrivale Warren (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV337 - Unnamed Event
  • EDV4830 - Survey of guardianship area, Merrivale

Date Last Edited:Oct 15 2021 11:40AM