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HER Number:MDV5110
Name:Erme Pound northern Enclosure 'C' , Harford


Northern Enclosure 'C' (Butler) at Erme Pound shown on 19th century and later maps and rebuilt on an earlier prehistoic enclosure


Grid Reference:SX 637 656
Map Sheet:SX66NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishHarford
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishHARFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX66NW/30/1

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • POUND (Early Medieval to Early 20th Century - 1066 AD (Between) to 1901 AD (Between))

Full description

Spence Bate, C., 1870-1871, On the Prehistoric Antiquities of Dartmoor, 503 (Article in Serial). SDV277110.

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

Enclosure of 'Erme Pound' shown on 19th century map enclosing several 'Hut Circles'.

Worth, R. H., 1902, 21st Report of the Barrow Committee, 136 (Article in Serial). SDV20971.

Beckerlegge, J. J., 1939, Eighth Report of the Plymouth and District Branch, 181 (Article in Serial). SDV149484.

Outside the gates are two little buildings, one of them having seats all the way round it.

Fogwill, E. G., 1954, Pastoralism on Dartmoor, 105-106 (Article in Serial). SDV346914.

National Monuments Record, 1976, SX6865, 1 (Aerial Photograph). SDV152647.

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

Visible and recorded on aerial photograph.

Butler, J., 1993, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East, 73-74, Map 55 Figure 55.6 (Monograph). SDV337765.

The northern enclosure 'C' at Erme Pound with a rebuilt wall on the ancient foundations as a Duchy drift pound. It was in use by the 16th century. The entrances remain to north and south. A rectangular building just outside the southern entrance has an internal stone bench joined to the main wall which was probably the pound keeper's shelter. At least six huts of 3.2 to 6.1 metres diameter can be distinguished grouped near the centre with some joined by low walling. Two other eroded hut circles are sited just outside the northern entrance of 4.5 and 3 metres diameter.

Environment Agency WMS, 1998-2016, LiDAR DTM data JPEG image (1m resolution) (Cartographic). SDV360208.

Feature visible on Lidar data.

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, Figures 12, 31 & 33 (Report - Survey). SDV362921.

'Erme Pound' shown enclosing several 'hut circles' and other features. Erme Pound on the western edge of Brown Heath adjacent to the east bank of the Erme, was used as a drift pound for impounding stray cattle as part of the commons stock management system that was in place in the medieval and post-medieval period on Dartmoor. The pound is first documented in 1586, though is likely to have been in existence before then. It may have fallen into disuse by 1800. The 0.6 hectare pound, or enclosure, was imposed onto an existing, long-abandoned prehistoric enclosure (MDV5109), probably chosen for its existing supply of stone. The base of the earlier wall is visible at the foot of the later wall, which may explain the irregular outline. The pound was built using a strong drystone style of walling which is 1.4 metres thick in places and is sufficiently robust to still be standing to in excess of 1 metre high at several points, although much of the stone has tumbled, leaving several stretches completely ruined. The main entrance is on the south-east side, measuring 2.4 metres wide with return walls surviving on the south side. This is likely to have been the only entrance. The interior is not clear and contains five prehistoric hut circles, and a large spread of natural granite clitter.

Ordnance Survey, 2019, MasterMap 2019 (Cartographic). SDV362729.

Enclosure shown as 'Erme Pound' on modern mapping.

National Monuments Record, 2019, Pastscape, 441626, SX66NW23 (Website). SDV362732.

Erme Pound enclosure is a multi-phase structure on the south-west slope of Brown Heath with six hut circles and other internal features. There is a mention of Erme Pound in the Court Rolls of 1552-3, but only as identifying the position of certain land lying nearby. The pound is an irregular ellipse in shape covering 0.6 hectares with a number of hut circles and it may well be an Early Bronze Age structure, restored and adapted. The pound has a rubble wall up to 2.0 metres wide and 1.2 metres high but where it has spread or collapsed, it forms the base of a supplementary wall of coursed blocks 0.7 metres wide and 1.0 metre high. This repair or rebuilding is particularly evident on the north-west and south-west sides and probably dates from the Medieval or post Medieval utilisation of the prehistoric enclosure. The entrance at the south-east is probably original with later facing. Within the enclosure are six huts, all with levelled interiors and probably of Type 1. Their rubble walls average 1.7 metres wide and 0.5 metres high and the internal diameters measure from 3.2 metres to 5.5 metres. Only two have discernible entrances, both on the south and three huts are linked by walling 1.0 metre wide and 0.3 metres high to form enclosed plots about 8.0 metres by 15.0 metres. Near the north corner of the enclosure there is a possible hut built into the collapsed wall. It has an internal diameter of 3.0 metres but is in ruined condition and could be prehistoric or an attempt to create a modern shelter.

National Monuments Record, 2019, Pastscape, 441629, SX66NW25 (Website). SDV362732.

'Erme Pound', a modern enclosure erected for the purpose of impounding stray cattle. It bears all the evidence of a construction ...... hastily and inexpensively built. Originally a prehistoric enclosed settlement, shows evidence of Medieval or post Medieval repair or rebuilding. It is not 'modern' work and it is doubtful whether stray cattle would require a pound of 0.6 hectares. But, whatever the date, coursed walling 0.7 metres thick and 1.0 metre high has been constructed upon the earlier rubble. The south-east entrance, 2.5 metre wide, is also faced with coursed blocks. There are three rectangular buildings which may be associated with the pound. All have coursed walls from 0.7 metres to 1.0 metre thick and from 1.0 metre to 1.3 metres high and one end wall abuts the prehistoric enclosure.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV149484Article in Serial: Beckerlegge, J. J.. 1939. Eighth Report of the Plymouth and District Branch. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 71. A5 Hardback. 181.
SDV152647Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1976. SX6865. 1.
SDV20971Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1902. 21st Report of the Barrow Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 34. A5 Paperback + Digital. 136.
SDV277110Article in Serial: Spence Bate, C.. 1870-1871. On the Prehistoric Antiquities of Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 4. Digital. 503.
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. 73-74, Map 55 Figure 55.6.
SDV346914Article in Serial: Fogwill, E. G.. 1954. Pastoralism on Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 86. A5 Hardback. 105-106.
SDV360208Cartographic: Environment Agency WMS. 1998-2016. LiDAR DTM data JPEG image (1m resolution). Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital.
SDV361913Cartographic: Newman, P.. 2018. Erme Valley Survey data (GIS and Excel spreadsheet). GIS ShapeFile. Digital.
SDV362729Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2019. MasterMap 2019. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #93887 ]
SDV362732Website: National Monuments Record. 2019. Pastscape. https://www.pastscape.org.uk/. Website. 441626, SX66NW23.

Associated Monuments

MDV126715Parent of: Boundary wall within Erme Pound, Harford (Monument)
MDV5107Parent of: Northern Hut Circle in Erme Pound, Harford (Monument)
MDV126713Parent of: Northern of three central Hut Circles in Erme Pound, Harford (Monument)
MDV126714Parent of: Southern of three central Hut Circles in Erme Pound, Harford (Monument)
MDV5109Part of: Erme Pound enclosed hut circle settlement, Harford (Monument)
MDV126601Related to: Enclosure 'A', Erme Pound (Monument)
MDV126655Related to: Enclosure on the north side of Erme Pound, Harford (Monument)
MDV13182Related to: Erme Pound Central Enclosure 'B', Harford (Monument)
MDV5108Related to: Shelter on south side of Erme Pound, Harford (Monument)
MDV13171Related to: Tinner's cache in Erme Pound, Harford (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8082 - Survey of the Upper Erme Valley

Date Last Edited:Jan 7 2022 3:34PM