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HER Number:MDV5931
Name:Enclosure 300 metres south-east of Archerton


An enclosed settlement of probable Prehistoric or Roman date consisting of an enclosure and hut platforms seen as rubble walls. Scheduled.


Grid Reference:SX 640 788
Map Sheet:SX67NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX67NW10
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 442539
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX67NW/61
  • Old SAM County Ref: 919

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ENCLOSURE (Constructed, Early Bronze Age to Roman - 2200 BC (Between) to 409 AD (Between))

Full description

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV249728.

Doe/smc letter/(11/4/1991)in smr. Smc granted for extraction of storm felled timber, woodland management, replanting and erection of ring fence (doe).

Ancient Monuments, Untitled Source (Report - Survey). SDV249717.

Vis=5/10/1972 (ancient monuments) camp 300m south east of archerton. A circular embanked enclosure of about 90m diameter presumably representing an earthwork of prehistoric date. The interior is under a small wood the timber of which is in deplorable condition and will soon require a felling programme if only on the grounds of safety. This may constitute a threat in the future. The enclosure is only marked by a "drop" on the south side but on the north side, apart from where a small quarry has damaged it on the north east, a well defined bank and ditch remain to be seen. A wall surmounts the bank throughout the circuit which together with the trees is presumably the result of landscaping in association with archerton house, - early/mid 19th century.

Prowse, A. B., 1891, The Ancient Metropolis of Dartmoor, 311; plan (Article in Serial). SDV245176.

Royal Air Force, 1950, RAF/541/540, 3152-3 (Aerial Photograph). SDV285230.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1979, SX67NW10 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV249726.

(12/11/1979) (SX 640788) Camp (NR) (Site of) (NAT) (1906 map).
An oval pound now planted with trees. Rowe noted remains of banks and a hut within the enclosure. Prowse mentions traceable sub-division banks with distinct evidence of nine hut circles and a further one, ten yards diameter, "close outside on the east". (See plan).
Prowse's plan (1891) indicates an enclosed settlement of which only the perimeter of the enclosure can now be traced with two minor fragments of internal walling. The enclosure, of oval plan, measures 117m by 94m. The western half is partly delineated by a bank of tumbled rubble 2.0m wide and 0.4m high and for 55m in the NW a lynchet of similar size. Elsewhere there are only vestiges of walling. No huts can be seen and the recent felling and removal of trees may have contributed towards their destruction. If it were not for Prowse's plan the enclosure could be accepted as a relatively modern plantation work.
Surveyed at 1:2500 on MSD

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

Filled with trees which conceal it on 1950 RAF aerial photograph.

Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England, 1987-1993, Duchy Farms Project Survey Visit, I. S. Sainsbury (Report - Survey). SDV350839.

(23/07/1990) The remains of this enclosed prehistoric settlement are situated in rough pasture on a moderate SE facing slope about 360m OD (some 450m SE of Archerton House).
Roughly oval in shape it measures about 110m NNE-SSW by 90m (approximately 0.81 hectares in area) within a broad rubble wall or bank which is denuded and probably extensively robbed. From NNE through W to SW this bank is overlaid by a ? unfinished mid-19th century wall, 1.5m thick 0.9m high. Much of the perimeter and interior have been planted beech trees which have obscured and severely damaged the settlement. This destruction was compounded when many of these trees were blown down in the January 1990 gales. Recent felling and clearance operations have also done much damage.
Consequently the interpretation and measurements of the site are somewhat subjective.
None of the hut circles noted by Prowse (1891) are now clearly visible but fragments and probable positions of some can confidently be identified.
The original dimensions of the settlement wall cannot be determined but it is now visible mainly as a low turf-covered rubble bank spread between 4 to 8m. It is best preserved on the NW (uphill) side where the modern wall is stepped back revealing the original feature. Here it is a marked band of rubble about 5mwide with inner scarp up to 0.9m high. A stone protruding at A suggests this may have been revetted on the inner face. On the eastern, downhill side (from the NE around to S) the wall is closely planted with beech and is so badly robbed that it is now only visible as an outward facing scarp of spread rubble about 4m wide and 0.9m high. A line of large boulders B on the SE are either the remains of an outer face or dumping from field clearance. On the SW the rubble wall is just discernible but thee is no trace of it on the NE at C, suggesting that there may have been an entrance here. This is the only obvious break in the perimeter.
An ill-defined outer scarp D about 3m wide 0.7m high runs parallel to the 19th century wall and forms a slight 'ditch'; it is most probably contemporary with the modern wall. This wall contains much material robbed from the settlement bank.
Within the interior at several places abutting the western side are platforms and fragments of apparent platforms E, F, G and H corresponding to and undoubtedly the sites of some Prowse`s huts. Two of the internal sub-divisions (1891), also attached to the main wall are evident bounded by stony turf-covered scarps. One at I on the NW is elongated in shape being about 50m by 20m, whilst the other at J is the S is more circular and about 25m in diameter with a possible entrance in it's N side. Fragments of other rubble walls are discernible amongst the scrub and fallen tree debris, K to O. the eastern half of the settlement is obscured by thicker scrub and rowan. This has impeded investigation and little was evident of the detail depicted by Prowse.
No trace of the external hut (1891) on the NE was seen in the position indicated but about 35m further S at P several large stones revetting a small platform may indicate the site of another hut. One of these earthfast stones Q 0.6m high 0.5m wide and 0.2m thick, set on edge could possibly be a door jamb. To the immediate S a disused stone quarry has encroached on the area, but stopped short of the main settlement.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV245176Article in Serial: Prowse, A. B.. 1891. The Ancient Metropolis of Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 23. 311; plan.
SDV249717Report - Survey: Ancient Monuments.
SDV249726Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1979. SX67NW10. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV249728Migrated Record:
SDV285230Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1950. RAF/541/540. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Unknown. 3152-3.
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.
SDV350839Report - Survey: Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England. 1987-1993. Duchy Farms Project Survey Visit. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Archaeological Survey. Unknown. I. S. Sainsbury.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8646 - Archerton, Duchy Farms Survey
  • EDV8409 - Dartmoor Royal Forest Project
  • EDV8423 - Duchy Farms Project

Date Last Edited:Feb 15 2022 8:06AM