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HER Number:MDV6117
Name:Roundy Pound, Gidleigh


An enclosure of approximately 0.07 hectares lies on a gentle north-west facing slope adjacent to the road leading to Batworthy Farm. Within the pound are a large central hut and a smaller peripheral hut. Several low walls radiate from the central hut and form segmental enclosures. Excavated in 1951-2, evidence of iron working was found and an early Iron Age date suggested, but the pound was reoccupied during the medieval period.


Grid Reference:SX 663 868
Map Sheet:SX68NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishGidleigh
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishGIDLEIGH

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX 68 NE 14
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68NE/9
  • Old SAM County Ref: 157
  • Old SAM Ref: 28714.2
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX68NE14
  • Pastscape: 443518

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ENCLOSURE (Late Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 1000 BC to 42 AD (Between))
  • SHELTER (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

Unknown, Unknown source (Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry). SDV274620.

'Round Pound' enclosed hut around 400 BC with iron smelting floor.
The Round Pound was founded in the early Iron Age sometime after 400 BC. The settlers were arable farmers, clearing and ploughing small fields, they also had cattle and sheep which they watered and pastured on the open moor. One household had a workshop where iron was smelted. Flint and stone implements were still used but metal and bone would have totally disappeared in the acid soil. There is no trace of contact with provincial Roman culture. Central house excavated. Pound is irregular oval. The original entrance opens north-west onto a stone edged track passing through the ancient fields and leading to the scarp above a stream which joins the river below Batworthy House. Its course suggests a cattle droveway. The pound is divided up into segments by 4 radial low walls which come between the main entrance and the door to the central hut. There is also a small hut in the north corner of the pound. Pound walls are faced with granite slabs with filling of small stones in between (Fox, A., 1951?).

Ormerod, G. W., 1864, On the Hut Circles on the Eastern Side of Dartmoor, 302-303, plate 20 (Article in Serial). SDV304174.

Ormerod records and describes the Round Pound and gives precise dimensions.

Royal Air Force, 1947, RAF/CPE/UK/2082, 3286-8 (Aerial Photograph). SDV295065.

Fox, A., 1953, 20th Report on the Archaeology and Early History of Devon, 171-2 (Article in Serial). SDV223412.

Round Pound, near Batworthy. Excavations on Chagford Common by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee were continued at Round Pound, a single large hut in a circular enclosure. A small smelting furnace for iron and a little pottery of Early Iron Age "A" type indicated that the settlement here should date after 400 BC.

Fox, A., 1954, Excavations at Kestor, 21-62 (Article in Serial). SDV304231.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1956-1974, SX68NE14 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV274636.

(Centred SX 665867) Settlement, Field System, Hut Circles.
The Kestor Settlement was investigated in 1951-2, primarily by the excavation of the 'Round Pound' and its hut, both of which have walls up to 6 feet thick. The hut was found to have had
timber uprights supporting the roof though the centre was apparently open to the sky. The living quarters were to the left of the narrow paved entrance and to the right a working floor in which was found a small bowl furnace lined with iron slag.
Pottery and other domestic material were of the Iron Age 'A' tradition, about 400 BC.
In the pound the radial walls probably dated from early medieval re-use of the site as a fold, and a small hut in the north quadrant had been previously excavated.
The huts and field system of the settlement as a whole indicate arable farming; small fields being cleared and ploughed, with cattle and sheep pastured on the open moor (Excavations at Kestor 1952 Interim Report).
Huts are double walled and the fields mostly orthostats (C and A Fox Aug 1949).
The lynchets of the field system are quite marked and the huts 30 to 40 feet in diameter have walls up to 4 feet in height (Curwen, E. C., Antiquity 1, 1927, 283). Pollen analysis of the peat preceding cultivation suggests a 600 to 400 BC date for the beginning of the settlement (Fox, A., 1954, Transactions of the Devonshire Association, 86, 21-62).
Classified as early Iron Age, re-occupied in the 13th to 14th century, the fields extensive and partly remade. (Fox, A., 1954, Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 20, 87-102)
Kestor Settlement is non-nucleated and now comprises a well-defined field system and a score of huts within an area of 20 hectares centred at SX 665868. Further isolated huts with only vestiges of associated field walls are now divorced from the main grouping possibly because of extensive medieval and later clearance of the intervening areas. Huts, mostly double walled, and the fields are on the top and to each side of a low northern spur. Apart from obvious medieval fields which have been superimposed, peat digging has occurred throughout much of the area and it is probably the baulks of these diggings which have been described by Curwen as lynchets.
Surveyed at 1:2500.
The name 'Round Pound' is still applied to the enclosed hut feature. (Ordnance Survey, 20/07/1974)

Grinsell, L. V., 1970, Discovering Regional Archaeology: South Western England, 26 (Monograph). SDV304192.

Round Pound, entered from the west from the western of the two sunken roads, and containing a single hut circle, the largest in the settlement.

Cleere, H. F., 1972, The Classification of Early Iron-Smelting Furnaces, 9, figures 1, 11 (Article in Serial). SDV274640.

Author illustrates a simple bowl furnace at Kestor, with hemispherical super-structure and blown with forced draught, typical of the earliest ironmaking cultures.

National Monument Record, 1977, SX6686, 2/59-63 (Aerial Photograph). SDV274641.

National Monument Record, 1977, SX6686, 6 / 54-56 (Aerial Photograph). SDV274641.

Silvester, R. J., 1979, The Relationship of First Millennium Settlement to the Upland Areas of the South West, 178-179 (Article in Serial). SDV177352.

Silvester considers the evidence of iron working in the Round Pound at Kestor unconvincing and casts doubt on the relationship of this activity to Iron Age occupation.

Griffith, F. M., 1984, DAP/DK, 4 (Aerial Photograph). SDV343378.

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

Clearly visible on National Monuments Record 1977 aerial photograph.

Griffith, F. M., 1985, DAP/EM, 3a (Aerial Photograph). SDV274678.

Somers Cocks, J. V., 1988, Letter regarding Roundy Pound, Gidleigh (Correspondence). SDV274646.

The proper name of this site is 'Roundy Pound', roundy being the moorman's word for hut circle.

Devon County Council, 1989, DAP/PJ, 14, 15 (Aerial Photograph). SDV274652.

Griffith, F. M., 1990, DAP/TV, 1-4 (Aerial Photograph). SDV160790.

Gerrard, S., 1990-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset., MPP 149130, 2/4/1997 (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

An enclosure forming part of a prehistoric settlement within the Kestor coaxial field system. Double orthostatic wall 3 metres wide, 1.5 metres high. Oval. Entrance measures 1.4 metres wide and is clearly denoted both sides by large horizontally laid slabs. Rushes and grass with some gorse.

Probert, S. A. J., 1991, Castor Parallel System (Plan - measured). SDV229808.

Depicted on plan

Probert, S. A. J., 1991, Shovel Down Survey (Report - Survey). SDV359365.

Centred SX 66388685. Round Pound, an enclosure of approximately 0.07 hectares lies on a gentle north-west facing slope adjacent to the road leading to Batworthy Farm. Within the pound are a large central hut and a smaller peripheral hut. Several low walls radiate from the central hut and form segmental enclosures.
The pound is sub-circular and bounded by a double wall of massive upright slabs and boulders standing to a maximum height of 1.6 metres. A blocked entrance in the west formerly gave access to a contemporary trackway.
The radial walls are insubstantial lines of partially buried boulders. The central hut consists of a double wall of upright slabs and boulders around 1.4 metres wide and up to 1.2 metres high enclosing an area 11.2 metres in diameter. An entrance lies in the south-south-east margin. The peripheral hut is less well preserved, possessing a partial circle of upright stones enclosing an area 2.8 metres in diameter. There is no obvious entrance.
The 1991 1:2500 survey of Chagford Common (see RCHME Castor survey) indicates that the field system and associated hut circles previously assumed to be contemporary with Round Pound are actually of earlier origin. As such they should no longer be included in this report. These features are divided into several hut clusters and individual huts within a well-developed parallel reave system (see related records).

Timms, S., 1994, 'Deep Breathing to Grimspound': Archaeologists Discover Dartmoor, page 2; plate 1 (Article in Serial). SDV274650.

Ordnance Survey, 2016, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359352.

Pound and hut circle depicted on the modern mapping.

Historic England, 2016, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV359353.

The monument includes (among other features) part of the prehistoric coaxial field system known as North Teign, two broadly contemporary settlements, parts of which continued in use into the Iron Age.
Four of the huts were excavated between 1951 and 1952 by Lady Fox and in the large one within Roundy Pound, evidence of iron smelting was recovered. It is generally accepted that this activity dated to the Iron Age, although the situation is somewhat confused by evidence for reoccupation of the hut during the medieval period.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV160790Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1990. DAP/TV. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper) + Photograph (Digital). 1-4.
SDV177352Article in Serial: Silvester, R. J.. 1979. The Relationship of First Millennium Settlement to the Upland Areas of the South West. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 37. Paperback Volume. 178-179.
SDV223412Article in Serial: Fox, A.. 1953. 20th Report on the Archaeology and Early History of Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 85. A5 Hardback. 171-2.
SDV229808Plan - measured: Probert, S. A. J.. 1991. Castor Parallel System. 1:25,000. Digital.
SDV274620Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry: Unknown. Unknown source. Unknown.
SDV274636Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1956-1974. SX68NE14. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV274640Article in Serial: Cleere, H. F.. 1972. The Classification of Early Iron-Smelting Furnaces. Antiquity. 52. Unknown. 9, figures 1, 11.
SDV274641Aerial Photograph: National Monument Record. 1977. SX6686. National Monument Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 2/59-63.
SDV274646Correspondence: Somers Cocks, J. V.. 1988. Letter regarding Roundy Pound, Gidleigh. Letter. Digital.
SDV274650Article in Serial: Timms, S.. 1994. 'Deep Breathing to Grimspound': Archaeologists Discover Dartmoor. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Exploration Society. 52. Unknown. page 2; plate 1.
SDV274652Aerial Photograph: Devon County Council. 1989. DAP/PJ. Devon County Council Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 14, 15.
SDV274678Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1985. DAP/EM. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 3a.
SDV277946Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. MPP 149130, 2/4/1997.
SDV295065Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/CPE/UK/2082. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 3286-8.
SDV304174Article in Serial: Ormerod, G. W.. 1864. On the Hut Circles on the Eastern Side of Dartmoor. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 20. Unknown. 302-303, plate 20.
SDV304192Monograph: Grinsell, L. V.. 1970. Discovering Regional Archaeology: South Western England. Discovering Regional Archaeology: South Western England. Paperback. 26.
SDV304231Article in Serial: Fox, A.. 1954. Excavations at Kestor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 86. 21-62.
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.
SDV343378Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1984. DAP/DK. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4.
SDV359352Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #96743 ]
SDV359353National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2016. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV359365Report - Survey: Probert, S. A. J.. 1991. Shovel Down Survey. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Archaeological Survey. Unknown.

Associated Monuments

MDV125114Related to: Droveway across the northern part of Chagford Common (Monument)
MDV6114Related to: Kes Tor field system (Monument)
MDV6118Related to: Large hut in Roundy Pound, Gidleigh (Monument)
MDV6115Related to: Reave system on Chagford Common and around Thornworthy Tor (Monument)
MDV59183Related to: Small hut circle in Roundy Pound, Gidleigh (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6903 - Excavation at Round Pound (Batworthy Pound), Kestor

Date Last Edited:Nov 30 2020 1:59PM