Erme Pound, South Brent, Dartmoor National Park

Erme Pound, South Brent, Dartmoor National Park

A pound is an enclosure or space surrounded by a wall. The Erme is a river flowing from Dartmoor's south moor down to the South Devon coast. Erme Pound is an enclosure in the heart of Dartmoor's south moor reasonably close to the headwaters, or start, of the River Erme.

In his book 'High Dartmoor', the Dartmoor expert Eric Hemery states that Erme Pound is 'basically a pound of the early Bronze Age enclosing hut-circles'. He also notes that it was in use 'until the late-eighteenth century as an important collecting-centre for strays [livestock] south of the southern fen, also for long in use as a foldage-pound (ref. 'Foldage'), its remote situation precluded its use as a main drift-pound, with moormen on duty to supervise the security of impounded beasts against breach of the pound'.

Today, Erme Pound is as remote and quiet as Dartmoor gets. That said, it's easily accessible on the Red Lake Railway (Dismantled)/Puffing Billy Track.

We've positioned Erme Pound on Google maps so zoom in on the 'Satellite' setting to see its location. If you look at the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map, you'll see that Erme Pound is also near the middle of the world's longest stone row that's split by the River Erme as it runs north/south from Green Hill to Stall Moor The Dancers Stone Circle.

To visit for the first time, we'd recommend starting from Harford Moor Gate. Wander up to Red Lake Railway (Dismantled)/Puffing Billy Track which is part of the Two Moors Way. Follow this until you see Erme Pound below to the north west. Grass tracks descend across moorland to Erme Pound.

The following outlines other possible routes to Erme Pound. They are summaries and not detailed route descriptions. We've walked them all whilst researching content for this site. Refer to the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map or the Harvey British Mountain Map 'Dartmoor' map for detail.

From the south. The most interesting walk to Erme Pound takes in Stalldown Stone Row and Stall Moor Stone Row. Start from the car parking area at Harford Moor Gate. Wander back down to the church and turn right towards Harford Bridge. Continue past the first gate and you'll come to another one where the moor meets Hall Plantation. Follow the track up to Burford Down and then up to Stalldown Stone Row as marked on the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map. Continue to Stall Moor Stone Row. You'll see Erme Pound across the River Erme.

From the east. Another relatively easy route starts at the car parking area at Shipley Bridge. Follow Zeal Tor Tramway (Dismantled) towards Red Lake China Clay Works and drop down. Alternatively, follow the Abbot's Way from the east as marked on the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map.

From the north. If you want a challenge, try the ancient North-South (Track) Ancient Travel Route. This is difficult and boggy terrain. The route is marked on the Harvey British Mountain Map 'Dartmoor' map. We'd only suggest you do this if you're an experienced walker.

From the west. Follow the Abbot's Way from the west as marked on the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map. Start from one of the car parking areas near Whiteworks. You can also walk from Princetown or the car parking area by Gutter Tor.