Buttern Hill

The northern length of the row. View from the south east (Scale 1m).

Location

England     Cornwall     Bodmin Moor     SX 16956 81658     Lat 50.605853   Long -4.5881901

Simplified plan of the Buttern Hill stone alignment (Source: Johnson, N. and Rose, P., 1994, 32 and fieldwork).

Characteristics

Type: Single Length: 77m
No. of stones: 13 Size of stones: Small, medium and large
Orientation: 22.5° Altitude: 300m
Upper end: – Lower end: –
Straight (Yes or No)  : No Sea View: No
Context:  Cairns
Notes:

Other Information

Public Access:  Yes
Land Status: AONB
Scheduled Ancient Monument: No

Identification

Category: Probable. The northern part of the row appears to protrude from a slight bank. This may mean that this is the unfinished remains of a field boundary, but the lack of other boundaries in the vicinity combined with the possibility that the earthwork has been formed by erosion associated with a path and the fact that the earthwork is confined to only part of the row means that a prehistoric stone row interpretation is more likely particularly when one takes into account the visual relationship with the prominent hill in the area known as Brown Willy.


Individual Stones

Plan of the Buttern Hill stone row showing the position of numbered stones described below (Source: Johnson, N. and Rose, P., 1994, 32 and fieldwork).

Stone 1 measures 1.95m long, 0.44m wide and up to 0.84m high. View from east (Scale 1m). 

Stone 2 measures 0.98m long, 0.48m wide and up to 0.12m high. View from south with Stone 1 beyond (Scale 1m). 

Stone 3 measures 0.59m long, 0.47m wide and up to 0.55m high. View from east with Stone 4 to the left and Stone 2 to the right (Scale 1m). 

Stone 4 measures 1.70m long, 1m wide and up to 0.21m high. View from north with Stone 3 in foreground and the remainder of the row beyond (Scale 1m). 

Stone 5 measures 1.05m long, 0.47m wide and up to 0.40m high. View from north with the remainder of the row beyond  (Scale 1m). 

Stone 6 is largely buried. Only the top protrudes through the turf. View from south (Scale 1m). 

Stone 7 measures 1.15m long, 0.39m wide and up to 0.40m high. View from west (Scale 1m). 

Stone 8 is largely buried. Only the top protrudes through the turf. View from north (Scale 1m). 

Stone 9 measures 1.26m long, 0.90m wide and up to 0.36m high. View from south (Scale 1m). 

Stone 10 measures 1.13m long, 1.13m wide and up to 0.31m high. View from south (Scale 1m). 

Stone 11 measures 0.67m long, 0.63m wide and up to 0.16m high. View from south (Scale 1m). 

Stone 12 is largely buried. Only the top protrudes through the turf. View from north (Scale 1m). 

 Stone 13 measures 1.03m long, 0.48m wide and up to 0.93m high. View from south (Scale 1m). 

Photographs

Looking south along the row (Scale 1m).

Looking north along the row. From this position it is clear that the row is not straight.

View from the south east. The stones along this length seem to protrude from a slight bank. This could be seen to indicate that this site is the remains of an historic field boundary. Other lengths of the row however are not associated with this bank which may represent a path that has developed on the upside of the stones. Only excavation will resolve this quandry, but the absence of any other boundaries in the area very strongly suggest that is probably a prehistoric stone row. 

View of the northern length from the south west (Scale 1m).

View of the northern length from the west (Scale 1m).

Looking north along the northern length of the row (Scale 1m).

Looking north along the northern length of the row (Scale 1m).

The upper end of the row. View from north (Scale 1m).

View from above and south.

View from above and south of the northern length of the row.

A landscape reveal

From the northern end of the row the summit of Brown Willy is visible protruding from behind the nearside hillslope. As you walk down the row Brown Willy slowly disappears before finally vanishing just as you reach the end of the row. This type of visual relationship is found at a large number of other stone rows and the cummulative nature of this evidence points to a powerful relationship between the rows and the landscapes in which they were erected.

Brown Willy from Stone 1.

Brown Willy from Stone 2.

Brown Willy from Stone 3.

Brown Willy from Stone 5.

Brown Willy from Stone 7.

Brown Willy from Stone 9.

Brown Willy from Stone 10.

Brown Willy from Stone 11. Brown Willy disappears a few steps south of this point.

Brown Willy from Stone 13.

Access Information

Car parking is available at SX 18347 82645. Take the track leading south and follow to SX 17898 82272. From here walk around the northern slope of Buttern Hill to the row.

Acknowledgements

Gordon Fisher and Janet Daynes provided considerable help with the fieldwork.

Online Resources 

Megalithic Portal     PastScape     Historic Environment Record

Other References

Burl, A., 1993, From Carnac to Callanish – The prehistoric rows and avenues of Britain, Ireland and Brittany, Yale University Press, New York and London, pg. 214.

Johnson, N. and Rose, P., 1994, Bodmin Moor – An archaeological survey Volume 1: The human landscape to c 1800, English Heritage and RCHME, pg. 32.

 

%d bloggers like this: