Stannon

Stones at the northern end of the row. View from west (scale 1m).

A probable combination single and double stone row measuring at least 144m long, including at least 11 widely spaced small and medium-sized stones situated on a gentle NW facing slope. The row is orientated SSE to NNW and has noteworthy visual links with Brown Will, Rough Tor, Alex Tor and three separate sea views. The row is situated close to a stone circle and there are several cairns and prehistoric settlements with field systems in the vicinity.

Location

England     Cornwall     Bodmin Moor     SX 12539 79944     Lat 50.58899186    Long -4.6497553

Map showing the location of Stannon stone row.

Simplified plan of Stannon stone row (Source: survey at 1:500 by Sandy Gerrard, Gordon Fisher and Janet Daynes).

Plan of the four stones at the northern end of the row (Source: survey at 1:200 by Sandy Gerrard, Gordon Fisher and Janet Daynes).

Characteristics

Type: Single and double Length: 144m
No. of stones: 11 Size of stones: Small and medium
Orientation: 168° Altitude: 251m
Upper end: None Lower end: None
Straight (Yes or No)  : No Sea View: Yes
Context:  Stone circle, prehistoric field system, settlement and cairns
Notes:

Other Information

Public Access:  Yes
Land Status: AONB
Scheduled Ancient Monument: Yes (Partly)

Interpretation

Category: Probable. The presence of other stones in the vicinity means that it is possible that this row is a product of joining the dots and excluding the others. This said the density of stones is not very high and several of the stones forming the row appear edge set. This combined with its close association with a stone circle and a series of land and seascape reveals and the fact that the plan form is consistent with others on Bodmin Moor provide solid evidence to support a prehistoric stone row interpretation.


Typology

This stone row is of Type C10. Information on this form of stone row and other rows of this type is available here.


Photographs

The four northern stones. View from south east (Scale 1m).

The four northern stones. View from west (Scale 1m).

The four northern stones. View from north east (Scale 1m).

The four northern stones. View from north (Scale 1m).

The four northern stones. View from east (Scale 1m).

Individual Stones

Plan of Stannon stone row showing the position of the numbered stones shown below.

Stone 1

Stone 1 measures 0.46m long by 0.24m wide and stands up to 0.66m high. View from west (Scale 30cm). 

Stone 2

Stone 2 measures 0.58m long by 0.35m wide and stands up to 0.66m high (Scale 1m). View from north east Stones 3 and 4 are visible beyond.

Stone 3

Stone 3 measures 0.32m long by 0.13m wide and stands up to 0.33m high. View from south west (Scales 30cm and 1m). 

Stone 4

Stone 4 measures 0.27m long by 0.19m wide and stands up to 0.38m high. View from south west (Scale 1m). 

Stone 5

Stone 5 measures 0.33m long by 0.18m wide and stands up to 0.17m high. View from south west (Scale 1m). 

Stone 6

Stone 6 measures 1.15m long by 0.57m wide and stands up to 0.12m high. View from north with stone 7 in the background (Scale 1m). This recumbent stone probably fell westward.

Stone 7

Stone 7 measures 0.32m long by 0.46m wide and stands up to 0.44m high. View from south with stone 6 in the background (Scale 1m). This stone is visible on the skyline from the northern end of the row.

Stone 7 in the foreground with the Stannon stone circle beyond and Rough Tor on the horizon. View from west (Scale 1m).

Stone 8

Stone 8 measures 0.16m long by 0.07m wide and stands up to 0.07m high. View from south west (Scale 1m). 

Stone 9

Stone 9 measures 1m long by 0.64m wide and stands up to 0.04m high. This stone probably fell eastward. View from east (Scale 1m). 

Stone 10

Stone 10 measures 0.65m long by 0.36m wide and does not protrude sbove the ground surface. View from south west (Scale 1m). 

Stone 11

Stone 11 measures 0.90m long by 0.50m wide and stands up to 0.33m high. This stone probably fell eastward. View from north (Scale 1m). 

Landscape Reveals

Brown Willy

Brown Willy is a prominent hill on Bodmin Moor and is visible from a number of stone rows.  At Buttern Hill it was noted that the hill slowly disappeared behind rising ground as you walk south along the row disappearing a few metres before the end. The same thing happens at Stannon although the direction of travel is different. At Stannon as you walk northward along the row Brown Willy slowly disappears before finally vanishing from sight a few metres short of the end. At both Buttern Hill and Stannon this visual treat feels deliberate and suggest that both rows were positioned to create it. This is also the case at Searle’s Down where the row is aligned on Brown Willy and is also built across the limit of visibility to the hill.

View of Brown Willy from the top of the row at SX 12539 79944.

View of Brown Willy from SX 1253279970. As you walk northward along the row Brown Willy slowly disappears behind the near rising ground.

View of Brown Willy from SX 12522 79997

View of Brown Willy from SX 12524 80004

View of Brown Willy from SX 12522 80012. The stones in the foreground form part of the Stannon stone circle.

View of Brown Willy from SX 12519 80028. The stones in the foreground form part of the Stannon stone circle.

View of Brown Willy from SX 1251880035. The stones in the foreground form part of the Stannon stone circle.

View of Brown Willy from SX 12516 80046. The stones in the foreground form part of the Stannon stone circle.

View of Brown Willy from SX 1251380058

View of Brown Willy from SX 1251080068. By this point a short distance from the northern end of the row only the summit of Brown Willy can be seen. The row is therefore built across the limit of visibilty and it is notable that the point where it disappears is only a few metres from the end of the row. 

Alex Tor

The Stannon stone row is also built across the limit of visibilty to Alex Tor. The tor is visible from the lower part of the row and slowly disappears as you walk up hill along the row finally vanishing at SX 12534 79594 beside Stone 10, 17m from the top. Whether this was deliberate or not is much more difficult to assess, but the possibilty must exisit that the row was sited to incorporate this reveal.

Alex Tor from SX 12511 80081

Alex Tor from SX 12523 80013

Stannon Alex Tor from SX 12527 79987

Stannon Alex Tor from SX 12533 79968

At SX 12534 79960 17m from the upper end of the row Alex Tor is no longer visible.

Rough Tor

This tor is visible along the entire of the row but Alan Simkins (who joined us on the visit to this site) immediately noted a very precise visual treat from Stone 11 at the top of the row. Standing at Stone 11 a large granite rock lines up precisely with a pronounced notch in Rough Tor. A coincidence, perhaps, but nevertheless a visual treat and one that may have been of signifcance to the row builders.

 

Stone 11 in the foreground, the triangular rock beyond and Rough Tor on the horizon.

Sea Views

From the top (southern end) of the row there are three separate views of the sea. As you walk north down the row these sea views disappear one after the other. The illustration below shows the nature of the sea view along separate lengths of the row. The length with a view of three separate views of the sea is labelled 3 sea views. Whilst the visibility on the day was clesr enough to permit an assessment of the sea views it was not clear enough to permit helpful photography. That the row was built across so many limits of visibility to separate sea views may be of significance partucularly given the known links found at other sites. At the top of the row the seaparate sea views are present at 252°, 270° and 273°. The first sea view to disappear is the one at 252°, the second to vanish is the one at 273° and finally close to the northern end of the row the one at 270° is lost.

 

Illustration showing the parts of rows with different types of sea view.

Acknowledgements

Janet Daynes and Gordon Fisher helped with the surveying and Alan Simkins contributed to other aspects of the fieldwork and subsequent discussions. Their support is as always much appreciated.

Access Information

Car parking is available at SX 12330 80127. From here it is a short walk to the row and adjacent stone circle.

Online Resources 

Megalithic Portal     PastScape     Historic Environment Record


Timeline

VISITED:- 31st July 2018

FIRST PUBLISHED:- 14th September 2018

LAST UPDATED:- 14th September 2018

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