Dartmoor

Lakehead, East stone row leading towards a large cist.

Dartmoor in the South West of England has the densest concentration of stone alignments in Great Britain. At least 82 stone alignments are currently known and most have survived to the present day. The character of the alignments varies considerably, but all consist of at least three stones aligned along a common axis. The remarkable survival of so many rows in a relatively small area is likely to be a result of later land use, but considerable antiquarian and later interest has almost certainly played a role. Most of the alignments have been surveyed and recorded by Jeremy Butler who has published this information in his extremely informative “Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities”. Other helpful work has been carried out by R.N. and R.H. Worth, D.D. Emmett, Bill Radcliffe and Dave Parks whilst the Royal Commission (now part of Historic England) and the local Historic Environment Records provide further information online at PastScape and the Heritage Gateway.

Map showing location of Dartmoor

Google Map showing the distribution of Dartmoor stone alignments.
Click on top right hand symbol to open a larger version.

Dartmoor stone rows at a glimpse

Dartmoor stone row plans

Simplified plans of the stone rows on Dartmoor. Click on the image to open a higher resolution version.

Dartmoor stone rows in charts

 

Pie charts showing the proportions of different types of stone row on Dartmoor and Great Britain. Click on image to see a higher resolution version.

Single and double rows together account for nearly 90% of the rows and interestingly both types are found in almost identical numbers. The Dartmoor stone row builders therefore had an equal preference for single and double types and only rarely built rows with more than two rows of stones. These figures are very different to the figures for Great Britain as a whole where single rows account for nearly 60% of the total and double rows are significantly less common. It is also worth noting that multiple rows are as as a percentage more common in Great Britain, although of course most of them are found in Caithness and Sutherland in northern Scotland.

 

 Pie charts showing the proportions of different lengths of Dartmoor and British stone rows. Click on image to see a higher resolution version.

A much greater proportion of the Dartmoor rows are longer than those found elsewhere in Great Britain and the very short rows found elsewhere are much rarer on the moor. nearly two thirds of the rows on Dartmoor are longer than 100m whilst elsewhere just under a third are this long. There is likely to be a reason for this significant difference and further analysis may provide an explanation. It is unlikely to be solely the result of differential survival and is more likely to be the result of functional or perhaps temporal differences. A conclusion may emerge as further work is carried out.

Pie charts showing the proportions of different numbers of stones recorded at Dartmoor and British stone rows. Click on image to see a higher resolution version.

The number of stones found at British rows is fairly even, but on Dartmoor a greater proportion of the rows have 20 or more stones. This is a reflection of their greater length but certainly emphasises the difference between the rows on Dartmoor and those elsewhere.

 

Pie charts showing the proportions of different stone sizes recorded at Dartmoor and British stone rows. Click on image to see a higher resolution version.

Compared to Great Britain as a whole the Dartmoor stones have a much bigger proportion of rows with stones of all sizes and a much smaller proportion of rows composed entirely of large stones.  The proportion of rows with only small and medium stones is however very similar to the country as a whole.

Radar graph showing the orientation of Dartmoor and British stone rows.

The orientation of the Dartmoor rows is fairly similar to that for Great Britain as a whole, although there is a slightly greater emphasis on north to south orientated rows and a more marked paucity of north west to south east orientated rows. This seems unlikely to be a coincidence although the reasons are not at all apparent.

Dartmoor stone rows in numbers
No. of alignments 82
Number of single alignments 37
Number of double alignments 35
Number of triple alignments 5
Number of multiple alignments 2
Number of combination alignments 3
Maximum length 3386m
Minimum length 2.97m
Average length 213m
Longest row Upper Erme
Shortest row Merrivale 4
Total number of recorded stones 5391
Average number of stones in each row 67
Alignments including small stones 67
Alignments including medium stones 61
Alignments including large stones 36
Average orientation 75°
Average altitude 360m
Highest row Cut Hill (600m)
Lowest row Cantrell (230m)
Cairn at the top of alignment 48
Cairn at the bottom of alignment 11
Scheduled alignments 65
Individual Rows

A summary of information for the individual stone alignments can be viewed by clicking on the site names below.  Whilst it is believed that the existing information is accurate, mistakes inevitably occur and should you spot any your help in improving this resource would be much appreciated. Your help will of course be fully acknowledged. Please use the contact button to get in touch.

Assycombe

A double stone row measuring 125m long, including at least 133 mainly small with some medium and large-sized stones situated in a forestry clearing on a north west facing slope. The row is orientated ENE to WSW and was restored in the 1890’s. There is a kerbed cairn at the ENE end and a blocking stone at the lower WSW end. A later reave cuts across the row and a stone round house built nearby was presumably constructed at the same time.

 

 


Black Tor (Avon)

A double stone row measuring 56m long, including at least 22 small-sized stones situated on a south east facing slope. The row is orientated north west to south east and there is a cairn at the upper northern western end. The row stands near a second cairn and prehistoric settlements.

 

 

 

 


Black Tor (Stanlake)

A double stone row measuring 295m long, including at least 54 mainly medium-sized and some small stones situated on a south facing slope with restricted views that include a glimpse of the sea.  The row is orientated north east to south west and leads upslope from a cairn at the south west end to a blocking stone. Much of the row is buried below a later field bank, but despite this its original form is apparent. There are several other stone rows, cairns and prehistoric settlements in the vicinity.

 

 


Brent Fore Hill

A double stone row measuring 120m long, including at least 32 small and medium-sized stones situated on a south facing slope with a sea view reveal. The row is orientated north east to south west and there is a kerbed cairn at the upper north eastern end. A gap between the visible end of the row and kerbed cairn is probably the result of robbing. The row stands near a long cairn, three stone rows, several round cairns, prehistoric settlements and field systems.

 

 


Burford Down

A single stone row measuring 508m long, including at least 99 mainly small and medium-sized together with a few large stones situated on a north facing slope with two separate sea view reveals. The row is orientated north to south and there is a kerbed cairn at the upper southern end. The row stands in the vicinity of a stone row, several cairns and prehistoric settlements.

 

 

 


Butterbrook 1

A double stone row measuring 25.6m long, including at least 10 small and medium-sized stones situated immediately next to another stone row on a south facing valley slope. The row is orientated NNE to SSW, leads from a second row and there is a small cairn at the lower SSW end. Another way of looking at this site is that it forms part of a multiple row that shrinks to a single row somewhat reminiscent of the situation at Learable Hill 1.

 

 

 


Butterbrook 2

A single stone row measuring 198m long, including at least 37 small and large-sized stones situated immediately next to another stone row on a south facing valley slope. The row is orientated north east to south west and is butted by a second row. Another way of looking at this site is that it forms part of a multiple row that shrinks to a single row somewhat reminiscent of the situation at Learable Hill 1.

 

 


Butterdon, East

A single stone row measuring 55m long, including three substantial stones situated on a gentle east facing slope with an extensive viewshed.   The two largest stones are recumbent and only a stump and fragment remain of the third. When standing the end stones would have been taller than 5m. The row is orientated ENE to WSW. The row has a sea view and stands in the vicinity of five stone rows, several cairns and prehistoric settlements.

 


Butterdon Hill

A single stone row measuring 1,973m long, including at least 557 different sized stones situated mainly on a long ridge. The row is orientated north to south and leads from a kerbed cairn at the lower southern end to a pillar at the north. There are several landscape and sea view reveals. One stone has a small cross carved on it, perhaps an attempt to Christianise the row. The row stands in the vicinity of seven stone rows, large numbers of cairns and some prehistoric round houses.

 


Cantrell

A double stone row measuring 48m long, including at least 18 small and medium-sized stones situated on a south facing slope next to a derelict tramway. The row is orientated north east to south west and leads from a cairn at the upper north eastern end. The row has a sea view.

 

 

 


Challacombe Down

A triple stone row measuring at least 145.65m long, including 68 mainly medium-sized stones together with some small and large-sized stones situated on a north facing slope with landscape reveals. The row is orientated NNW to SSE and was partly restored in the 1890’s. The largest stone is at the SSE end and the NNW end may have been truncated by tinworking.

 

 


Cholwichtown

A single stone row that measured 217m long, including at least 44 mainly medium-sized stones together with some small stones situated on a former spur. The row was orientated NNE to SSW, there was a cairn at the upper NNE end and a tall pillar at the other. The row was excavated in 1961 prior to its destruction, but no artefacts or other dating material was found.

 

 

 


Collard Tor E

A single stone row measuring 65m long, including at least 29 mainly medium-sized stones together with some small and large stones situated on a south facing slope. The row is orientated north to south, there is a kerbed cairn at the upper northern end and a pillar at the other. The row stands near another row with cairn.

 

 


Collard Tor W

A single stone row measuring 83.5m long, including at least 27 mainly medium-sized stones together with some small stones situated on a south facing slope. The row is orientated north to south, there is a cairn at the upper northern end and a pillar at the other. The row stands near another row with cairn.

 

 

 


Conies Down

A double stone row measuring 174.2m long, including at least 41 mainly small with some medium-sized stones situated on an east facing slope adjacent to the Lych Way. The row is orientated north to south and has noteworthy landscape and sea view reveals and links.

 

 


 Corringdon Ball, North

A single stone row measuring 132m long, including at least 21 small and medium-sized stones situated on a south facing slope. The row is orientated north east to south west and there is a kerbed cairn at the lower north eastern end. The row stands next to another stone row and several cairns.

 

 

 


Corringdon Ball, South

A multiple stone row measuring 178m long, including at least 247 mainly small-sized together with some medium-sized stones arranged in at least 7 separate lines and situated on a south facing slope. The row is orientated north east to south west and there is a kerbed cairn at the lower north eastern end. This row is unique in Great Britain consisting as it does of parallel lines of stones rather than the usual fan-shaped arrangement. The row stands next to another stone row and several cairns.

 


Cosdon

The most impressive triple stone row in Great Britain measures 146m long and includes 127 small, medium and large-sized stones situated on an east facing terrace on the lower slopes of Cosdon Hill. Unusually, the blocking stones are at the upper end and separate the row from a cairn with two cists. The row is orientated east to west and well worth the effort of getting to.

 

 

 


Cut Hill

A single stone row measuring at least 215m long, including 9 recumbent large-sized stones situated at the summit of Cut Hill.  A hilltop location is unusual for a stone row. The row is orientated north east to south west and is associated with a possible barrow. A C14 date from the material below one of the stones suggested that the row dated to around 3620BC, but this relies on the assumption that the ground on which it was placed had been previously undisturbed. A more likely scenario is that the row was built around 2600BC.

 

 


Drizzlecombe 1

A combination single and double stone row measuring 149.5m long, including at least 86 mainly medium-sized stones together with some small and large stones situated on a south west facing slope. The row is orientated north east to south west, there is a cairn at the upper (NE) end and a tall pillar at the other. The row, partly restored in 1893, stands near two other rows, several cairns and prehistoric settlements.

 


Drizzlecombe 2

A single stone row measuring 83.2m long, including at least 14 mainly medium-sized stones together with some small and large stones situated on a south west facing slope. The row is orientated north east to south west, there is a cairn at the upper (NE) end and a tall pillar at the other. The row, partly restored in 1893, stands near two other rows, several cairns and prehistoric settlements.

 


Drizzlecombe 3

A single stone row measuring 149.5m long, including at least 73 mainly medium-sized stones together with some small and large stones situated on a south west facing slope. The row is orientated north east to south west, there is a cairn at the upper (NE) end and a tall pillar at the other. The row, partly restored in 1893, stands near two other rows, several cairns and prehistoric settlements.

 

 

 

 


Fernworthy 1

A double stone row measuring 101m long, including at least 47 small-sized stones forming part of a cluster of three stone rows, a stone circle and five cairns. This row is situated in a forestry clearing on an east facing slope and is orientated NNE to SSW. The row may have sea view and landscape reveals.

 

 

 

 


Fernworthy 2

A double stone row measuring 20.5m long, including at least 6 small-sized stones forming part of a cluster of three stone rows, a stone circle and five cairns. This row is situated in a forestry clearing on a terrace, is orientated north to south and leads south from a small cairn.

 


Fernworthy 3

A double stone row measuring 31m long, including at least 15 mainly small and some medium-sized stones forming part of a cluster of three stone rows, a stone circle and five cairns. This row is situated in a forestry clearing on a terrace, is orientated north to south and leads south from a small cairn.

 

 

 

 


Glasscombe Ball, North

A combination single and double stone row measuring 84.5m long, including 24 recumbent stones of different sizes situated on a ridge summit.  The row is orientated north east to south west and is in the vicinity of six stone rows and  several cairns.

 

 

 


Glasscombe Corner

A single stone row measuring 173m long, including at least 82 small and medium-sized stones situated on an east facing slope. The row is orientated north east to south west and there is a kerbed cairn at the lower north eastern end. The row stands in the vicinity of four stone rows, several cairns and prehistoric settlements.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hamel Down

A single stone row measuring 217m long, including at least 6 medium-sized stones situated within a relict historic field system on an east facing slope. The row is orientated ENE to WSW and there is a cairn at the WSW end.  The row stands close to a later prehistoric settlement and there are a number of other cairns in the vicinity.

 

 


Hart Tor, North

A fine double stone row measuring 126m long, including at least 88 mainly medium-sized stones together with some small-sized stones situated on a west facing slope with restricted views that include a glimpse of the sea. The row is orientated ENE to WSW and leads downslope from a kerbed cairn at the ENE end. The WSW end has probably been truncated by tin streamworking. There is a second stone row, several cairns, a reave and prehistoric settlements in the vicinity.

 

 

 


Hart Tor, South

A single stone row measuring 56.4m long, including 15 mainly medium-sized stones together with some small-sized stones situated on a west facing slope with restricted views. The row is orientated ENE to WSW and leads downslope from a cairn at the ENE end. There is a second stone row, several cairns, a reave and prehistoric settlements in the vicinity.

 

 

 


Higher White Tor

A double stone row measuring 95.4m long, including at least 36 mainly small with some medium-sized stones situated on a south facing slope. The row is orientated NNE to SSW and has both landscape and sea view reveals and links.

 

 


Hingston Hill

An impressive single stone row measuring 351m long, originally including around 174 mainly medium and small-sized stones together with some large orthostats situated in a slight col between high ground to the south west and north east. The row is orientated ENE to WSW and has a sea view reveal and visual links to the landscape.  There is a cairn at the upper (WSW) end and a tall pillar at the other. The row stands near a circular enclosure, several cairns, cists, prehistoric settlements and reaves.

 

 


Holne Moor

A triple stone row measuring 147.5m long, including 61 mainly small-sized stones and three large slabs situated on an east facing slope immediately outside a substantial prehistoric coaxial field system.  The row is orientated ESE to WNW and unusually leads between blocking stones at the top and bottom. The stone pair at the top of the row represented by large recumbent slabs is a unique feature. There is another stone row, cairns and prehistoric settlements with fields in the vicinity.

 

 

 


Holne Ridge, North

A double stone row measuring 28m long, including 7 medium-sized stones situated on a west facing slope.  The row is orientated east to west and leads downslope from a cairn a short distance beyond the eastern end. There is another stone row, cairns and prehistoric settlements with fields in the vicinity.

 

 

 

 


Hook Lake

A single stone row measuring 227m long, including at least 92 mainly medium-sized stones and a few small stones situated on a south west facing slope with sea view and landscape reveals. The row is orientated north to south and leads downslope (south) from a cairn. The southern length of the row is partly incorporated into a prehistoric enclosure wall and at one-point a round house has been built up against one of the row stones. There are several prehistoric settlements in the immediate vicinity.

 

 


Hurston Ridge

A splendid double stone row measuring 143.5m long, including at least 99 mainly medium-sized stones together with some small and large-sized stones situated on a north facing slope with extensive views over North Devon. The row is orientated NNE to SSW and was restored in the 1890’s. There is a cairn at the SSW end and a blocking stone at the lower NNE end. A later enclosure boundary cuts across the row and a prehistoric settlement built nearby was presumably constructed at the same time.

 


Lakehead Hill, East

A single stone row measuring 12m long, including at least 11 closely-spaced medium-sized stones situated on a prominent ridge. The row is orientated east to west and stands close to another row and several cairns. The row seems to be earlier than the kerbed cairn with cist at its western end although it has been suggested that this may be a result of a bodged restoration in 1895. Longaford Tor which is not visible from most of the row is suddenly revealed at its western end.

 

 


Lakehead Hill Summit

A single stone row measuring 19.9m long, including at least 12 small and medium-sized stones situated on a prominent ridge. The row is orientated east to west and stands close to another row and several cairns. Two small stones next to the eastern stones may indicate that this was either originally a double row or possibly a combination of the two types. The row is seemingly aligned on Longaford Tor.

 

 

 


Langstone Moor

A single stone row measuring 118m long, including at least 27 mainly small-sized stones situated in a col between high ground to the west and east. The row is orientated north to south and leads between a substantial orthostat at the lower southern end to a mutilated cairn at the north. The large orthostat was re-erected in 1893 and limited excavation in 1895 revealed that the socket holes were small.

 

 

 

 


Laughter Tor 1

A double stone row measuring 164m long, including at least 26 mainly medium, but with some small-sized stones and one large orthostat situated on a south facing slope. The WNW end of the row is denoted by a small cairn and standing stone (2.65m high) which was re-erected in 1893 and again in 1911. Excavation of the cairn revealed considerable quantities of charcoal. The row is orientated ESE to WNW and stands close to another stone row.

 

 


Laughter Tor 2

A double stone row measuring 8.2m long, including at least 10 medium-sized stones situated on a gently sloping south facing terrace. The row is orientated ESE to WNW and stands close to another stone row.

 

 

 

 

 


Leeden Tor

A single stone row measuring 165m long, including 14 medium-sized stones situated on an east facing slope with restricted views that include a glimpse of the sea.  The row is orientated ESE to WNW and leads downslope from a cairn at the WNW end. A later reave has been built across the row and there are several other stone rows, cairns and prehistoric settlements in the vicinity.

 

 

 

 

 


Little Links Tor

A probable single stone row measuring 74m long, including at least five medium and large-sized stones situated on a west facing slope with sea and landscape visual links and reveals. The stones stand up to 0.67m high and form a row orientated east to west. There are prehistoric settlements and cairns within the vicinity. There is a small chance that the stones represent an unfinished field boundary.

 

 


Merrivale 1

A fine double stone row measuring 183m long, including at least 169 mainly medium-sized stones together with some small and large-sized stones situated on a gentle west facing slope with extensive views towards Bodmin Moor. The row is orientated east to west and the original blocking stone at the lower (west) end is long gone. A second stone set across the row and denoting the upper eastern end is considered to be the last remaining stone forming a kerb around a cairn. This row forms part of an impressive ritual complex including six stone rows, nine cairns and a stone circle. There is also a later prehistoric settlement in the vicinity.

 


Merrivale 2

A fine double stone row measuring 263.5m long, including at least 169 mainly medium-sized stones together with some small and large-sized stones situated on a gentle west facing slope with extensive views towards Bodmin Moor. The row is orientated east to west, unusually, the blocking stone is at the upper (east) end and uniquely the row is interrupted at one point by a small kerbed cairn with cist. A restricted view of the sea may be of significance.  This row forms part of an impressive ritual complex including six stone rows, nine cairns and a stone circle. There is also a later prehistoric settlement in the vicinity.


Merrivale 3

A single stone row measuring 60m long, including 14 small-sized stones situated on a gentle west facing slope with extensive views towards Bodmin Moor. The row is orientated NNE to SSW and the stone at the NNE end has been incorporated into a cairn suggesting that the cairn was added later. A restricted view of the sea may be of significance.  This row forms part of an impressive ritual complex including six stone rows, nine cairns and a stone circle. There is also a later prehistoric settlement in the vicinity.


Merrivale 4

A single stone row measuring at least 2.97m long, including three small-sized stones situated on a gentle south facing slope with extensive views towards Bodmin Moor. The row is orientated north to south and a restricted view of the sea may be of significance.  Excavation in 1895 failed to find any addition socket holes. This row forms part of an impressive ritual complex including six stone rows, nine cairns and a stone circle. There is also a later prehistoric settlement in the vicinity.

 

 

 

 


Merrivale 5

A probable single stone row measuring at least 5.6m long, including two small-sized stones and a large orthostat standing 3.2m high situated on a gentle south facing slope with extensive views towards Bodmin Moor. The row is orientated east to west and has a precise and definable visual link with Hollow Tor. A restricted view of the sea may also be of significance.  This row forms part of an impressive ritual complex including six stone rows, nine cairns and a stone circle. There is also a later prehistoric settlement in the vicinity.

 

 


Merrivale 6

A probable single stone row measuring at least 6.4m long, including small-sized stones situated on a gentle south facing slope with extensive views towards Bodmin Moor. The row is orientated east to west and a restricted view of the sea may be of significance.  This row forms part of an impressive ritual complex including six stone rows, nine cairns and a stone circle. There is also a later prehistoric settlement in the vicinity.

 

 


Penn Beacon, South

A single stone row measuring 32.5m long, including at least 11 mainly medium-sized stones and a few small-sized stones situated on a south facing slope. The row is orientated WNW to ESE, unusually follows the contour and is situated close to the junction of two later reaves.  Nearby are two further stone rows, cairns and several prehistoric settlements.

 


Penn Beacon, SW

A double stone row measuring 5.8m long, including 4 medium-sized stones situated on a south west facing slope. The row is orientated north east to south west and leads from a large cairn. This row was almost certainly originally much longer. Nearby are two further stone rows, cairns and several prehistoric settlements.

 


Piles Hill

A double stone row (or avenue) measuring 865m long, including at least 120 recumbent large-sized orthostats leading across on a wide ridge. The row is orientated east to west and both ends were probably denoted by large pillars. When standing this was probably the most impressive row on Dartmoor. The fact that all the stones are recumbent strongly suggests that they were deliberately felled. There are four other stone rows in the vicinity together with several cairns and prehistoric settlements.

 


Ringmoor Down

A single stone row measuring 369m long, including at least 27 mainly medium-sized stones and a few large orthostats situated on a spur with dramatic sea view and landscape reveals. The row is orientated NNE to SSW, leads downslope from a kerbed cairn standing at the SSW end, stands within a relict historic field system and most of the stones survive in a cluster at the southern end. The row stands near a stone circle and several cairns.

 

 

 


Sharpitor, NE

A double stone row measuring 27.5m long, including 9 mainly small and some medium-sized stones situated in a col between high ground to the north east and south west.  The row is orientated east to west and leads downslope from a cairn at the western end. There are several stone rows, cairns and prehistoric settlements with fields in the vicinity and a reave passes close to the eastern end of the row.

 

 


Sharpitor, NW 1

A double stone row measuring 113m long, including at least 45 mainly small with some medium and large-sized stones situated on both sides of a ridge. The row is orientated ENE to WSW and has a sea view reveal and visual links to the landscape.  There is a small cairn at the upper (WSW) end and a blocking stone at the lower (ENE) end. The row stands near three other rows, several cairns, prehistoric settlement, fields and reaves.

 


Sharpitor, NW 2

A single stone row measuring 133m long, including at least 30 mainly small with some medium-sized stones situated on both sides of a ridge. The row is orientated ENE to WSW and has a sea view reveal and visual links to the landscape.  There is a cairn at the upper (WSW) end. The row stands near three other rows, several cairns, prehistoric settlement, fields and reaves.

 


Sharpitor, West

A single stone row measuring 132m long, including at least 54 mainly medium-sized stones together with some small and large stones situated on a south west facing slope. The row is orientated north east to south west, there is a cairn at the upper (NE) end and a tall pillar at the other. An usual feature is a stone set next to the row midway along its length. The row stands near three other rows, several cairns, prehistoric settlement and fields.

 

 


Shaugh Moor

A single stone row measuring 179m long, including at least 71 mainly small-sized stones and a few medium stones situated on a north west facing slope with a dramatic sea view reveal. The row is orientated NNE to SSW, leads downslope from a kerbed cairn standing at the SSW end and stands just outside the terminal reave of a prehistoric coaxial field system. Nearby are two further cairns and several prehistoric settlements.

 

 

 


Shell Top, SW

A single stone row measuring 73.5m long, including at least 31 mainly medium-sized stones and a few large orthostats situated on a west facing slope. The row is orientated NNW to SSE, leads upslope from a cairn standing at the SSE end, terminates at a large recumbent orthostat and stands just outside the terminal reave of a prehistoric coaxial field system. Nearby are two further stone rows, cairns and several prehistoric settlements.

 

 

 


Sherberton Common

A possible double stone row that measured 68.6m long situated on a gently sloping south facing slope. The row was destroyed in 1897 shortly after its discovery. The rows are described as being between 8 and 9 feet apart and included some contiguous stones. It is possible that it was a field boundary, but Worth, R.N. was convinced that it was a stone row. It may be significant that its location was described as “nearly at the central point of a semi—circle embracing Bel, Mel and Sharp Tors”. This may be the earliest appreciation of the landscape context of stone row.

 

 


Sherberton Row

A double stone row measuring 117m long, including at least 34 small-sized stones situated on a north facing slope. The row is orientated north to south and points towards a stone circle a short distance away to the south on the other side of the hill. It is not known if the row ever reached the stone circle, but it seems likely.

 

 

 

 


Shoveldown 1

A single stone row measuring 540m long, including at least 99 small-sized stones forming part of a cluster of six stone rows, a stone circle and three cairns. This row is situated on the north and east facing slopes of a small hill , is orientated north to south and stands close to a later prehistoric settlement and partly within a coaxial field system.

 

 

 

 


Shoveldown 2

A double stone row measuring 182m long, including at least 40 small, medium and large-sized stones forming part of a cluster of six stone rows, a stone circle and three cairns. This row is situated on a north facing slope, is orientated north to south and stands close to a later prehistoric settlement and coaxial field system. The upper end of the row is denoted by a kerbed cairn formed by concentric circles of stones.

 

 

 


Shoveldown 3

A double stone row measuring 155m long, including at least 71 small and medium-sized stones forming part of a cluster of six stone rows, a stone circle and three cairns. This row is situated on a north facing slope, is orientated NNW to SSE and stands close to a later prehistoric settlement and coaxial field system.

 

 

 

 


Shoveldown 4

A double stone row measuring 118m long, including at least 70 small and medium-sized stones forming part of a cluster of six stone rows, a stone circle and three cairns. This row is situated on a north facing slope, is orientated NNW to SSE and stands close to a later prehistoric settlement and within a coaxial field system. The upper end of the row is denoted by a small cairn.

 

 

 

 


Shoveldown 5

A double stone row measuring 148m long, including at least 78 mainly small-sized stones, but with some medium-sized stones and one large orthostat forming part of a cluster of six stone rows, a stone circle and three cairns. This row is situated on a south facing slope, is orientated north to south and stands close to a later prehistoric settlement and within a coaxial field system.  The lower end of the row is denoted by a tall standing stone known as the Long Stone.

 

 

 


Shoveldown 6

A much-mutilated double stone row measuring 170m long, now including only two small and two large-sized stones forming part of a cluster of six stone rows, a stone circle and three cairns. This row is situated on a south facing slope, is orientated north to south and stands close to a later prehistoric settlement and coaxial field system.

 

 

 

 


Soussons Down

A triple stone row that measured 62m long and included seven small stones and numerous fallen and buried stones when first described in 1898 after robbing for a newtake wall was subsequently destroyed by afforestation in 1946. The row was orientated north to south and led from a cairn which still survives at its upper northern end. There are several other cairns in the vicinity.

 

 

 

 


Spurrell’s Cross

A double stone row measuring 119m long, including at least 38 small and medium-sized stones situated on a narrow ridge. The row is orientated NNW to SSE and leads from a cairn at the upper SSE end. The row has a sea view reveal and stands in the vicinity of five stone rows, several cairns and prehistoric settlements.

 

 

 


Stalldon Row

An impressive single stone row measuring 859m long, including at least 119 mainly large-sized orthostats stones and a few medium-sized stones situated on a flat hilltop and south west facing slope with a sea view reveal. The row is orientated north to south and leads upslope from a kerbed cairn standing at the southern end. The southern part of the row includes only recumbent slabs and the northern length upright stones which were re-erected around 1897. Nearby are a further 10 cairns.

 

 


Stalldown, SE

A probable single stone row measuring 21m long, including at least seven small and medium-sized stones situated on a gentle south facing slope. The row is orientated north to south and is situated close to two later reaves and is built across the limit of visibility to Plymouth Sound.  Nearby are several cairns and a substantial prehistoric settlement.

 

 

 


Tottiford Reservoir 1

A double stone row measuring 147m long, including at least 17 small and medium-sized stones situated in a reservoir in a narrow valley.  There is a further stone row, stone circle and mound in the immediate vicinity. The row is orientated NNW to SSE and was partly excavated in 2010. A C14 date of 4590-4450 cal. BC from the fill of a socket is considered to have come from earlier material incorporated into the fill and therefore of no dating value.

 

 

 

 

 


Tottiford Reservoir 2

A possible single stone row measuring 60m long, including at least 14 small-sized stones situated in a reservoir in a narrow valley.  There is a further stone row, stone circle and mound in the immediate vicinity. The row is orientated east to west and excavation revealed that the stones had been placed in a linear cut which the excavators suggested might be a boundary feature.  It however shares more characteristics with a row than a boundary.


 

Treeland Brake

A probable single stone row of unknown length, included at least 10 medium-sized stones of which five were upright in the late 1950’s. The row was orientated north east to south west and was destroyed before 1977.  A photograph taken by Mr H.G. Hurrell shows the five standing stones and it certainly looks like a stone row. However, a 1940’s aerial photograph of this field shows a possible prehistoric field system and for this reason this row should be considered probable. The row stood near a long cairn, three stone rows, several round cairns, prehistoric settlements and field systems.

 


Trendlebere Down

A combination single and double stone row measuring 119m long, including 18 stones of different sizes situated on a north east facing slope. The row is orientated north to south and leads from a large cairn at the upper southern end. There is another small cairn in the immediate vicinity.

 

 

 

 


Trowlesworthy 1

A fine double stone row measuring 127.7m long, including at least 110 mainly medium-sized stones together with some small and large stones situated on a south west facing slope. The row is orientated north to south and there is a kerbed cairn at the upper northern end. The row stands near another row, cairns and prehistoric settlements.

 

 

 

 


Trowlesworthy 2

A single stone row measuring 82m long, including at least 44 mainly medium-sized stones together with some small and large stones situated on a south west facing slope. The row is orientated east to west, there is a cairn at the upper eastern end and a tall pillar at the other. The row stands near another row, cairns and prehistoric settlements.

 

 

 

 


Upper Erme Row

The longest prehistoric stone row in the world is of the single type and  measures 3,386m long, including around 922 mainly medium and small-sized stones together with some large orthostats situated in the Erme Valley. The row, which is sinuous in character is orientated north to south has a sea view reveal and visual links to the landscape.  There are cairns at the both ends, the one at the south is kerbed and the upper one at the north is surprisingly small and nondescript. The row passes through a landscape rich in prehistoric archaeology.

 

 


 

White Ridge

A double stone row measuring 582m long, including at least 167 mainly small-sized stones together with some medium and large-sized stones situated on a south west facing slope with a series of landscape reveals. The row is orientated north to south, there is a cairn at the northern end and a blocking stone at the lower southern end. There are several other cairns and prehistoric settlements in the vicinity.

 

 


Yar Tor

A triple stone row measuring at least 250m long, including at least 124 mainly small-sized stones together with some medium and a few large-sized stones situated in a col between high ground to the west and east with landscape and sea view reveals. The row is orientated NNW to SSE and has survived despite being within an historic field system. There is a kerbed cairn at the top (SSE) of the row together with other cairns and prehistoric settlements in the vicinity.

 

 


Yardworthy

A double stone row measuring 9m long, including at least five small-sized stones orientated NNE to SSW and situated on a flat-topped ridge. The upper end of the row is denoted by a small cairn.

 

 

 

 


Yellowmead Down

A multiple stone row, possibly of the fan-shaped tye measuring 28.4m long, including 17 small and medium-sized stones arranged in at least 8 separate lines and situated on a south west facing slope. The row is orientated ENE to WSW and as five of the rows include only a single slab the original form of the row is ambiguous.  The rows lead downslope (westward) from an impressive concentric stone circle. The row stands near several cairns.

 

 


Typology

There is considerable variety in the form of the stone rows. Seventeen different types of row have been identified in this region:

Single Rows

S1.  Short single row composed of less than 10 small and medium sized stones (2) [Merrivale 4 and Merrivale 6].

S3.  Short single row composed of less than 10 different sized stones (1) [Merrivale 5].

S4.  Short single row composed of more than 10 small and medium sized stones (2) [Lakehead Hill, East and Lakehead Hill Summit].

S7.  Long single row composed of less than 10 small and medium sized stones (2) [Hamel Down and Stalldown, SE].

S8.  Long single row composed of less than 10 large sized stones (2) [Butterdon, East and Cut Hill].

S9.  Long single row composed of less than 10 different sized stones (1) [Little Links Tor].

S10.  Long single row composed of more than 10 small and medium sized stones (13) [e.g Burford Down and Shaugh Moor].

S12  Long single row composed of more than 10 different sized stones (14 ) [e.g. Drizzlecombe 2 and Hingston Hill].

Double Rows

D1.  Short double row composed of less than 10 small and medium sized stones (2) [Penn Beacon, SW and Yardworthy].

D4.  Short double row composed of more than 10 small and medium sized stones (1) [Laughter Tor 2].

D7.  Long double row composed of less than 10 small and medium sized stones (3) (e.g. Fernworthy 2 and Sharpitor NE].

D9.  Long double row composed of less than 10 different sized stones (1) [Shoveldown 6].

D10.  Long double row composed of more than 10 small and medium sized stones (18) [e.g. Conies Down and Hart Tor, North].

D11.  Long double row composed of more than 10 large sized stones (1) [Piles Hill].

D12.  Long double row composed of more than 10 different sized stones (11) [e.g. Hurston Ridge and Merrivale 1].

Triple Rows

T12.  Long triple row composed of more than 10 different sized stones (4) [e.g. Challacombe Down and Cosdon].

Multiple Rows

M10.  Long multiple row composed of more than 10 small and medium sized stones (2) [Corringdon Ball, South and Yellowmead].

Most categories include a small number of rows, but some have many more and looking at these provides an insight into the characteristic of the Dartmoor rows.  Long double rows composed of more than 10 small and medium sized stones (D10) are the most common form of row on Dartmoor with 18 examples being recorded. Long single rows composed of more than 10 different sized stones (S12) are also relatively common with 14 examples, although long single rows composed of more than 10 small and medium sized stones (S10) are also well represented as are long double rows composed of more than 10 different sized stones (D12).  Together these figures imply that the typical Dartmoor row is long and composed of large numbers of mainly small and medium sized stones with the occasional large stone. However, the true variability of stone row character and form is clearly illustrated on Dartmoor where a significant number of rows do not conform with this general characteristic.


Identification

The enigmatic nature of stone rows makes their identification often less than certain.  Indeed without dating evidence the archaeologist has to rely on what is visible to help interpret sites. In this region 71 of the rows are considered to be plausible, whilst a further 6 are probable and four are possible examples. The individual sites within these categories are listed below:

Plausible

Assycombe; Black Tor (Stanlake); Black Tor Avon; Brent Fore Hill; Burford Down; Butterbrook 1; Butterbrook 2; Butterdon, East; Butterdon Hill Row; Cantrell; Challacombe Down; Cholwichtown stone row; Collard Tor E; Collard Tor W; Conies Down; Corringdon Ball, North; Corringdon Ball, South; Cosdon; Cut Hill; Drizzlecombe 1; Drizzlecombe row 2; Drizzlecombe row 3; Fernworthy 1; Fernworthy 2; Fernworthy 3; Glasscombe Ball N; Glasscombe Corner; Hart Tor, North; Hart Tor, South; Higher White Tor; Hingston Hill; Holne Moor; Holne Ridge North; Hook Lake; Hurston Ridge; Lakehead Hill E; Lakehead Hill summit; Langstone Moor; Laughter Tor 1; Leeden Tor; Merrivale 1; Merrivale 2; Merrivale 3; Merrivale 4; Penn Beacon S; Penn Beacon SW; Piles Hill; Ringmoor Down; Sharpitor NE; Sharpitor NW 1; Sharpitor NW 2; Sharpitor W; Shaugh Moor row; Shell Top SW; Sherberton Row; Shoveldown 1; Shoveldown 2; Shoveldown 3; Shoveldown 4; Shoveldown 5; Soussons Down; Spurrell’s Cross; Stalldon Row; Tottiford Reservoir I; Trendlebere Down;  Trowlesworthy 1; Trowlesworthy 2; Upper Erme Row; White Ridge; Yar Tor; Yardworthy; Yellowmead Down

Probable

Hamel Down; Laughter Tor 2; Little Links Tor; Merrivale 5; Merrivale 6; Shoveldown 6; Treeland Brake

Possible

Sherberton Common; Stalldown, SE; Tottiford Reservoir II

 

LAST UPDATED 27th November 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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