Penn Beacon, South West

Alignment leading towards a cairn. View from the south (Scale 1m).

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.


England     Devon     Dartmoor     SX 59520 62471     Lat 50.445217   Long -3.9798798

Map showing the location of Penn Beacon, South West stone row.

Plan of Penn Beacon, SW stone alignment (Source: Google Earth).

Map showing the position of Penn Beacon SW, other stone rows and sites. 


Type: Double Length: 5.8m
No. of stones: 4 Size of stones: Medium only
Orientation: 36° Altitude: 335m
Upper end: Cairn Lower end: –
Straight (Yes or No)  : ? Sea View: Yes

Other Information

Public Access:  Yes
Land Status: National Park
Scheduled Ancient Monument: No


Category: Plausible. No doubts have been expressed regarding the prehistoric interpretation of this row.


This stone row is of Type D1. Information on this form of stone row and other rows of this type is available here.


7th July 2013

The stone row leading away from the cairn. View from the north east (Scale 1m).

A short row and a large cairn. View from south west (Scale 1m).

View from the south (Scale 1m). The location of this cairn on the side of a hill rather than near the summit is likely to be significant. Its position means that it will have limited skyline viewing opportunities.

31st August 2019

There is a large standing stone on the opposite side of the cairn from the row.  Whether it is connected with the stone row is unknown but it is certainly aligned on the row. 

From this angle the upper two stones look like the sides of a cist with a third slab leading between the two stones.

Landscape Comment

Penn Beacon SW stone row has extensive views of the sea and promontories to the south west, restricted views to the north and east whilst cairns on Butterdon Hill to the south east are visible on the skyline.

Looking south west to Plymouth Sound, the sea Dodman point and the Cornish coast. The row may have been sited to incorporate these features.

Looking south east to the skyline cairns on Butterdon Hill.

Access Information

Car parking is available at SX 57055 63069. From here take the track leading north east which follows the northern edge of the Whitehill Yeo china clay pit. Follow this track to SX 59215 62584 then head ESE for about 330m.

Online Resources 

Megalithic Portal     PastScape     Historic Environment Record

Prehistoric Monuments of Dartmoor     Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks

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. 215.

Butler, J., 1994, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities – Vol. 3 – The South-West, Devon Books Exeter, pgs. 190-193.


VISITED:- 7th July 2013 and 31st August 2019

FIRST PUBLISHED:- 24th January 2016

LAST UPDATED:- 22nd November 2020

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