Penn Beacon, South

View from east (Scale 1m).

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.


England     Devon     Dartmoor     SX 59947 62546     Lat 50.445996   Long -3.9739025

Map showing the location of Penn Beacon, South

Plan of Penn Beacon, South stone alignment. Recumbent stones shown green (After Butler, J., 1994, 191).

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


Type: Single Length: 32.5m
No. of stones: 11 Size of stones: Small and medium
Orientation: 107° Altitude: 370m
Upper end: – Lower end: –
Straight (Yes or No)  : No Sea View: Yes
Context:  Reave

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 S10. Information on this form of stone row and other rows of this type is available here.


View from north east (Scale 1m). The Lee Moor china clay workings are visible beyond.

View from the north west (Scale 1m). The bank beyond the row is a prehistoric field boundary known as a reave.

Looking southeast along the row (Scale 1m).

Landscape Comment

From Penn Beacon, South stone row a number of pertinent visual links are worth consideration.  Cairns on Butterdon and Piles Hill appear on the skyline whilst to the south west a number of promontories, Plymouth Sound and the southern Cornish coastline are visible. The row itself is aligned on a cairn situated next to the once spectacular Piles Hill stone row. Indeed it is possible that the row was aligned on this row rather than the cairn.

From the row several cairns on Butterdon Hill are visible.

From this distance the tors on Ugborough Beacon look like cairns.

The row is aligned on the right hand side cairn on Piles Hill. This cairn is at SX 65324 61009 and stands next to the Piles Hill stone row.

As well as the prominent Dodman Point the Lizard Peninsula will be visible on a clear day.  Large numbers of rows have visual links with distant promontories and it is perhaps no coincidence that promontories would have been used at the time for coastal navigation.

Plymouth Sound and Penlee Point are also clearly visible from this row. It is very likely that these places were of particular significance to the row builders.

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 east for about 700m. The row at Penn Beacon SW may be visited en-route.

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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