Piles Hill

This alignment is composed entirely of fallen stones (Scale 1m).

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.


England     Devon     Dartmoor     SX 65016 61113     Lat 50.434309   Long -3.9020334

Map showing the location of Piles Hill stone row.

Simplified plan of Piles Hill stone alignment (Source: Butler, J., 1993, 63).


Type: Double Length: 865m
No. of stones: 120 Size of stones: Large only
Orientation: 89° Altitude: 386m
Upper end: Pillar Lower end: Pillar
Straight (Yes or No)  : No Sea View: Yes
Context:  Cairns

Other Information

Public Access:  Yes
Land Status: National Park
Scheduled Ancient Monument: Yes


Category: Plausible. Despite the fact that all the stones are recumbent no doubts have been expressed regarding the prehistoric interpretation of this row.


Large recumbent slabs forming part of the southern row. Every single stone is now recumbent which suggests that they have been deliberately pushed over. If natural agencies had been responsible there is a good chance that at least some would remain upright. View from east (Scale 1m).

When complete this row was probably the most impressive of all the Dartmoor rows and one of the most spectacular in the whole of Great Britain.  View from west (Scale 1m).

The row crosses a watershed. From the eastern length the chambered cairn at Corringdon Ball is clearly visible. View from west (Scale 1m).

This slab forming part of the row has been split by the wedge and groove method.  This indicates that this probably happened sometime before 1800 (Scale 1m).  

Access Information

Car parking location is available at SX 64342 59548. From here head east to the Two Moors Way at SX 65765 59965. Then follow the track north to SX 65388 61077 where it crosses the row.

Online Resources 

Megalithic Portal     Modern Antiquarian     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., 1993, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities – Vol. 4 – The South-East, Devon Books Exeter, pgs. 63-64.


VISITED:- 9th March 2013 

FIRST PUBLISHED:- 24th January 2016

LAST UPDATED:- 31st January 2018

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