Ringmoor Down

Stone alignment approaching the kerbed cairn. View from the north west (Scale 1m).

Location

England     Devon     Dartmoor     SX 56330 65808     Lat 50.474424   Long -4.0260581

 

Simplified plan of Ringmoor Down stone alignment (Source: Butler, J., 1994, 143 and fieldwork).

Characteristics

Type: Single Length: 369m
No. of stones: 27 Size of stones: Medium and large
Orientation: 12° Altitude: 292m
Upper end: Cairn Lower end: Pillar
Straight (Yes or No)  : No Sea View: Yes
Context:  Cairns
Notes: This row has been severely damaged by a medieval field system. Within the northern half only those stones standing in the field boundary banks have survived. The medieval farmers probably retained these stones to act as boundary markers. Some of the stones removed were placed in a dump in one of the field boundaries.

Other Information

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

Identification

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


Photographs

The kerbed cairn at the top of the row. View from north.

Southern length of row and kerbed cairn. Looking along the row from the north.

Looking southward along the southern length of the row. The stones to the left of the alignment may be original or were perhaps moved to this location during the medieval period.

Looking northward along the row from the kerbed cairn.  Sheepstor forms a dramatic presence on the sky line.

At this point it looks as if part of the row may originally have been of the double variety, however it is more likely that the stones have been moved from the area to the north by the medieval farmers and re-erected for superstitious reasons. The distant Sheepstor slowly disappears as you progress northwards along the row. 

Looking southward along the row. The kerbed cairn at the southern end is clearly visible on the skyline. The view southward along much of the row is restricted by the low hill on which the cairn stands.

Simplified plan showing the position of the medieval field boundaries, stone dump and stone alignment. The surviving stones in the northern part of the row are all standing in field boundaries and it is therefore plausible that they were deliberately retained by the medieval farmers to form boundary markers.  The other stones were removed. Some were placed together in a stone dump, some may have been re-erected and others may be hidden below the field boundaries.  (Source: Butler, J., 1994, 143 and fieldwork).

The northern length of the row has been removed and replaced by a stony bank. The later bank follows the original alignment of the row. View from the north.

The medieval  ridge and furrow between the remaining stones clearly indicates that this area was intensively farmed. Most of the original stones would have been removed to facilitate ploughing. Some of the stones were probably retained to serve as boundary markers between separate fields. View from the north (Scale 1m). 

A dump of stones sitting on the edge of a medieval field boundary. The stones had probably been cleared from the adjacent field when it was being laid out ready for cultivation.

Looking southward along the row from the northern terminal pillar. The ranging rod stands on the medieval boundary bank (Scale 1m).

Terminal pillar and medieval boundary bank. View from north.

Stone standing on a field boundary between blocks of ridge and furrow.

Stony bank forming part of the medieval field system. One of the stones forming the row was incorporated into this bank.

Looking northward along the row. In common with all long rows the alignment is not straight.

Access Information

Car parking is available at SX 55482 65728. From here walk northward keeping Brisworthy Plantation on your right. When the northern end of the plantation is reached cross the stile and head east towards the row which is about 750m away.


Online Resources 

Megalithic Portal     Modern Antiquarian     PastScape     Historic Environment Record

Prehistoric Monuments of Dartmoor     Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks     Sea Views

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. 142-144.

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