Shell Top, South West

Stones peeking out of the gorse. View from the west (Scale 1m).

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.


England     Devon     Dartmoor     SX 59473 63142     Lat 50.451189   Long -3.9807455

Map showing the location of Shell Top, South West stone row.

Simplified plan of Shell Top SW stone alignment. Recumbent stones are shown green (After Butler, 1994, 174).


Type: Single Length: 73.5m
No. of stones: 31 Size of stones: Medium and large
Orientation: 163° Altitude: 370m
Upper end: Pillar Lower end: Cairn
Straight (Yes or No)  : No Sea View: Yes
Context:  Reave and prehistoric settlement
Notes: This row unusually leads along the contour rather than across it.

Other Information

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


Category: Plausible. This row which was first identified by Dennis Lethbridge was initially dismissed, but is now accepted as prehistoric.


This stone row is of Type S12. Information on this form of stone row and other rows of this type is available here.


Cairn at the southern end of the row. View from south looking along the row (Scale 1m).

A pair of fallen slabs forming part of the row. View from south east (Scale 1m).

Looking south along the row (Scale 1m).

The substantial recumbent slab at the northern end of the row (Scale 1m).

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 59027 63098 then head due east for about 450m.

Online Resources 

Megalithic Portal     Historic Environment Record     Prehistoric Monuments of Dartmoor

Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks

Other References

Butler, J., 1994, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities – Vol. 3 – The South-West, Devon Books Exeter, pgs. 173-174.


VISITED:- 2nd May 2013 

FIRST PUBLISHED:- 24th January 2016

LAST UPDATED:- 3rd April 2018

%d bloggers like this: