This alignment is largely hidden by dense gorse (Scale 1m).
|England Devon Dartmoor SX 65846 59856 Lat 50.42312698 Long -3.88995866|
Simplified plan of Spurrel’s Cross stone alignment (Source: Butler, J., 1993, 28).
|Type: Double||Length: 119m|
|No. of stones: 38||Size of stones: Small and medium|
|Orientation: 159°||Altitude: 352m|
|Upper end: Cairn||Lower end: –|
|Straight (Yes or No) : No||Sea View: Yes|
|Context: Stone alignments and cairns|
|Public Access: Yes|
|Land Status: National Park|
|Scheduled Ancient Monument: Yes|
Category: Plausible. No doubts have been expressed regarding the prehistoric interpretation of this row.
Looking north along the row (Scale 1m).
Looking south along the row (Scale 1m).
Tiny stone forming part of the row protruding through the turf. View from east (Scale 1m).
One of the larger stones in the row. View from south (Scale 1m).
Stone forming part of the row. View from north (Scale 1m).
Stone towards the northern end of the row. View from east (Scale 1m).
This stone row in common with many others is built across the limit of visibilty to the sea. Most of the row has no view of the sea towards Plymouth Sound which only appears at SX 65822 59962 a few metres before the northern end of the row.
A view of the sea is suddenly revealed just before the lower (northern) end of the row is reached. For most of the row’s length the sea view is hidden behind rising ground. This form of reaveal happens too frequently to be a coincidence and must provide an insight into the purpose of at least some of the rows.
From the northern end of the row only a glimpse of the sea is visible, but it is enough to srongly suggest that this was an important criteria in the precise positioning of the row.
The sea view from the end of the row. The way that the row takes you on a journey to this view is remarkable. It feels deliberate and special, it’s as if the row builders are telling us what was significant to them. These types of visual treats, even today enhance the experience.
Car parking is available at SX 64338 59550. Follow the bridleway heading east for 1.4km. The row is on the southern side of the bridleway.
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, pg.28.