Spurrell’s Cross

This alignment is largely hidden by dense gorse (Scale 1m).

A double stone row measuring 119m long, including at least 38 small and medium-sized stones situated on a narrow ridge. The row is orientated NNW to SSE and leads from a cairn at the upper SSE end. The row has a sea view reveal and stands in the vicinity of five stone rows, several cairns and prehistoric settlements.

Location

England     Devon     Dartmoor     SX 65846 59856     Lat 50.42312698   Long -3.88995866

Map showing the location of Spurrell’s Cross stone row.

Simplified plan of Spurrel’s Cross stone alignment (Source: Butler, J., 1993, 28).

Characteristics

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
Notes:

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.


Typology

This stone row is of Type D10. Information on this form of stone row and other rows of this type is available here.


Photographs

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).

Sea View

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.

Access Information

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.


Online Resources 

Megalithic Portal    Megalithic Portal   Modern Antiquarian     PastScape

Historic Environment Record     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, pg.28.


Timeline

VISITED:- 9th March 2013 and 4th May 2018 

FIRST PUBLISHED:- 24th January 2016

LAST UPDATED:- 9th November 2018

%d bloggers like this: