White Ladder

The best preseved part of the row at SS 73284 37174 includes several tiny stones which barely protrude through the turf.

A double row measuring 420m long, including 164 small-sized stones situated on a gentle north facing slope with a restricted sea view reveal. The row is orientated north west to south east, is visible only during periods of drought and stands in an area with broadly contemporary stone rows and cairns. A mound at the top of the row may represent a cairn.

Location

England Devon Exmoor SS 73373 37076
Lat 51.11888618   Long -3.81065667

Map showing the location of White Ladder stone row.

Plan of the southern part of the stone showing the stones visible on 2nd August 2018 (Source: survey at 1:200 by Sandy Gerrard). Further stones are known to exist but they were not visible at the time.

Locational Note 

The stone row is shown in the wrong location on the 1:25,000 Ordnance Survey mapping. It is actually situated to the east and on a different alignment to that depicted by the Ordnance Survey.  The small size of the stones means that the row is very difficult to find and it is therefore crucial that visitors are aware of its precise position and look in the correct otherwise it will definitely not be found. Two previous visits failed to locate the row and I would like to thank Jack Fuller (Exmoor National Park Authority) for pointing me in the right direction.

Plan showing the actual position of the southern part of the White Ladder stone row (black dots) and the Ordnance Survey depiction (red dots). 

Characteristics

Type: Double Length: 420m
No. of stones: 164 Size of stones: Only small
Orientation: 135° Altitude: 463m
Upper end: Mound Lower end: Pillar
Straight (Yes or No)  : No Sea View: Yes
Context:  Cairns
Notes:

Other Information

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

Identification

Category: Plausible. This row is composed entirely of small stones which are only clearly visible after periods of prolonged drought. This, combined with the fact that it is shown in the wrong location on Ordnance Survey maps has meant that doubts have in the past been expressed regarding its identification. There can be little doubt that there is a prehistoric stone row at this location.


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

Individual Stones

Plan of White Ladder stone row showing the position of the numbered stones shown below.

Stone 1

Stone 1 measures 0.25m long by 0.04m wide is level with the ground surface and is orientated at 131°.  It has been smashed in the past and is now in several fragments. View from east (Scale 50cm). 

Stone 2

Stone 2 measures 0.21m long by 0.13m wide, stands up to 0.02m high and is orientated at 160°. View from east (Scale 50cm).

Stone 3

Stone 3 measures 0.13m long by 0.10m wide, stands up to 0.02m high and is orientated at 140°. View from east (Scale 50cm).

Stone 4

Stone 4 measures 0.26m long by 0.11m wide, is below the current ground surface and is orientated at 0°. View from east (Scale 50cm).

Stone 5

Stone 5 measures 0.31m long by 0.09m wide, stands up to 0.04m high and is orientated at 118°. View from east (Scale 50cm).

Stone 6

Stone 6 measures 0.12m long by 0.06m wide, stands up to 0.03m high and is orientated at 120°. View from east (Scale 50cm).

Stone 7

Stone 7 measures 0.20m long by 0.12m wide, stands up to 0.05m high and is orientated at 15°. View from east (Scale 50cm).

Stone 7 with stone 6 beyond denoted by the upright ranging rod. View from south east (Scales 50cm and 1m).

Stone 8

Stone 8 measures 0.14m long by 0.03m wide, stands up to 0.02m high and is orientated at 125°. View from east (Scale 50cm).

Stone 8 with stone 7 beyond denoted by the upright ranging rod. View from south east (Scales 50cm and 1m).

Stone 9

Stone 9 measures 0.14m long by 0.04m wide, stands up to 0.04m high and is orientated at 143°. View from east (Scale 50cm).

Stone 9 with stone 8 denoted by the upright ranging rod. The other visible stone is no. 7. View from south east (Scales 50cm and 1m).

Stone 10

Stone 10 measures 0.25m long by 0.13m wide, is below the current ground surface and is orientated at 136°. View from east (Scale 50cm).

Stone 10 with stone 9 beyond denoted by the upright ranging rod. View from south east (Scales 50cm and 1m).

Stone 11

Stone 11 measures 0.25m long by 0.12m wide, stands up to 0.01m high and is orientated at 132°. View from east (Scale 50cm).

Stone 11 with stone 10 beyond denoted by the upright ranging rod. View from south east (Scales 50cm and 1m).

Stone 12

Stone 12 measures 0.15m long by 0.05m wide, is below the current ground surface and is orientated at 165°. View from east (Scale 50cm).

Stone 12 with stone 11 beyond denoted by the upright ranging rod. View from south east (Scales 50cm and 1m).

Stone 13

Stone 13 measures 0.26m long by 0.17m wide, stands up to 0.07m high and is orientated at 163°. View from east (Scale 50cm).

Stone 13 with stone 12 beyond denoted by the upright ranging rod. View from south east (Scales 50cm and 1m).

Stone 14

This stone was not visible at the time of the survey but could be felt underfoot.

Stone 15

Stone 15 measures 0.25m long by 0.07m wide, stands up to 0.04m high and is orientated at 136°. View from east (Scale 50cm).

Stone 15 with stone 13 beyond denoted by the upright ranging rod. View from south east (Scales 50cm and 1m).

Stone 16

Stone 16 measures 0.12m long by 0.07m wide, is below the current ground surface and is orientated at 136°. View from east (Scale 50cm).

Stone 16 with stone 15 beyond denoted by the upright ranging rod. View from south east (Scales 50cm and 1m).

Stone 17

Stone 17 measures 0.20m long by 0.08m wide, stands up to 0.02m high and is orientated at 136°. View from east (Scale 50cm).

Stone 17 with stone 16 beyond denoted by the upright ranging rod. View from south east (Scales 50cm and 1m).

Stone 18

Stone 18 measures 0.10m long by 0.05m wide, is below the current ground surface and is orientated at 136°. View from east (Scale 50cm).

Stone 18 with stone 17 beyond denoted by the upright ranging rod. View from south east (Scales 50cm and 1m).

Stone 19

Stone 19 measures 0.30m long by 0.16m wide, stands up to 0.06m high and is orientated at 68°. View from east (Scale 50cm).

Stone 19 with stone 18 beyond denoted by the upright ranging rod. View from south east (Scales 50cm and 1m).

Stone 20

Stone 20 measures 0.26m long by 0.21m wide, stands up to 0.08m high and is orientated at 138°. View from east (Scale 50cm).

Stone 20 with stone 19 beyond denoted by the upright ranging rod. View from south east (Scales 50cm and 1m).

Stone 21

Stone 21 measures 0.59m long by 0.16m wide, stands up to 0.05m high and is orientated at 147°. View from east (Scale 50cm).

Stone 21 with stone 20 beyond denoted by the upright ranging rod. View from south east (Scales 50cm and 1m).


Access Information

Roadside car parking is available next to the row at SS 73238 37254. This site is best visited after a prolonged period of dry weather when the rushes have been cut.


Online Resources 

Megalithic Portal     Historic Environment Record

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. 216.


Timeline

VISITED:- 2nd August 2018

FIRST PUBLISHED:- 12th February 2016

LAST UPDATED:- 8th August 2018

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