Swarth Howe

Copyright: Paul Blades. Original available at Megalithic Portal.

A possible single stone row measuring 108m long, including at least two surviving large stones and two smaller possible stones situated on the summit of a hill with widespread views of the sea. The row leads between two barrows and is orientated east to west.


England North Yorkshire North York Moors NZ 84179 08930
Lat 54.46879648   Long -0.70270234

Map showing the location of Swarth Howe stone row.

Plan of Swarth Howe stone row (Source: survey at 1:500 by Sandy Gerrard).


Type: Single Length: 108m
No. of stones: 4 Size of stones: Medium and large
Orientation: 98° Altitude: 263m
Upper end: Cairn Lower end: Cairn
Straight (Yes or No)  : No Sea View: Yes
Context:  Cairns
Notes: Burl names this Dunsley Moor

Other Information

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


Category: Possible. There has been considerable confusion regarding this site over the years. Robert Knox describing the site in 1855 saw the two large stones as forming part of a double alignment than ran north to south with a further pair of stones (now destroyed) 110 yards further to north. A few years earlier in 1852 Samuel Anderson who excavated Swarth Howe claimed that the stones formed remains of a single row that extended between Swarth Howe and the cairn at NZ 84173 08932. The two additional stones found during fieldwork may lend some support to Anderson’s interpretation, although both are of uncertain authenticity. On balance Anderson’s interpretation is probably the more valid, but given the degree of uncertainty this row should be best considered as possible.


This stone row is of Type S9. Information on this form of stone row and other rows of this type is available here.

Individual stones

Plan showing the position of the numbered stones referred to below.

Stone 1 measures 1.16m long by 0.55m wide and 0.83m high.

Stone 2 measures 0.7m long by 0.66m wide and 0.33m high. The relatively small size of the stone combined with its proximity to the triangulation pillar means that it is likely that this stone is not an original part of the row.

Stone 3 measures 1.53m long by 0.90m wide and 0.95m high.

Stone 4 measures 0.44m long by 0.20m wide and 0.05m high and is partly buried.  This may be a fallen stone or just a coincidence.


Looking east along the row. Stone 3 in the foreground and stones 2 and 1 beyond (Scale 1m).

All four stones. View from west.

Stone 1. View from west (Scale 1m).

Stone 2. View from east. The cairn at the western end of the row is hidden by the fallen tree.

Stone 3. View from the west.

Stone 1 and Ordnance Survey triangulation point. View from east.

Swarth Howe barrow may have originally denoted the eastern end of the row. View from south west.

Access Information

Car parking is available at NZ 84319 08785. Take care crossing the busy road.

Online Resources 

Megalithic Portal     Modern Antiquarian     The Smell of Water     PastScape

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. 217.


VISITED:- 17th September 2017 and 20th September 2017

FIRST PUBLISHED:- 13th February 2016

LAST UPDATED:- 8th January 2018

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