Kenidjack Common


Copyright: Alan Simkins

A single stone row measuring 22m long, including four medium and large-sized orthostats each with a hole cut through their long side. The row is orientated ENE to WSW, stands in a rich archaeological landscape that includes several barrows and stone circles. It has definable visual links with the sea, nearby barrows and standing stones. A stone row composed entirely of holed stones is unique in Great Britain.


England Cornwall Rest of England SW 3901 3262
Lat 50.136101   Long -5.653699

Map showing the location of Kenidjack Common stone row.

Plan of Kenidjack Common stone row (Buller, 1842, opposite 100). This plan shows clearly that all the stones were recumbent at the time. The scale has been calculated using the dimensions given in the text and the orientation from the First Edition Ordnance Survey Map which also shows the stones are recumbent and in this position. It would seem that the south western stone has been moved and placed in the original central gap shortening the length of the row and making the spacing more even. 

Plan of Kenidjack Common stone row (Source: Google Earth with details added during site inspection by Alan Simkins and Sandy Gerrard).

In 1864 the stones were still recumbent when J.T. Blight visited them.  He found the fifth stone about 100 yards to the north of the row (From Blight, J.T., 1864, Plate 3). 


Type: Single Length: 22m
No. of stones: 4 Size of stones: Medium and large
Orientation: 67° Altitude: 174m
Upper end: – Lower end: –
Straight (Yes or No)  : Sea View: Yes
Context:  Cairns, stone circles and prehistoric settlement
Notes: This row has been “restored”. Three of the stones have been moved and re-erected. Originally the row as described by Buller in 1842 was 22m long but is now 15.5m long.


Category: Plausible. Despite restoration it is clear that these four stones were originally standing in a line. The row has a powerful prehistoric context with cairns and stone circles in the vicinity. All four stones have holes cut through them and whilst no other rows have similar embellishments, unique or unusual features are a known characteristic of British stone rows and should never be used as a reason for doubting their identification. Although the monument has been badly restored and one of the stones has been moved, the plan by Buller illustrates the original form of the site which is wholly consistent with a prehistoric stone row interpretation.


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

Other Information

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


View from the east (Scale 1m).

View from the west (Scale 1m).

View from the south west (Scale 1m).

View from south (Scale 1m).

A small sea triangle is visible from the stone row and above the ranging rod there is a barrow on the skyline. The position of the row on the edge of visibility is a characteristic of many stone rows. 

View from north east looking along the row. The green mound on the skyline is a barrow (Scale 1m).

The visual relationship between the barrow and sea may have been of significance to the builders of the row.

View from the east (Scale 1m).

As well as being at the limit of visibility to the sea, the row may have been positioned to provide a particular visual relationship with the nearby barrow.  View from north east (Scale 1m).

View from south west.

The row and outlier. The outlier is in the foreground on the left with the row beyond.

Individual Stones

Plan showing the position of the numbered stones.

Stone 1

Stone 1 measures 1.36m long by 0.28m wide and stands up to 0.69m high. The stone itself is orientated at 52° and the hole at 316°. View from south east (Scale 1m).

Stone 2

Stone 2 probably originally formed the south western end of the row and was moved to its present position during restoration work. The stone measures 1.3m long by 0.45m wide and stands up to 0.88m high. The stone itself is orientated at 35° and the hole at 288°. View from south east (Scale 1m).

Stone 3

Stone 3 is recumbent and probably in the same position as depicted by Buller. The stone measures 1.34m long by 0.72m wide and stands up to 0.31m high. It is orientated at 138° and has split across the original hole which survives as a partial circular identation on the south western side. View from west with Stone 4 in the background (Scale 1m).

Stone 3. View from above and west (Scale 1m).

Stone 4

Stone 4 measures 1.15m long by 0.28m wide and stands up to 1.17m high. The stone itself is orientated at 45° and the hole at 312°. 


A fifth holed stone stands close to the row. It may have originally formed part of the row, but was described by Blight in 1864 as being about 100 yards to the north of the row. This stone now stands on top of a bank and as recently as the 1980’s was standing on the ground surface.

The outlier has been broken in the past and repaired. It measures 0.36m long by 0.23m wide and stands up to 0.78m high. The stone itself is orientated at 60° and the hole at 325°. View from the south (Scale 1m).

The outlier stone stands on top of a bank formed by the cutting of a ditch. View from north (Scale 1m).

Access Information

Car parking is available at SW 39343 33369. From here walk west for a short distance along the highway to SW 39191 33324. Head south along the footpath to SW 39081 32899 and enter the common . Follow the track heading south west and then take the path to the south.


I would like to thank Alan Simkins for accompanying me on the visit, helping with the fieldwork, finding some of the antiquarian documentation and discussing our findings.

Online Resources 

Megalithic Portal     Modern Antiquarian     PastScape     Historic Environment Record

Blight, J. T.

Other References

Blight, J.T., 1864, “The holed stones of Cornwall”, Archaeologia Cambrensis, Third Series No. XL, 295.

Buller, J., 1842, Statistical Account of The Parish of St Just, In the County of Cornwall: with some notice of its Ecclesiastical and Druidical Antiquities, R.D. Rodda, Penzance, 100.

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. 214.


VISITED:- 9th May 2018 

FIRST PUBLISHED:- 12th February 2016

LAST UPDATED:- 24th May 2018

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