The Cosdon triple row on Dartmoor is a Scheduled Ancient Monument
Many stone rows are Scheduled Ancient Monuments which means that they are protected by law and it is an offence to damage them. Some such as Gray Hill are only partly protected and a significant proportion are not scheduled. Some of these may be protected indirectly as a result of some other form of designation. This article looks briefly at the current scheduled status of stone rows, although clearly over time things may change as rows are added or even removed from the Schedules. Separate Schedules cover England, Scotland and Wales and each are administered by different organisations. In England the Schedule these days is the responsibility of Historic England, whilst in Scotland the task falls to Historic Environment Scotland and in Wales it is maintained by Cadw.
In Great Britain as a whole 202 stone rows (Figure 1) are protected as Scheduled Ancient Monuments and 131 are not scheduled (Figure 2). Of the 131 non-scheduled sites 27 have been destroyed and therefore scheduling would no longer be appropriate (Figure 3). Sadly one scheduled site (St. Martins, Central Scotland) appears to have been destroyed.
As work proceeds the information used in this analysis will inevitably be enhanced. This article therefore should be considered as a draft to encourage discussion and the development of ideas and will be updated in the future as research and fieldwork inevitably alters the dataset upon which it is based.
Figure 1 Distribution of scheduled stone rows.
Figure 2 Distribution of non-scheduled rows.
Figure 3 Distribution of non-scheduled surviving rows (red) and destroyed rows (clear).
Most scheduled stone rows are in England where 107 have been designated. In Scotland 57 of the rows are protected whilst in Wales the figure is 38 (Figure 4). Expressed as a percentage of the total number of known rows in each country 64% of the English, 55% of the Scottish and 60% of the Welsh rows are scheduled (Figure 5).
Figure 4 Pie chart illustrating the number of scheduled monuments.
Figure 5 Percentage of scheduled monuments in each country.
In England 48 surviving stone rows are currently not scheduled as Ancient Monuments. This is probably largely a result of the lamentable abandonment on the Monuments Protection Programme which was set up in the 1980’s to address these sorts of anomalies. Despite this a greater percentage of the stone rows are protected than in Scotland and Wales.
Figure 6 Pie chart showing the current status of the English Schedule (2016).
Non Scheduled Rows
The non-scheduled rows are generally among the least visually impressive examples. However importance should not be measured by appearances alone and there is a clear need to ensure that this very rare resource as a whole is afforded the recognition and protection that it deserves.
The non-scheduled stone rows currently are:
Badgworthy Lees; Benjamy; Bill Hill; Black Tor Avon; Butterbrook 1; Butterbrook 2; Butterdon E; Buttern Hill row; Caradon Hill; Cardinham Moor/Colvannick Tor row; Carneglos row; Cheriton Ridge, North; Cheriton Ridge, South; Codsend Moor; Commondale Moor; Cut Hill; Emblance Down stone row; Furzehill Common; Hamel Down; Hoccombe Coombe; Hoccombe Hill; Langstone Moor III; Leskernick Hill Row; Longstone Barrow; Madacombe; Merrivale 6; North Regis Common; Old Castle Hill; Penhurrock; Penn Beacon S; Penn Beacon SW; Pig Hill; Porlock Common NE; Porlock Common SW; Searle’s Down; Sharp Tor NE; Shell Top SW; Sherberton Row; Squallacombe; Standingstone Rigg; Studland; The Nine Stones; Thornworthy Little Common; Tolborough Tor; Trehudreth Downs row; Treveglos, Zennor; Warcombe Water, West and Winnaway.
Figure 7 Unscheduled stone row at Butterbrook on Dartmoor.
Figure 8 Despite being one of the few dated rows Cut Hill on Dartmoor is not scheduled. ©Bill Radcliffe.
Figure 9 Unscheduled double row at Porlock Common SW on Exmoor.
Figure 10 Unscheduled row at Colvannick on Bodmin Moor.
The most impressive of the English rows are scheduled and a selection are illustrated below.
Figure 11 The scheduled Hingston Hill stone row on Dartmoor.
Figure 12 The scheduled Hurston Ridge stone row on Dartmoor.
Figure 13 The scheduled Stalldown stone row on Dartmoor.
Figure 14 The scheduled row at West Kennet.
Compared with England and Wales a smaller proportion of the stone rows are scheduled. A number of well known and impressive sites do not appear to have been afforded statutory protection. Among these are: Balliscate, Scallastle, Glengorm, Torhouseskie East and West and Borve.
Figure 15 Pie chart showing the current status of the Scottish Schedule (2016).
The following surviving rows are currently not scheduled:
Achnancarranan; Airigh Na Gaoithe; Ballinaby; Baliscate; Blashaval; Borgie Bridge; Borve; Broughwhin Loch; Carragh a’Ghlinne; Clash-an-dam; Cnoc Molach; Cnoc na Greine; Commonbank; Crinan Moss; Dirlot, South; Eyre stone rows; Garynahine, Cnoc Fillibhir Mhor; Glengorm; Groat’s Loch, North (Broughwhin III); Groat’s Loch, South; Inveryne Stone Row; Kinbrace; Ladystone Farm; Lag; Loch Rimsdale; S46 Scarista, Harris; Salachary; Sannaig; Scallastle; Skeal Traval; Torhousekie, East; Torhousekie, South; Tormsdale; Traigh Na Berie; Uluvalt; Watenan Farm; Watenan, East; Watenan, West; West Revoch Farm.
Figure 16 Unscheduled stone row at Baliscate on the Isle of Mull. Click on image to enlarge.
Figure 17 Unscheduled stone row at Scallastle on the Isle of Mull.
Figure 18 Unscheduled stone row at Glengorm on the Isle of Mull.
Figure 19 Unscheduled stone row at Borve on Isle of Skye.
Most Scottish rows are scheduled and a selection are illustrated below.
Figure 20 Scheduled stone row at Ballymeanoch.
Figure 21 Scheduled stone row at Dervaig Centre.
Figure 22 Scheduled stone row at East Cult.
Figure 23 Scheduled double row at Callanish, North.
Figure 24 Pie chart showing the current status of the Welsh Schedule (2016).
In Wales there are 17 surviving non-scheduled rows. At the time of writing the most obvious omission is Nant Tarw, but Cadw have recently confirmed that this oversight will be rectified. A number of rows not included within the schedule have disputed authenticity. Foremost amongst these is Bancbryn but the boulder alignments at Careg Lwyd and Carreg Cadno may also fall into this category. It is perhaps worth noting that some of the scheduled rows are also of less than certain provenance (e.g. Cerrig Lladron).
The following surviving rows are currently not scheduled:
Bancbryn; Brwyno-Canol; Careg Lwyd, Boulder alignment; Carreg Cadno; Cefn Moel Stones;Craig-Y-Fan Ddu; Disgwylfa Fach; Ffridd Braich-Llwyd; Gwastad; Meini-Gwyn; Mynydd Clywedog; Nant Gwinau; Nant Tarw Stone Row; Pen y Garreg; The Three Leaps; Ty-Mathiau; White Moor.
Figure 25 Nant Tarw in the Brecon Beacons is not currently scheduled although an area of moorland adjacent to it not known to contain any archaeology is designated (21/11/16).
Figure 26 Unscheduled stone row at Bancbryn on Mynydd y Betws.
Figure 27 Carreg Llwyd which includes a line of large boulders is currently unscheduled. Numbers refer to discussion in the Gazetteer.
Figure 28 Unscheduled stone row at Disgwylfa Fach.
Most Welsh rows are scheduled and a selection are illustrated below.
Figure 29 Scheduled stone row at Waun Oer.
Figure 30 Scheduled stone row at Bryn Seward.
Figure 31 Scheduled stone row at Saith Maen NW.
Figure 32 Scheduled stone row at Maen Mawr.
The majority of stone rows are scheduled as Ancient Monuments. This confirms the importance of this class of monument. There are some surprising omissions and hopefully these will be rectified in the future. A greater percentage of English rows are scheduled compared to the situation in Scotland and Wales. The smallest percentage of scheduled rows are found in Scotland (21/11/16).