Yar Tor stone row and adjacent cist

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1003288

Date first listed: 03-Jul-1964

Map

Ordnance survey map of Yar Tor stone row and adjacent cist
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: Teignbridge (District Authority)

Parish: Widecombe in the Moor

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 68066 74043, SX 68197 73855

Summary

A triple stone alignment with two terminal cairns, one of which contains a cist known collectively as Yar Tor Stone Row and Money Pit Cairn, within the Dartmeet coaxial field system.

Reasons for Designation

Dartmoor is the largest expanse of open moorland in southern Britain and, because of exceptional conditions of preservation, it is also one of the most complete examples of an upland relict landscape in the whole country. The great wealth and diversity of archaeological remains provide direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the early prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, major land boundaries, trackways, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains, gives significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time. Stone alignments or stone rows consist of upright stones set in single file or in avenues of two or more parallel lines, up to several hundred metres in length. They are often physically linked to burial monuments, such as small cairns, cists and barrows, and are considered to have had an important ceremonial function. The Dartmoor alignments mostly date from the Late Neolithic period (c.2400-2000 BC). Some eighty examples, most of them on the outer Moor, provide over half the recorded national population. Due to their comparative rarity and longevity as a monument type, all surviving examples are considered nationally important.

Despite disturbance by both prehistoric and medieval field boundaries cutting the alignments and some stones having been removed during phases of road building on the moor, and the robbing of the southern terminal cairn with a cist, the triple stone alignment with two terminal cairns, one of which contains a cist known collectively as Yar Tor Stone Row and Money Pit Cairn, within the Dartmeet coaxial field system survive well. They have long been a landmark of the moor and once held a major ritual significance to its inhabitants. They will contain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, development, ritual and funerary use and landscape context during changing climatic conditions.

History

See Details.

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 5 November 2015. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument, which falls into two areas of protection, includes a triple stone alignment with a northern terminal cairn and a southern terminal kerbed cairn with a cist situated between Yar Tor and Corndon Tor. The stone alignment survives as three parallel rows of stones. Approximately 124 stones, some fallen and others partially buried survive in the 250m long rows. These stones are generally small with an average height of approximately 0.16m. They are spaced at intervals of 1.7m. The width between the rows varies from 1.4m to 1.8m. To the north is a terminal cairn which survives as a circular mound measuring 6.5m in diameter and 0.9m high. The southern terminal cairn is known as Money Pit Cairn. It survives as an oval mound measuring 3.7m long by 3.1m wide and has an upright kerb of close set small stones and an internal cist with a displaced coverstone. It was robbed in the 1860’s. The stone alignments are within a substantial coaxial field system and two reaves cut through the alignments. Several medieval field boundaries also cut through the rows. Further archaeological remains survive within the vicinity of the monument, but these are not included within the scheduling because they have not been formally assessed.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: DV 529

Legacy System: RSM - OCN

Sources

Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991)
Other
PastScape Monument No:-442883

End of official listing