Two cairns with stone rows E of Collard Tor on Wotter Common


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1003829

Date first listed: 26-Jun-1952


Ordnance survey map of Two cairns with stone rows E of Collard Tor on Wotter Common
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: South Hams (District Authority)

Parish: Shaugh Prior

National Grid Reference: SX 55837 61999


Two single stone alignments with two cairns 210m ESE of Collard Tor.

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. TheDartmoor 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, unless very badly damaged. Despite some damage as a result of early investigations, the two single stone alignments with two cairns 210m ESE of Collard Tor survive comparatively well and will contain important archaeological and environmental information. The monument stands within an area containing a large number of broadly contemporary settlements and funerary monuments.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 5 November 2015. This 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.

This monument includes two single stone alignments and two cairns situated on a gentle south facing slope on Wotter Common overlooking the valley of the Tory Brook. Both alignments are orientated north to south, have cairns at their northern ends and terminal stones at their southern ends. The eastern stone alignment includes an 83.5m long, single row of at least 15 upright stones with an average height of 0.5m. A further 12 fallen and buried stones may have originally been part of the alignment. The spacing of the stones is irregular, but on average they are 2m apart. A cairn with an encircling kerb stands at the northern end of the stone alignment. The mound measures 9m in diameter and 0.3m high and the kerb includes 10 orthostats. A granite slab lying on the southern edge of slight hollow in the centre of the mound represents a cist cover displaced by robbing or partial early excavation.

The western stone alignment includes a 65m long row of at least 11 upright stones with an average height of 0.8m. A further 18 fallen and buried stones are known and the larger stones within this row lie towards the southern end, which is denoted by a 0.9m high orthostat. The cairn at the northern end measures 9m in diameter and stands up to 0.3m high. A hollow in the mound indicates that this cairn has also been investigated.

Further archaeological remains including a possible third alignment survive within the vicinity of the monument, but these are not included within the scheduling because they have not been formally assessed.


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

Legacy System number: DV 283

Legacy System: RSM - OCN


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, Volume Three - The South-West , (1994), 106-109
PastScape Monument No:- 439259

End of official listing