Stone alignment and round cairn on Langstone Moor


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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

West Devon (District Authority)
Peter Tavy
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
SX 55020 78790

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, unless very badly damaged.

Round cairns are Prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2500-1000 BC). They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, the latter predominating in areas of upland Britain where such raw materials were locally available in abundance. Round cairns may cover single or multiple burials and are sometimes surrounded by an outer ditch. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major visual element in the modern landscape. Important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst Early Prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of preservation. Dartmoor provides one of the best preserved and densest concentrations of round cairns in south-western Britain. The stone alignment and round cairn on Langstone Moor survive well and form an important part of a widely dispersed group of ritual monuments. Furthermore this are contains abundant archaeological evidence relating to Prehistoric settlement and land-use.


This monument is situated on a broad ridge between Cocks Hill and White Tor and includes a stone alignment, cairn and part of a hollow way called the Lichway. The stone alignment includes a 128m long, single row of twenty-seven stones, although only thirteen remain in place and these have an average height of 0.19m. The spacing between the stones is intermittent as a result of either partial robbing or some of the smaller ones being buried below the present day ground surface due to peat accumulation. The downslope terminal stone lies at the southern end of the stone alignment and measures 2.95m high, 0.75m wide and 0.4m thick. This stone was re-erected by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee in 1893. At the northern end of the stone alignment is a round cairn. The cairn mound measures 5m in diameter and stands up to 0.4m high. A hollow in the centre of the mound suggests previous robbing or partial early excavation. A hollow way measuring 4m wide and 0.4m deep, known as the Lichway, passes between the downslope terminal stone and the remainder of the alignment. This trackway leads across Dartmoor towards Lydford and is known to have been the route used to carry the dead to the parish church in the early medieval period.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991)
Worth, R H, Worth's Dartmoor, (1981)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Stone Alignments, (1988)
National Archaeological Record, SX57NE18,


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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