Stone alignment on Conies Down
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1008012
Date first listed: 11-Jan-1965
Date of most recent amendment: 15-Jan-1993
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Mar-2019 at 13:18:12.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: West Devon (District Authority)
Parish: Dartmoor Forest
National Park: DARTMOOR
National Grid Reference: SX 58573 78988
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.
The stone alignment on Conies Down survives comparatively well in a remote part of the Moor. It is the highest known example on Dartmoor and survives in an area with deep peat deposits which have protected the monument and its associated contemporary ground surface and provide a valuable source of environmental information concerning the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed and used.
This monument includes a stone alignment situated on a gentle south-facing
slope of Conies Down overlooking the valley of Conies Down Water. The stone
alignment is 173m long and includes a double row of twenty-one stones with an
average height of 0.26m. There is an average distance of 1.9m between the two
rows and they are aligned 3 degrees east of north. 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. There are no
visible terminals associated with this row. A hollow way, known as the
Lichway, passes the monument a short distance to the south. This trackway
leads across Dartmoor towards Lydford and is known to have been 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: 22220
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991)
Worth, R H, Worth's Dartmoor, (1981)
National Archaeological Record, SX57NE5,
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