Stone alignment and cairn 830m east of Down Tor


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009090

Date first listed: 30-Oct-1956

Date of most recent amendment: 06-Oct-2000


Ordnance survey map of Stone alignment and cairn 830m east of Down Tor
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: West Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Walkhampton

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 58848 69324


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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.

In addition to the stone alignment, the monument includes a round cairn, which is a prehistoric funerary monument dating to the Bronze Age (about 2000-700 BC). These were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, the latter predominating in areas of upland Britain where 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. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provides 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 protection. Dartmoor provides one of the best preserved and most dense concentrations of round cairns in south western Britain. Despite limited damage as a result of medieval and post-medieval tinworking, the stone alignment and cairn 830m east of Down Tor survive well within an area containing a large number of broadly contemporary settlements, and ritual and funerary monuments.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


This monument includes a single stone alignment and a cairn situated on a saddle between the north west flank of Eylesbarrow and Down Tor. The alignment is orientated from ENE to WSW, although it does not form a perfectly straight line, being bowed to the north to a maximum of 2.5m off alignment. The alignment is 316m long and contains at least 174 stones, with the tallest being present at either end. The standing stone at the western end of the alignment measures 2.8m high, whilst that at the eastern end is 1.6m high. The stones along the central length of the alignment vary in height between 1m and 0.2m high. The large stone denoting the western end of the alignment and an unknown number of others were re-erected by Baring-Gould and Burnard in 1890. The cairn with an encircling kerb, lies 4m west of the western end of the stone alignment. The mound measures 8m in diameter and 0.7m high and is surrounded by a kerb which includes 24 orthostats standing between 0.3 and 1m high, forming a ring with a diameter of 11.5m. A hollow in the centre of the mound suggests partial early excavation or robbing. Two tin prospecting pits lie immediately against the western edge of the kerb and form part of a wider group. The stone alignment is in direct line with another cairn at SX 59196944 which is the subject of a separate scheduling (SM 24122).

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: 24084

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Breton, H H, Beautiful Dartmoor and its interesting antiquities, (1990), 40-42
Gerrard, G A M, The Archaeology of the Early Cornish Tin Industry, (1986), 254-4
Worth, R H, Worth's Dartmoor, (1981), 212
Turner, J R, 'Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings' in Ring Cairns, Stone Circles and Related Monuments on Dartmoor, , Vol. 48, (1990), 78
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX56NE177, (1985)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX56NE177.1, (1983)
National Archaeological Record, SX56NE29,

End of official listing