Yellowmead stone circles, cairn and stone alignment

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010212

Date first listed: 16-Feb-1963

Date of most recent amendment: 15-Jan-1993

Map

Ordnance survey map of Yellowmead stone circles, cairn and stone alignment
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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Location

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

County: Devon

District: West Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Sheepstor

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 57482 67841

Summary

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 circles, or circular arrangements of upright stones, were set into the ground and acted as ceremonial and funerary monuments during the later Neolithic and Bronze Age periods (c.2400-700 BC). On Dartmoor they are often found in association with stone alignments and burial monuments such as cairns and cists. The circles may be single or enclose further circles; they may occur as isolated examples or in groups. The 26 examples on Dartmoor form one of the most dense concentrations of monuments of this type in the country. Due to their relative rarity (with a national population of only some 200 examples) and longevity as a monument type, all stone circles are considered to be nationally important.

The Yellowmead circles are an unusual example of their kind, surrounding a cairn and also incorporating a stone row. This combination of monument types is rare and emphasises the variety of ceremonial and funerary monuments on this part of the Moor.

History

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

Details

This setting of four stone circles around a cairn and with a stone row extending away from the south west side is situated on the south west facing slope of Yellowmead Down. The four circles are not concentric and there is a further arc of seven stones up to 0.4m in height on the west side which may be the remains of a fifth circle. The innermost circle has 22 stones up to 0.9m in height; it surrounds a cairn 4m in diameter and 0.20m in height. The outer rings have 32 stones, 27 stones and 30 stones respectively, the inner two being only up to 0.25m in height and all having their largest stones around the south side. The maximum diameter of the outer circle is some 30m. The remains of a double stone alignment extend some l0m from the south west side; there are 3 stones in the south row and a similar number in the north row, although more were recorded in 1922. The stones of the alignments are up to 0.3m in height and on average 2m apart. The alignment avenue is approximately 1m in width.

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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 10748

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
SX 56 NE-048, SX 56 NE-048, (1990)

End of official listing