Prehistoric stone alignment 1km SSE of Eastmoorgate


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012228

Date first listed: 17-Feb-1993


Ordnance survey map of Prehistoric stone alignment 1km SSE of Eastmoorgate
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This copy shows the entry on 19-Jan-2019 at 22:49:18.


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

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Altarnun

National Grid Reference: SX 22347 77878, SX 22470 78041, SX 22485 78034


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

Reasons for Designation

Bodmin Moor, the largest of the Cornish granite uplands, has long been recognised to have exceptional preservation of archaeological remains. The Moor has been the subject of detailed archaeological survey and is one of the best recorded upland landscapes in England. The extensive relict landscapes of Prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval date provide direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the earliest Prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, field systems, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains provides significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time.

Stone alignments or stone rows consist of upright stones set in a single line, or in two or more parallel lines, up to several hundred metres in length. They are often sited close to Prehistoric burial monuments, such as small cairns and cists, and to ritual monuments, such as stone circles, and are therefore considered to have had an important ceremonial function. The seven stone alignments known on Bodmin Moor date from the Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age periods (c 2400-1600 BC) and provide rare evidence of ceremonial and ritual practices on the Moor during these periods. Due to their rarity and longevity as a monument type, all examples that are not extensively damaged will be considered nationally important.

This stone alignment on East Moor has survived well, retaining at least two-thirds of its stones. Stone holes and related packing material will be preserved beneath the thick turf in the intervening gaps, while the thicker peat in the valley near the centre of the alignment will preserve environmental evidence and buried land surfaces contemporary with the alignment's construction and use. It is the longest stone alignment in Cornwall, with the highly unusual addition of two related outlying stones. Its proximity to the broadly contemporary funerary and ceremonial monuments demonstrates well the diversity of ritual practices and the nature of upland land use during the later Neolithic and Bronze Age periods.


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


The monument includes a Prehistoric stone alignment, with two outlying stones, situated across a broad valley from the summit of the central hill of East Moor to the southern slope of Fox Tor on eastern Bodmin Moor, forming one element of a local concentration of broadly contemporary ceremonial and funerary monuments. The monument is divided into three separate areas. The stone alignment is visible as a single, almost straight, row of spaced stone slabs, extending for 614m on a SSW-NNE axis from the north-west edge of the summit of East Moor's central hill, across a broad shallow valley to end on the southern lower slope of Fox Tor. The alignment contains 30 visible slabs spaced 6.25m to 13.75m apart where the original regular sequence of stones has survived above the surface. Some larger gaps occur in the visible sequence, the largest comprising two gaps of 50m and one of 103m, where stones have been removed or have fallen and lie buried beneath the thick peaty turf; in either case, these gaps will contain the stone holes of the intervening slabs, their packing stones and, in some cases, the fallen stones themselves. The stones of the alignment vary from broad flat slabs to narrow pillar-like stones and range from 0.4m to 1.7m in length, with one surviving as a broken stump 0.1m high. Eight of the stones survive either as upright or leaning slabs up to 1m high, either end- or edge-set according to their form, with the long axes of their bases generally matching the NNE-SSW axis of the alignment as a whole. Stock erosion around most of these slabs reveals packing stones about their bases, wedging them erect. The slab at the SSW terminal of the alignment is marked out from the other slabs by being larger overall, measuring 1.75m wide by 0.2m thick and standing 1m high, and by being edge-set NW-SE, across the axis of the alignment. Apart from the broken stump, the remaining 21 slabs have fallen flat in the turf. The alignment is accompanied by two outlying stones, each visible as an edge-set slab, with a NNE-SSW long axis and packing stones about the base. One of these is situated 35m WNW of the alignment at a point 150m along it from its SSW terminal; this slab is 1m wide, 0.2m thick and stands 0.7m high. The other outlier is situated 14m ESE of the alignment at a point 344m along it from its SSW terminal and is 1.3m wide, 0.15m thick and stands 0.7m high.

The SSW terminal of the alignment is situated close to several broadly contemporary funerary and ritual monuments located around the central hill's summit, including a large embanked platform cairn 52m to the south-east, a second stone alignment whose north-east slab is on the periphery of another platform cairn 132m to the south-east, and a ritual spaced-stone enclosure 135m to the north-west.

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: 15193

Legacy System: RSM


consulted 1992, Carter, A/RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcriptions for SX 2277 & SX 2278,
consulted 3/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1088.1,
consulted 3/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1088.2,
consulted 3/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1089,
consulted 3/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1101,

End of official listing