Stone alignment on Piles Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013033

Date first listed: 03-Jul-1964

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Jan-1992


Ordnance survey map of Stone alignment on Piles Hill
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: South Hams (District Authority)

Parish: Harford

County: Devon

District: South Hams (District Authority)

Parish: Ugborough

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 65221 61074, SX 65643 61060


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 provides 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 provide rare evidence of ceremonial or ritual practices on the Moor during the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age. The Piles Hill alignment is particularly significant because it is associated with a group of cairns on Piles Hill and with several other stone alignments within a few hundred yards.


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


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 frequently lead to burial monuments such as small cairns, cists and barrows and are therefore thought to have had a ceremonial function. The 70 or so examples known on Dartmoor were probably constructed in the Late Neolithic period (around 2,500 BC). The stone alignment on Piles Hill runs east/west for c.850m, cutting off the spur on the 380m contour and descending the slope on either side, thus no more than c.200m of the length is visible at any point. It is a double alignment with over forty stones visible in either row, all of which are fallen or leaning, but further examples may well be hidden by heather. The spacing between the rows is on average 20m and the spacing between the stones is on average 8m. The north row is better preserved and is more regular. It ends at the west with a leaning, tapered stone, 1.8m in length and 0.9m by 0.25m at the base and this is associated with some fallen stones, which suggest that there might have been a terminal stone setting. The south row has a fallen stone over 2m in length at its western end and one measuring nearly 3m at its eastern end. The stones vary between 1m and 3m in length and many of the fallen stones show drill marks, suggesting that they have been cut or split recently, possibly in connection with the construction of the Redlake Railway, which cuts across the rows and is excluded from the scheduling. The fallen stones lie mainly north/south, at right-angles to the rows and it is possible that the full length of the alignment may never have stood upright. The monument consists of two separate protected areas, separated by the railway.

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: 10566

Legacy System: RSM


Devon County SMR SX66SE-006,

End of official listing