Stone alignment, five cairns, two stone hut circles and a length of reave 600m north east of Horseyeatt


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019566

Date first listed: 03-Jul-1964

Date of most recent amendment: 09-Mar-2001


Ordnance survey map of Stone alignment, five cairns, two stone hut circles and a length of reave 600m north east of Horseyeatt
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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 54858 70522, SX 54902 70658, SX 55094 70784, SX 55100 70667


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.

The relationship between the stone alignment and reave 600m north east of Horseyeatt is especially important as it graphically illustrates the chronological range within this monument as well as providing more general information on the relative date of stone alignments. Within this monument it is clear that the stone alignment was built first and that the reave was added at a later date. Two of the cairns have very obvious internal structures, and whilst more cairns of this type may come to light, they are currently considered to be rare. The small circular enclosure containing a stone circle is unusual as is the presence of the well-preserved ditch around the upper part of the other impressive stone hut circle. Together this group of structures survives well and will contain information about the use of this area of the Moor for ritual and burial activity, settlement and land division in the later prehistoric period.


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


The monument, which falls into four separate areas of protection, includes a stone alignment, five cairns, two stone hut circles and a length of reave on a moderately steep west facing slope overlooking the valley of the River Tamar. The stone alignment includes a line of at least 47 upright stones leading downslope for 132m from a round cairn. The lower end of the alignment is denoted by a large upright stone standing 1.2m high. Midway along the alignment there is an edge set stone positioned next to the row. The cairn at the upper end of the alignment measures 8.8m in diameter and stands up to 0.5m high. Many of the stones protruding through the turf in this cairn are edge set, suggesting the existence of internal structures. Similar structures survive within the body of a second cairn lying a short distance to the north east. This cairn measures 5.5m in diameter by 0.3m high and a small hollow in its centre suggests partial early excavation or robbing. Three more cairns stand in a cluster to the south of the first two. These are between 4.8m and 7.8m in diameter and stand between 0.3m and 0.8m high. All three mounds have seen partial early investigation and one has been cut by a later field ditch. A length of reave leading across the south western end of the stone alignment measures 240m long, 1.6m wide and up 0.6m high and is clearly more recent than the alignment. The reave is cut at one point by a much later leat and terminates at its western end against a small circular enclosure denoted by a 1.7m wide and 0.35m high rubble wall surrounding a 12m diameter internal area. In the centre of this enclosure is a small stone hut circle with an internal diameter of 2.7m. Another stone hut circle lies a short distance to the south east and this survives as a substantial bank standing up to 3m wide and 0.9m high surrounding a 10.7m diameter internal area. A 2.3m wide and 0.4m deep drainage ditch is visible around the upper side of this building.

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: 28782

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1994), 85
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1994), 43
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1994), 44

End of official listing