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HER Number:MDV14875
Name:Alignment C on Shovel Down

Summary

One of a group of probably Bronze Age stone alignments. A double stone row measuring approximately 115 metres in length, with 83 stones recorded in the late 1970s. Minor breaks in the alignment, it is overlain and mutilated by a reave and later hollow-way towards the northern end. The row terminates at the southern end on a cairn with the remains of a cist (MDV6182).

Location

Grid Reference:SX 659 859
Map Sheet:SX68NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishGidleigh
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishGIDLEIGH

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX 68 NE 16
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68NE/110
  • Old SAM County Ref: 144
  • Old SAM Ref: 28663
  • Pastscape: 443524

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • STONE ALIGNMENT (Constructed, Bronze Age - 2200 BC to 701 BC (Between))

Full description

Ormerod, G. W., 1857-1858, On some British and druidical remains in the parishes of Chagford and Gidleigh, 22 (Article in Serial). SDV274183.

An avenue that leads to a dilapidated cairn, with the remains of a cist in its centre. Length thought to be about 100 metres, a trackline (reave) crosses nearby.


Wilkinson, J. G., 1860, The Rock-Basins of Dartmoor, and Some British Remains in England, 113 plan, plate 16 (Article in Serial). SDV273188.

An avenue descends the hill from a cairn with a cist, but though at a distance of 210 metres all traces of it are lost, it evidently ran in a straight line throughout its course. Length of 110 metres given on plan.


Worth, R. H., 1932, The Prehistoric Monuments of Scorhill, Buttern Hill, and Shuggledown (Shoveldown), 185 (Article in Serial). SDV239731.

(Estimated 1931) Dimensions as above, 12 pairs of stones seen, 31 single stones, and 6 fallen ones.


Worth, R. H., 1946, The Stone Rows of Dartmoor. Part 1, 302 (Article in Serial). SDV251172.

Shovel Down ritual complex. Double row, No. 36, lines 1.5 metres apart, length 115 metres, ends in a cairn (SX68NE/60). Direction north 28 - 30' west. Not badly robbed, most of the pairs are complete.


Fox, A., 1957, Cairns and stone alignments on Shovel Down, 155-158 (Article in Serial). SDV348211.


Worth, R. H., 1967, Worth's Dartmoor, 220 (Monograph). SDV337618.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1974, SX68NE16 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV274181.

13/06/1974 and 16/7/1974 Row C SX65998592 to SX65938602. A double stone row 110 metres long with minor breaks and a cairn with the remains of a cist at the southern end (SX68NE34). The row extends northwards for a further 130 metres, nine single stones and one pair maintaining the same alignment and utilised in part by a post-medieval boundary bank. More stone would probably be revealed by probing and the removal of surface peat.


Greeves, T. A. P., 1976, Report and plan of the Shovel Down stone rows (Report - Survey). SDV274180.

13/8/1976 Worth's dimensions appeared to be correct, though 75 stones recorded, including 20 pairs.


National Monument Record, 1977, NMR SX6586, 3 (Aerial Photograph). SDV220197.


National Monuments Record, 1977, NMR SX6685, 10 (Aerial Photograph). SDV254388.


Emmett, D. D., 1979, Stone Rows: The Traditional View Reconsidered, 111 (Article in Serial). SDV251087.


Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Interpretation). SDV319854.

Visible on National Monuments Record aerial photographs and recorded on map overlay.


Gerrard, S., 1990-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset., MPP 143945, 1997 (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

Stone row 4 on Butler’s plan. Runs from SX65938601 to SX65998590.


Butler, J., 1991, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North, 183, Fig 36.13 (Monograph). SDV219155.


Agricultural Development Advisory Service, 1995, Record sheet, 13/2/1995 (Worksheet). SDV242159.

SX65978595. Condition stable. Erosion possible due to close proximity of footpath; 2 metres away.


Quinnell, N. V., 1995, Shovel Down stone rows notes, 22/3/1995 (Personal Comment). SDV274190.

Shovel Down 3b. Runs from SX65998590 to SX65408601. 118 metres long. After a gap of 64 metres some 10 stones protrude from on line reave, SX65818607 to SX65888613. ?part of alignment, but single. May be coincidence.


Greeves, T. A. P., 2018, Culture and nature need equal weight for good of Dartmoor (Article in Serial). SDV361729.


Ordnance Survey, 2018, MasterMap 2018 (Cartographic). SDV360652.

'Stone Rows (remains of)' depicted on the modern mapping, generally in accurate positions, when compared with the Royal Commission survey (1991) and aerial photograph information.


Historic England, 2018, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV360653.

See designation record for details.


National Monument Record, 2018, Pastscape (Website). SDV360651.

Original field work of July 1974 was supplemented by minor revision in July 1978 following a report (1976, Greeves) of a new single stone row location (see Row 'J'), and additional stones made visible by peat shrinkage during the very long summer drought of 1976. Stones range in height from those just visible as stumps at ground level to up to about 1.0 metres and the 'standing' angles vary from the vertical to near recumbent. The definite possibility exists that further stones will be located, and the present stone count (July 78) cannot be considered as final.
Five double, and four single stone rows can be identified; others including Pettit's double row, appear to be mis-identifications of denuded probable Bronze Age reaves (see SX 68 NE 63) containing stone.
C: SX 65998592 to SX 65938602. A double row (83 stones visible July '78), with minor breaks; at 40 metres from the northern end it is overlain and mutilated by a reave and later hollow-way. The row terminates at the southern end on a cairn with the remains of a cist (SX 68 NE 34). The apparent north-westward extension as a single stone row, is a denuded probable Bronze Age reave (SX 68 NE 63 or SX68NE/112) (citing Ordnance Survey Field Investigators Comments 16/07/74, amended 1978).
A complex of four double stone rows A, B, C and E-F and one single row D-G-H-J. They lie between 398 metres and 425 metres Ordnance Datum on north facing slopes between Chagford Common and Shovel Down.
They occupy the head of a gentle combe in the angle formed by the northern flank of the ridge running from Kestor to Shovel Down and immediately below the ridge. Two of the rows run over the crest and onto the south-east facing slopes of Shovel Down.
A 1:200 survey was carried out in August 1991. The survey revealed fewer stones than were recorded in 1978, but no probing was done. The rows are generally as described by the Ordnance Survey in 1974, but an updated description is held in the archive.
The general preservation of the complex is good. However, some peat cutting has taken place and stones have been removed for the newtake walls at Batworthy Corner and Thornworthy Corner. This is particularly noticeable at the southern end of E - F where only three stones survive, but a large number of very slight hollows are visible confirming Ormerod’s observations made in 1858 (1858, 20-24).
Other features which effect the preservation of the rows include prospecting at the northern end of the complex, a hollow way and the Southill Leat. This is especially serious on B and C where paths have developed between the lines of stones, and have eroded the surface by up to 0.2 metres. Animal erosion exacerbates the problem.
All the double rows have foci of some kind:
C has a cairn and cist at its southern end (SX 68 NE 34). (see RCHME plan `Shovel Down' at 1:2500 scale and 1:200 survey of the Shovel Down Stone rows) (citing Wilson-North, R., 19/09/1991, Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments in England Field Investigation).

Sources / Further Reading

  • Monograph: Butler, J.. 1991. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Two. Paperback Volume. 183, Fig 36.13.
  • Aerial Photograph: National Monument Record. 1977. NMR SX6586. National Monument Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 3.
  • Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1932. The Prehistoric Monuments of Scorhill, Buttern Hill, and Shuggledown (Shoveldown). Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 64. Unknown. 185.
  • Worksheet: Agricultural Development Advisory Service. 1995. Record sheet. Agricultural Development Advisory Sheet. Unknown. 13/2/1995.
  • Article in Serial: Emmett, D. D.. 1979. Stone Rows: The Traditional View Reconsidered. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 37. Paperback Volume. 111.
  • Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1946. The Stone Rows of Dartmoor. Part 1. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 78. A5 Hardback. 302.
  • Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1977. NMR SX6685. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 10.
  • Article in Serial: Wilkinson, J. G.. 1860. The Rock-Basins of Dartmoor, and Some British Remains in England. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 16. Unknown. 113 plan, plate 16.
  • Report - Survey: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1976. Report and plan of the Shovel Down stone rows. dartmoor National Park Authority. Digital.
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1974. SX68NE16. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
  • Article in Serial: Ormerod, G. W.. 1857-1858. On some British and druidical remains in the parishes of Chagford and Gidleigh. Transactions of the Plymouth Institute. 1. 22.
  • Personal Comment: Quinnell, N. V.. 1995. Shovel Down stone rows notes. Not Applicable. 22/3/1995.
  • Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. MPP 143945, 1997.
  • Interpretation: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
  • Monograph: Worth, R. H.. 1967. Worth's Dartmoor. Worth's Dartmoor. A5 Hardback. 220.
  • Article in Serial: Fox, A.. 1957. Cairns and stone alignments on Shovel Down. Archaeological Journal. 114. Unknown. 155-158.
  • Website: National Monument Record. 2018. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk. Website.
  • Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2018. MasterMap 2018. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #112406 ]
  • National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2018. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
  • Article in Serial: Greeves, T. A. P.. 2018. Culture and nature need equal weight for good of Dartmoor. Western Morning News. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV6168Related to: Alignment A on Shovel Down (Monument)
MDV6171Related to: Alignment B on Shovel Down (Monument)
MDV6179Related to: Alignment E on Shovel Down (Monument)
MDV6181Related to: Alignment G on Shovel Down (Monument)
MDV14881Related to: Alignment H on Shovel Down (Monument)
MDV6160Related to: 'Barrow' on Shovel Down, Gidleigh (Monument)
MDV6182Related to: Cairn with cist on Shovel Down, Chagford (Monument)
MDV6158Related to: Fourfold circle on Shovel Down, Chagford (Monument)
MDV14877Related to: 'Reave' on Shovel Down, Gidleigh (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6198 - Geophysical Survey on Shovel Down and Kes Tor

Date Last Edited:Aug 31 2018 9:42AM