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HER Number:MDV2988
Name:Butterdon Hill stone row

Summary

The Butterdon Hill single stone alignment runs for over 2 kilometres along the ridge between Butterdon Hill and Piles Hill and is the second longest stone alignment on Dartmoor. The stones are up to a metre in height and are spaced at intervals of 1 metre to 1.5 metres. There is a cairn with a retaining kerb at the southern end of the alignment and a recumbent stone, known as the Longstone, which is considered to have been the northern terminal. One stone in the row around 300 metres south of this northern terminal has a cross incised on its west face and is known as Hobajon's Cross. The line has been adopted as the Harford Moor / Ugborough Moor Common Land boundary and includes introduced modern boundary stones.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 655 597
Map Sheet:SX65NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishHarford
Civil ParishUgborough
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishHARFORD
Ecclesiastical ParishUGBOROUGH

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX 65 NE 17
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX65NE/6
  • Old SAM County Ref: 310
  • Old SAM Ref: 10558
  • Pastscape: 441148
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • STONE ALIGNMENT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2201 BC (Between))

Full description

Worth, R. N., 1892, The Stone Rows of Dartmoor, 403 (Article in Serial). SDV237176.


Crossing, W., 1912 (1965), Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor, 395 (Monograph). SDV320981.


Tyler, F. C., 1930-1931, Kistvaens at Thornworthy and Stone Rows, 115-119 (Article in Serial). SDV251072.

This row is included in Tyler's discussion of the orientation of stone rows.


Brailsford, J. W., 1938, Bronze Age Stone Monuments of Dartmoor, 445 (Article in Serial). SDV304210.


Worth, R. H., 1941, Dartmoor: 1788 - 1808, 203 (Article in Serial). SDV160667.

Stone circle. At the southern terminus of the row is a retaining circle around a barrow. The retaining circle comprises twelve stones of which one remains a wreck, three lean inward towards the centre of the circle, and eight have fallen. The diameter of the circle which most nearly coincides with the inner faces of the stone is 10.7 metres. The row does not point to the centre of the circle but its direction passes 0.9 metres to the west of the centre. Within the circle are the remains of a low barrow.


Worth, R. H., 1946, The Stone Rows of Dartmoor. Part 1, 287 (Article in Serial). SDV251172.

Butterdon Row lies high above the left bank of the Erme, and near the water parting between the valleys of that river and of the West Glaze. Full knowledge of its former extension was not available prior to the discovery of a map, made in 1799-1800 by John Andrews of Modbury, and his notes relative to the map. The southern end of the row lies close to the summit of Butterdon Hill, starting with a barrow with a retaining circle 10.7 metres in diameter.
The row is single and measures around 1.9 kilometres and terminates in a fallen menhir at the northern end (elevation 381 metres). The row is convex towards the east to the extent of 49 metres.
At a distance of 1650 metres north of the barrow there stands a stone with a cross incised upon it, once known as Hobajohn's Cross. The row formerly extended to and beyond this stone, but this extension was swept away in 1803.
On Piles Hill, 271 metres north of the cross lies a fallen menhir, known as the Longstone, the former terminal of the row. Certain stones standing in the row between its southern end and Hobajohn's Cross will be found to have been split by the tare-and-feather method. These were added when the row was accepted by the disputing parties as the boundary between Harford and Langford Lester Moors. In the same year, 1803, a modern boundary stone was erected beside the Longstone. Row 2.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950, SX65NE17 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV175965.

Citing Worth, 1941 and 1946.
Photograph taken by A. Clark (17/03/1950)
The row is still the boundary between Ugborough and Harford Moors. There is no doubt that it is a genuine row and an adapted boundary. It starts from a circle of stones enclosing a dilapidated cairn on Butterdon Hill and runs about 15 degrees east of north for about 1.64 kilometres, crossing the depressions of the Butterbrook and running a little up the hill terminates in a tall stone to the south-east of Sharp Tor (citing Worth, 1892).
There appears to be a major discrepancy as regards this stone row and circle and the Ordnance Survey plans.
a) Stone Circle – there is no sign of this antiquity in the position indicated on the Ordnance Survey 6 inch historic map (SX65586886). Moreover the plan of the stone circle given by Worth (1941) has been found to agree with the ground plan of the tumulus at SX65586380.
b) Srtone Row – there is no sign of the row between SX65586687 and SX65596441 as shown on the Ordnance Survey 6 inch historic map. It is however, quite apparent between SX65596441 and SX65586391, along the line of the Union and the R.D.Bdg. This agrees with the account by Worth (1946) which states it is a genuine row and adopted boundary.
For the remainder of its length it is correct as shown on the 6 inch map, although Worth states it extends to SX65604374. This may have been so but there is no obvious evidence to corroborate this row. The northern extremity of the row – SX65605320 (27/03/1950).
Butterdon stone row (citing Brailsford, J. W., 1938).


Worth, R. H., 1967, Worth's Dartmoor, 205 (Monograph). SDV337618.


Grinsell, L. V., 1970, Discovering Regional Archaeology: South Western England, 22 (Monograph). SDV304192.


National Monuments Record, 1980, NMR SF1743, 078-079, 085-086 (Aerial Photograph). SDV161746.


Robinson, R., 1984, List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1984 (Un-published). SDV343082.

Visited 12/6/1984.


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

Individual stones visible at SX65645941, SX65645844, SX65635953, SX65635954 and SX65635956 on 1980 National Monuments Record aerial photographs.


Department of National Heritage, 1996, Consent letter for repairs to the row, (DNH:10/4/1996) (Correspondence). SDV175976.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted for works concerning the infilling of various erosion hollows and the re-erection of fallen stone, with archaeological excavation of socket hollow prior to re-erection.


English Heritage, 2015, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV357602.

The Butterdon Hill single stone alignment runs for over 2 kilometres along the ridge between Butterdon Hill and Piles Hill and is the second longest stone alignment on Dartmoor. The stones are up to a metre in height and are spaced at intervals of 1 metre to 1.5 metres. There is a cairn 10.5 metres in diameter and 0.3 metres in height, with a retaining kerb at the southern end of the alignment and a recumbent stone, 2.56 metres in length, known as the Longstone, which is considered to have been the northern terminal. One stone in the row approximately 300 metres south of this northern terminal has a cross incised on its west face and is known as Hobajon's Cross. The line has been adopted as the Harford Moor/ Ugborough Moor Common Land boundary and includes introduced modern boundary stones.


Ordnance Survey, 2016, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359352.

'Stone row' is depicted on the modern mapping. Map object based on this source.


National Monument Record, 2016, Pastscape, Accessed 15/08/2016 (Website). SDV359354.

The northern part of the Butterdon stone row has been surveyed from Hangershell Rocks cairn at SX 65645941 to Hobajons Cross at SX 65506045.
For the 1050 metres of this part the majority of the several hundred stones are from 0.1 metres to 0.4 metres high and form an irregular line. There is a gap of 70.0 metres on the north side of Hangershell but otherwise the row is fairly continuous. The area is not entirely free of natural surface stones and while some can be immediately discounted occasionally there is a short double or triple row where all the stones are alike and these which formed the original row cannot now be determined. Barely two dozen stones are 0.5 metres high or higher, Hobajons Cross at 1.2 metres being the highest. It is possible that this was at some stage a terminal stone since it appears to have cup marks on the south face and the extension onwards, to the Longstone, is on an entirely different alignment.
Row surveyed at 1:10000 on PFD (citing Quinnell, N. V., Ordnance Survey, 10/08/1977).


Unknown, Unknown, Unknown (Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry). SDV175962.

Butterdon Hill. The second largest stone row on Dartmoor. Ordnance Survey CXIX (119) south-east single row, aligned on cairn from the north up the slope, the line is clearly seen. Many stones are flat but others are re-erected to serve as boundary markers. 142 stones were counted in the first 320 metres, then there is a group of three which may have been a retaining circle around a barrow. 87 stones were counted in the next 274 metres, but the row is lost at Marntory Rock. Resumes a few yards to the east and 41 counted between the cairn and the disturbed ground at Red Lake rail track which the row crosses. North of the track the ground is much disturbed by construction and firing butts built in 1861. The row can be traced, however, some 686 metres to Hobajon's Cross - a stretch with 114 stones. Worth states that the row originally extended up Piles Hill to the fallen menhir known as the Longstone (SX65446074) but that the stones were removed in 1803 (this gives an additional 375 metres to the 1650 total).

Sources / Further Reading

  • Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1941. Dartmoor: 1788 - 1808. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 73. Unknown. 203.
  • Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1980. NMR SF1743. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 078-079, 085-086.
  • Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry: Unknown. Unknown. Unknown. Unknown.
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950. SX65NE17. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
  • Correspondence: Department of National Heritage. 1996. Consent letter for repairs to the row. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Unknown. (DNH:10/4/1996).
  • Article in Serial: Worth, R. N.. 1892. The Stone Rows of Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 24. Digital. 403.
  • Article in Serial: Tyler, F. C.. 1930-1931. Kistvaens at Thornworthy and Stone Rows. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 16. 115-119.
  • Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1946. The Stone Rows of Dartmoor. Part 1. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 78. A5 Hardback. 287.
  • Monograph: Grinsell, L. V.. 1970. Discovering Regional Archaeology: South Western England. Discovering Regional Archaeology: South Western England. Unknown. 22.
  • Article in Serial: Brailsford, J. W.. 1938. Bronze Age Stone Monuments of Dartmoor. Antiquity. 12. 445.
  • 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: Crossing, W.. 1912 (1965). Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 395.
  • Monograph: Worth, R. H.. 1967. Worth's Dartmoor. Worth's Dartmoor. A5 Hardback. 205.
  • Un-published: Robinson, R.. 1984. List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1984. Lists of Field Monument Warden Visits. Printout.
  • National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2015. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
  • Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
  • Website: National Monument Record. 2016. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk. Website. Accessed 15/08/2016.

Associated Monuments

MDV5672Parent of: Hobajon's Cross, Piles Hill (Monument)
MDV3066Related to: Blackwood Path, Ugborough Moor (Monument)
MDV53235Related to: Boundary stone west of Spurrell's Cross (Monument)
MDV2895Related to: CAIRN in the Parish of Ugborough (Monument)
MDV2897Related to: Cairn on Butterdon Hill (Monument)
MDV3124Related to: Cairn to the east of Hangershell Rock, Ugborough (Monument)
MDV5167Related to: Redlake Clay works pipeline (Monument)
MDV5693Related to: Rifle range near Piles Hill, Harford Moor (Monument)
MDV5763Related to: Ring cairn on Piles Hill (Monument)
MDV5653Related to: The Longstone on the Butterdon Stone Row (Monument)
MDV3138Related to: The Redlake China Clay Railway (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Sep 5 2016 10:29AM