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HER Number:MDV6168
Name:Alignment A on Shovel Down

Summary

One of a group of probably Bronze Age stone alignments. A double stone row measuring approximately 150 metres in length, with around 80 stones recorded in the late 1970s. Three gaps; the result of robbing. A probable cairn at SX65928607 (MDV13011) abuts the western side but there are no terminal features unless the row formerly extended a further 10.0 metres southwards to a cairn mentioned by Worth and Pettit (MDV6158), now unidentifiable. Appears to align on the Scorhill stone circle (MDV6122), over a kilometre away.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 659 860
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/43
  • 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

Unknown, Undated image of Shovel Down stone rows (Photograph). SDV274189.

Undated image of Shovel Down stone rows


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


Wilkinson, J. G., 1860, The rock basins of Dartmoor, etc., 113-114, fig plate 6 (Article in Serial). SDV273188.

Traced by Ormerod for 125 metres in north-north-westerly direction, author considered that it had joined, by a sharp turn, another row (SX68NE/110), but a trackline (reave SX68NE/112) crosses them. This avenue is not apparently related to any other monuments, but it is imperfect at both ends. It can be traced for about 200 metres in a fairly straight line.


Spence Bate, C., 1871, Prehistoric Antiquities of Dartmoor, 504-505 (Article in Serial). SDV277110.


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


Worth, R. H., 1946, The Stone Rows of Dartmoor. Part 1, 302, plate 37, (Row No. 35) (Article in Serial). SDV251172.

Shovel Down East. To the west of row 'A' lies row 'E', 67 metres distant from it at the northern end, and 18 metres distant at the southern end. Double row. Considerable variation in distance between the lines. No special feature marks either end. Much robbed and the greater part of its length now single.


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


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

Visited 16/7/1974 and 25/7/1978 Row A SX65888617 to SX65948602. A double row, now 155.0 metres long, excluding two displaced stones at the southern end. Three gaps of 8 - 15 metres are the result of robbing. A probable cairn at SX65928607 (MDV13011) abuts the western side but there are no terminal features unless the row formerly extended a further 10.0 metres southwards to a cairn mentioned by Worth and Pettit (MDV6158), now unidentifiable.


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

Row D-E. A stone which would appear to be part of this row is now visible 10.2 metres south of the southern most point recorded by Worth. 71 stones counted, including 30 pairs, total length 155.2 metres, circle (SX68NE/43/1) is at 51.2 metres north.


Walrond, L. F. J., 1976, Shovel Down stone rows (Correspondence). SDV274168.

Row D-E. Double row apparently aligned on cairn (SX68NE/43/2) south of fourfold circle (SX68NE/36), but from which some stones are absent at south end, probably removed when fourfold circle and row 34 (SX68NE/46) were constructed. 35 pairs of stones, 7 singles counted, two form part of circle (SX68NE/43/1).


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 1953 and 1977 National Monuments Record aerial photographs and recorded on map overlay.


Griffith, F. M., 1989, DAP/LT, 8-10 (Aerial Photograph). SDV346554.


Gerrard, S., 1990-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset., MPP 143944, 1997 (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

Stone row No. 3 on Butler's plan. Runs from SX65878619 to SX65928604.


Butler, J., 1991, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North, 183; Fig 36.12. (Monograph). SDV219155.


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

Shovel Down 35. Runs from SX65948601 to SX65898616. Approximately 162 metres long.


Griffith, F. M., 20/02/1987, DAP/ID, 7-9 (Aerial Photograph). SDV306073.


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.
A: SX 65888617 to SX 65948602. A double row (78 stones visible July '78), now 155.0 metres long excluding two displaced stones at the south end. Three gaps of 8.0 metres to 15.0 metres are the result of stone robbing. Stones are missing (? Contemporary damage)
at the south end where a ?Bronze Age reave (SX 68 NE 63) cuts diagonally across the rows at SX 65948602 (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:
'A' aligns on the Scorhill stone circle over 1 kilometre to the north-north-west at SX65468738 (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 36.12..
  • 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.
  • 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, plate 37, (Row No. 35).
  • 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, etc.. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 16. 113-114, fig plate 6.
  • Correspondence: Walrond, L. F. J.. 1976. Shovel Down stone rows. Letter. Digital.
  • 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 plan.
  • Photograph: Unknown. Undated image of Shovel Down stone rows. Digital.
  • Personal Comment: Quinnell, N. V.. 1995. Shovel Down stone rows notes. Not Applicable.
  • Article in Serial: Spence Bate, C.. 1871. Prehistoric Antiquities of Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 4. 504-505.
  • Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. MPP 143944, 1997.
  • Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 20/02/1987. DAP/ID. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 7-9.
  • 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.
  • Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1989. DAP/LT. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 8-10.
  • 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: #112401 ]
  • National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2018. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV6171Related to: Alignment B on Shovel Down (Monument)
MDV14875Related to: Alignment C on Shovel Down (Monument)
MDV6179Related to: Alignment E on Shovel Down (Monument)
MDV14881Related to: Alignment H on Shovel Down (Monument)
MDV14882Related to: Alignment J on Shovel Down (Monument)
MDV13011Related to: Cairn circle south of Batworthy Corner (Monument)
MDV6158Related to: CAIRN in the Parish of Chagford, Gidleigh (Monument)
MDV14879Related to: REAVE in the Parish of Gidleigh (Monument)
MDV27723Related to: Southill Leat, Lydford (Monument)
MDV6122Related to: Stone circle, Scorhill Down (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6198 - Geophysical Survey on Shovel Down and Kes Tor

Date Last Edited:Jul 13 2018 4:11PM