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HER Number:MDV115805
Name:Orthostat within Natural Cairn on Hangingstone Hill, Dartmoor Forest


Possible cairn on Hangingstone Hill was found during excavation in 2017 to be a natural feature although a granite orthostat may have been erected using the natural cairn as a focal point in Prehistoric times


Grid Reference:SX 616 860
Map Sheet:SX68NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • NATURAL FEATURE (Unknown date)
  • STANDING STONE (Early Neolithic to Early Iron Age - 4000 BC to 700 BC)

Full description

Environment Agency, 2011, LIDAR data JPEG images (2 metre resolution) (Cartographic). SDV348634.

Not visible on Lidar image.

Monteith, J., 2016, Geophysical survey of land at Hangingstone Hill, Dartmoor, ii (Report - Geophysical Survey). SDV359723.

Concentrations of stones visible at the surface has indicated the possible presence of a cairn at this location. A 40 metre square area has been surveyed and a central area of high resistance was located, possibly indicating the location of a burial cairn.

Bray, L. + Taylor, S.R., 2017, Hangingstone Hill: Archaeological Excavation Archive Report (Report - Excavation). SDV360292.

Excavation in 2017 revealed that Cairn 1 close to the summit of the hill was composed of granite slabs arranged in a manner consistent with natural processes rather than human agency. However an upright granite stone to the south is more likely to have been erected by people using the natural 'cairn' as a focus. This orthostat contrasted strongly with the generally slab-like morphology of the surrounding stones. It measured circa 1.3 metres long by 0.3 metres wide and flared towards the base and was leaning at circa 45 degrees towards the south and was possibly surrounded by small packing stones.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV348634Cartographic: Environment Agency. 2011. LIDAR data JPEG images (2 metre resolution). Digital.
SDV359723Report - Geophysical Survey: Monteith, J.. 2016. Geophysical survey of land at Hangingstone Hill, Dartmoor. Bournemouth University Report. 0168. A4 Comb Bound. ii. [Mapped feature: #3343 ]
SDV360292Report - Excavation: Bray, L. + Taylor, S.R.. 2017. Hangingstone Hill: Archaeological Excavation Archive Report. Cornwall Archaeological Unit. 2017R043. A4 Spiral Bound + Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV115806Related to: Natural Cairn used as a Modern Military Training Site on Hangingstone Hill, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV4377Related to: Round cairn on Hangingstone Hill (Monument)
MDV52440Related to: Trackway from South Zeal to Hangingstone Hill, South Tawton (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7038 - Geophysical Survey of land at Hangingstone Hill (Ref: 0168)
  • EDV7320 - Hangingstone Hill: Archaeological Excavation Archive Report (Ref: 2107R043)

Date Last Edited:Aug 4 2017 11:17AM