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HER Number:MDV13166
Name:Lower Piles stone alignment, Harford


Stone alignment which is double in places on the southern slopes of Lower Piles Hill. This site is included in the local list of Nationally Important Dartmoor sites.


Grid Reference:SX 651 599
Map Sheet:SX65NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishHarford
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishHARFORD

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Prehistoric stone alignment which is double in places on the southern slopes of Lower Piles Hill, Harford

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX65NE71
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX65NE/247
  • Pastscape: 441245
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946, CPE/UK 1890, 1217-8 (Aerial Photograph). SDV140289.

Anonymous, 1980, Local Finds (Article in Serial). SDV338482.

Further examination of the site in 1980 showed the possible continuation of the row eastward beyond the 'outlier', into the rock strewn ground that lies eastward of the site. Other details: February 1980.

Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Dartmoor) - Dartmoor Pre-NMP (Cartographic). SDV319854.

One stone row clearly visible between SX65055994 to SX65035993, maybe a second row at SX65105995 to SX65075998.

Butler, J., 1993, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East, 31-33, Map 53, Figures 53.9 - 53.11 (Monograph). SDV337765.

Butter Brook stone rows at SX 65115989 and SX65205998 the single and double stone rows are closely associated. The double row is just 25.6 metres long with its three remaining pairs of stones set close together at 0.1 metres, 0.35 metres and 0.45 metres apart. At the lower west end the rows are orientated west of the centre of a small cairn. The single row is 198 metres long but the stones are smaller and set closer together with intervals of 2.5 metres as opposed to 3.0 metres. It starts a few metres west of the cairn without any obvious origin. The two large slabs 10 metres south of the first identifiable member of the row, and possibly once associated, are now well out of alignment. A minority of stones are missing from the first section orientated at 8 degrees to the double row, crossing it about 30 metres from the cairn. A gap follows the twelfth stone in which the missing ones are probably buried before the row enters a clitter strewn part of the hillside where the alignment is resumed with another fifteen members. Another gap follows to a final run of nine slabs ending at a much larger stone 1.2 metres long lying in the line of the row, probably the original end stone. When the last group of stones reappears the row has altered course 16 degress to the east.

Quinnell, N. V., 1995, Butter Brook stone rows (Personal Comment). SDV347813.

Uncertain whether this is an alignment or marking-out for enclosure. Other details: Linked to OSAD card SX65NE71?.

Gerrard, S., 2004, List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor (Un-published). SDV345444.

This site was considered for designation as a Scheduled Ancient Monument during the Monument Protection Programme. The programme ended before the entire list of sites was successfully scheduled so this is included on a local list of Nationally Important Sites.

National Monuments Record, 2020, Pastscape, 441245, SX65NE71 (Website). SDV363416.

Stone alignment located on the southern slope of Lower Piles Hill, 0.5 miles east of Harford Moor gate and to the north of the marshy ground in the valley of Butter Brook. A stone row about 42 metres long is situated on south sloping ground at SX 65145995. It is aligned south-south-west/north-north-east, and terminates at the south end in a hollow-centred ring of turf and stones of 2.5 metres diameter east/west, 3.2 metres north/south. The first stone in the row is 10.35 metres from the centre of the terminal, thereafter the spacing becomes about 3 metres. The maximum height of the stones is 0.67 metre. The row becomes double for about 12.5 metres (four to five pairs of stones), with a distance of 0.4 to 0.5 metre between rows, after which only the second row appears to continue. At 73 metres from the terminal there is a single orthostat 0.5 metre high, standing 3.25 metres off centre south from the projection of the rows, at the edge of a small clitter of broken stones. A third row, irregularly spaced and not showing much above ground, meets the double section of the rows at an angle of about 10 degrees on the north-west side, extending westward to about level with the terminal. Visual projection east-ward along the third row appears to be in line with the orthostat. Rows form SX 65055994 to SX 65035993 stone row clearly visible with a second at from SX 65105995-SX 65075998.(2)

Sources / Further Reading

SDV140289Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. CPE/UK 1890. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 1217-8.
SDV319854Cartographic: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project (Dartmoor) - Dartmoor Pre-NMP. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
SDV337765Monograph: Butler, J.. 1993. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East. Four. Paperback Volume. 31-33, Map 53, Figures 53.9 - 53.11. [Mapped feature: #128856 ]
SDV338482Article in Serial: Anonymous. 1980. Local Finds. Devon Archaeological Society Newsletter. 17. Unknown.
SDV345444Un-published: Gerrard, S.. 2004. List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor. Digital.
SDV347813Personal Comment: Quinnell, N. V.. 1995. Butter Brook stone rows. Unknown.
SDV363416Website: National Monuments Record. 2020. Pastscape. https://www.pastscape.org.uk/. Website. 441245, SX65NE71.

Associated Monuments

MDV130037Parent of: Cairn at south end of stone row, Harford (Monument)
MDV13483Related to: Cairn 230 meters north of Butter Brook, Harford (Monument)
MDV130016Related to: Cairn on the Bullaven Reave, Harford (Monument)
MDV15065Related to: The Bullaven Reave, Harford (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Feb 20 2021 12:31PM