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HER Number:MDV14882
Name:Alignment 'J' on Shovel Down, Chagford


Aligment 'J' is a continuation of several sections of a single stone row to the south on Shovel Down extending from Batworthy Corner 230 metres to SX65988602


Grid Reference:SX 659 861
Map Sheet:SX68NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishGidleigh
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishCHAGFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX68NE16
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 443524
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68NE/59/2
  • Old SAM County Ref: 144
  • Old SAM Ref: 28663

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Ormerod, G. W., 1857-1858, On some British and druidical remains in the parishes of Chagford and Gidleigh, 20-24 plan (Article in Serial). SDV274183.

Greeves, T. A. P., 1976, Report of Field Visit to the Shovel Down stone rows (13/08/1976) (Report - non-specific). SDV362905.

See notes from visit on 13/08/1976.

Greeves, T. A. P., 1976, Site visit notes and plan of the Shovel Down stone rows, 13/8/1976 (Site Visit). SDV274180.

This row is dealt with as a continuation of the row described on SX68NE/59. Ormerod appears to have seen this alignment but it is marked on his plan as a trackline, probably seen in 1850s.
Row L-M: Row which Worth recorded as running from ‘Blocking Stone?’ southwards to point K through H
Worth recorded a single row (1932, 286) consisting of 40 visible stones.
This row can now be traced for a total of some 571 metres from point L near Batworthy Corner to point M practically on a level with the Longstone. Southward from Worth’s ‘Blocking Stone?’ are 74 single stones and northward from the same point are approximately 71 single stones.
Point L is the present northernmost extension of the row, and is approximately 11 metres south of the 19th century tinners’ trial drive. There seems little reason to doubt that the row once extended northwards beyond L and on the north side of the tinners’ trial drive. Between the latter and the Batworthy enclosures there are many visible stones, in ground of which the surface is eroded, and some of these may well be original stone of the row.
Extended northwards from point L, on a baring of north 6 degrees east (which is the bearing of at least the northern third of the row), the row would have hit the Batworthy enclosures after 54 metres, at point X. Point X is 45 metres from Batworthy Corner, measured north-westwards along the enclosure wall. It seems reasonable to suppose that the northern end of the row has been robbed for the Batworthy enclosure walls.
About 50 metres southwards from point L the row is more or less level with point 17 on Worth’s plan.
Southwards from this point it runs more or less parallel to row AB, a few metres east of the latter.
195 metres southwards from point L the row is crossed by the above-mentioned leat course.
At a point approximately level with the fourfold circle at B the row starts to curve slightly more to the east, to align itself more or less with the line H-K.

Quinnell, N. V., 1978, Resurvey of the Shovel Down Stone Rows (Plan - measured). SDV362907.

Resurvey in July 1978 of the rows by N. Quinnell of the Ordnance Survey. Five double rows were recorded and four single rows but T. Greeves believes the latter may in fact be parts of one row (the eastern row).

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

Not visible on Royal Air Force 1947 aerial photographs.

Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England, 1987-1993, Duchy Farms Project Survey Visit (Report - Survey). SDV350839.

Butler, J., 1991, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North, 178-179, 235, Map 36, Figure 36.7 & 36.9 (Monograph). SDV219155.

Row '1' is a single stone alignment of nearly 100 stones on Shovel Down with the upper end at SX66018586 which extends 540 metres south from Batsworthy Corner with several changes of direction and long gaps almost as far as the 'longstone' at the southern end of Row '5'.

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

English Heritage, 2005-2008, Prehistoric Survey Information (Cartographic). SDV345521.

Stones shown on survey.

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, 1017874 (National Heritage List for England). SDV360653.

See designation record for details.

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

Following a field visit to Shovel Down (SX 660860), in August 1976, the Survey Officer for Devon Sites and Monuments Register reported a northward extension to the single stone rows 'D'-'G'-'H' on Ordnance Survey 25 inch Ancient Monuments Survey of 8.7.1974; thus giving an approximate total of 145 visible stones, and a total length of about 571 metres for this row, which extends from a point 'practically on the level' with the 'Longstone (SX 68 NE 39) to a point at about 11.0 metres south of a 19th century tinner's trial drive near Batworthy Corner (SX 660862). (This extension is recorded as stone row 'J' on the survey of 1978). (citing Greeves, T. A. P., 13/08/1976; notes and sketch plan).
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.
J: SX 65978625 to SX 65988603. A single row (46 stones visible July '78), 228.0m long, there are no special terminal features. Many gaps of from 3.0m to 47.0m occur throughout the entire length of the row. The southern end has probably been overlain by a later reave (SX 68 NE 63). The northern end most probably extended further northward, and it would appear to have been destroyed by a mining 'rake' of circa 19th century date, and stone robbing? for the nearby Batworthy enclosure walls.
The stone rows have been surveyed at 1:2500 on AM's SX 65/6685; SX 6586; and composite permatrace overlay, with illustration surveys at 1:1250 (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.
The single row, D-G-H-J, has no surviving focal points.
The complex has been cut through by a later reave, part of a system whose construction must have marked the end of the use of the rows. Stones from row C are visible within the bank of the reave, but it is clear that the reave bisects the whole complex. (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

SDV219155Monograph: Butler, J.. 1991. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Two. Paperback Volume. 178-179, 235, Map 36, Figure 36.7 & 36.9.
SDV274180Site Visit: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1976. Site visit notes and plan of the Shovel Down stone rows. dartmoor National Park Authority. Digital. 13/8/1976.
SDV274183Article 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. 20-24 plan.
SDV274190Personal Comment: Quinnell, N. V.. 1995. Shovel Down stone rows notes. Not Applicable. 22/3/1995.
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.
SDV345521Cartographic: English Heritage. 2005-2008. Prehistoric Survey Information. English Heritage. Digital.
SDV350839Report - Survey: Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England. 1987-1993. Duchy Farms Project Survey Visit. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Archaeological Survey. Unknown.
SDV360651Website: National Monument Record. 2018. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk. Website.
SDV360652Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2018. MasterMap 2018. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #112411 ]
SDV360653National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2018. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. 1017874.
SDV361729Article in Serial: Greeves, T. A. P.. 2018. Culture and nature need equal weight for good of Dartmoor. Western Morning News. Digital.
SDV362905Report - non-specific: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1976. Report of Field Visit to the Shovel Down stone rows (13/08/1976). Dartmoor National Park Authority. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV54547Related to: Adit on Shovel Down, Gidleigh (Monument)
MDV6168Related to: Alignment 'A' on Shovel Down. Gidleigh (Monument)
MDV6171Related to: Alignment 'B' on Shovel Down to the west of Batworthy Corner, Gidleigh (Monument)
MDV6145Related to: Alignment 'D' on Shovel Down, Chagford (Monument)
MDV6181Related to: Alignment 'G' on Shovel Down, Chagford (Monument)
MDV14881Related to: Alignment 'H' on Shovel Down, Chagford (Monument)
MDV6182Related to: Cairn with cist on Shovel Down, Chagford (Monument)
MDV29944Related to: Possible stone circle on Shovel Down, Gidleigh (Monument)
MDV27723Related to: Southill Leat, Lydford (Monument)
MDV58363Related to: Streamworks at Batworthy Corner, Gidleigh (Monument)
MDV54549Related to: Trial pits on Shovel Down, Gidleigh (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8423 - Duchy Farms Project

Date Last Edited:May 25 2023 2:17PM