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HER Number:MDV4309
Name:Stall Moor long stone row, Cornwood, Harford and Lydford Parishes


A single stone row runs for some 3.1 kilometres from a cairn on the summit of Green Hill to a stone circle on Stall Moor, from SX 63656770 to SX 63516447; thought to be the longest stone row in the world. Associated with a stone circle at the southern end and two terminal cairns. The alignment runs roughly north-south but crosses three watercourses and does make several minor changes in direction. There is thought to have originally been around 2000 stones in the row, with nearly 1000 remaining in position.


Grid Reference:SX 637 661
Map Sheet:SX66NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishCornwood
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
Civil ParishHarford
DistrictSouth Hams
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishCORNWOOD
Ecclesiastical ParishHARFORD
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX66SW/62
  • Old SAM County Ref: 403
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Falcon, T. A., 1905, Dartmoor: A Note on Graves, 460 (Article in Serial). SDV255372.

According to Falcon there are about 613 stones from the circle to Redlake (SX 637662), stone 800 is on Green Hill (SX 636678), but the row continues to stone 896 by the Blacklane Brook depression (SX 635683), followed by an intermittent alignment of some further 21 stones to a ruined cairn on Cater's Beam (SX 633690).

Worth, R. H., 1906-1907, Long Stone Row on Erme, 11-12 (Article in Serial). SDV157172.

Surveyed by Worth and the Ordnance Survey.

Brailsford, J. W., 1938, Bronze Age Stone Monuments of Dartmoor, 445-6, 44 (Article in Serial). SDV304210.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950, SX66NW20, 9/05/1950 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV157170.

A stone row of the single row type.
A-B: Correct as shown on the Ordnance Survey 6 inch historic map. Average distance between stones is 1 metre, average height is 0.6 metres.
B-C: Stones disappear between these points where row descends steep gully and crosses River Erme.
C-D: Row thins here.
D-E: Stones disappear between these points where row crosses Red Lake.
E-F: Row assumes normal proportions between these points, being approximately the same as between A-B.
F-G: Row virtually disappears here, the visible stones being as much as 50 metres apart. Turf type, and not robbery, are apparently the cause.

Worth, R. H., 1967, Worth's Dartmoor, 204 fig.72 (Monograph). SDV337618.

Fox, A., 1973, South West England 3,500BC - AD600 (Revised Edition), 70 (Monograph). SDV16216.

A stone row, the longest on Dartmoor, and as far as is known, the longest in the world, extends from a retaining circle on Stall Moor northwards to a barrow on Greenhill, a distance of, 11,150 feet.
The stone circle, diameter 50 feet 8 inches, consists of 26 stones, ten in the eastern half and sixteen in the western half. Within the circle is a low barrow and a shallow trench surrounds the whole. The tumulus on Green Hill most likely contains the remains of a cist. There is a broken stone on the surface which has either been a small menhir or a cist cover.
The stone row is partly covered in blanket peat showing that it was built before the Sub-Atlantic deterioration of the climate after 900 BC.

National Monuments Record, 1976, NMR SX6363, 3 (Aerial Photograph). SDV156571.

National Monuments Record, 1976, NMR SX6364, 2 (Aerial Photograph). SDV155390.

Quinnell, N. V., 1979, Stall Moor Stone Row (Report - Survey). SDV157175.

The stone row has been surveyed between the southern extremity, the stone circle at SX 63526443, and the apparent northern end at Greenhill Cairn SX 63666779. The supposed extension to Cater's Beam recorded by Falcon in 1905 could not be identified.
The stone circle at the southern end is as planned by Worth. The Greenhill cairn is 8.0 metres in diameter and 0.4 metres high with a shallow central depression. It is turf-covered with no particular features other than small protruding stones. There is no visible evidence of a cist.
The stone row follows an irregular course between its extremities which are not intervisible, and for the most part along it neither end can be seen. Generally the size of the stones and the condition
of the row deteriorates as it goes northwards perhaps a reflection of the availability of material but to some extent resulting from depredations by turf cutters.
Surveyed at 1:10 000 on PFD.

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

Visible on the aerial photography and recorded, with a gap around SX63556485.

Butler, J., 1993, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East, 74-77, Map 55, Figure 55.7 (Monograph). SDV337765.

The longest stone row (about 3320 metres in length) lies in the upper Erme Valley, running parallel with the main river. The next longest row on Butterdon Hill is only 1973 metres. The remote position of the Stall Moor row (2 kilometres from the enclosures around the edge of the moor) has helped preserve the row and nearly one thousand stones remain in position, about half the original number. Few of the stones are over a metre in height and for much of the course of the row the hillside is free of surface rock; the majority of the stones were probably hauled up from the river. A peat profile taken next to one of the stones north of the Knackersmill Gulf settlements showed that at least by the time peat had begun to form the surrounding area was open countryside as at present. The numerous gaps in the row are thought to be due to the overgrowth of turf rather than robbing.
South of Dry Lake the best sections of the row are on south-facing slopes and here the stones were erected at fairly consistent intervals (1.3 - 1.6 metres apart). Most are spaced towards the longer interval, giving the original total of about 2000 stones.
The southern section of the row has comparatively few gaps present and runs just 3 degrees east of north. The row later changes direction to avoid the bed of the River Erme. Medieval streamworks have partly destroyed the row and a number have fallen or lean precariously. Row runs up to summit cairn but originally there may have been a long stone standing here. The stone circle at the southern end of the row can just be seen from this point.

Riley, H., 1994, Stall Moor Stone Row (Report - Survey). SDV359562.

A single stone row runs for some 3.1 kilometres from a cairn on the summit of Green Hill to a stone circle on Stall Moor, from SX 63656770 to SX 63516447. As described by the Royal Commission in 1979; the stone row has been disturbed by tinning in two places between Green Hill and the Forest Boundary, at SX 63656722 and 63606674.

Hazell, E., 2002, The Decoding of Stall Moor Circle and Row, 16/1/2002 (Un-published). SDV154791.

Stone row extending for over two miles from Stall Moor stone circle to Green Hill cairn through the parishes of Cornwood, Harford and Lydford.

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

Modern mapping indicates the position of the stone row.

Historic England, 2016, National Heritage List for England, Accessed 26/04/2016 (National Heritage List for England). SDV359353.

The monument includes a stone alignment with two terminal cairns one of which has an encircling kerb situated on Stall Moor in the Upper Erme Valley.
The single stone alignment consists of mainly small stones measuring up to 0.8 metres high and spaced at as little as 1 metres apart at the southern end, where more widely spaced the build up of peat obscures the stones from view. The alignment is approximately 3320 metres in length and crosses three watercourses. It is basically aligned north to south but does make several minor changes in direction along its length. At the northern end just below the summit of Green Hill the alignment ends close to the second cairn.

Newman, P., 2018, Erme Valley Survey data (GIS and Excel spreadsheet) (Cartographic). SDV361913.

Newman, P., 2018, The Upper Erme Valley, Dartmoor National Park, Devon: An Archaeological Survey, Appendix 1 (Report - Survey). SDV362921.

The Stall Moor to Green Hill single stone row extends for 3.47 kilometres, approximately north to south traversing the Erme valley. At the time of survey (May 2018) 838 stones were visible, either standing leaning, fallen or partially buried and it is likely that others survive beneath the surface. Spacing, where sufficient stones survive, is between 1 metre and 2 metres with the average of about 1.3 -1.5 metres. A stone circle, or cairn circle, marks the southern terminal of the row (MDV4310) from where the alignment can be traced 690 metres north to Knackersmill Gulf tinwork. Here it is interrupted for 20 metres before continuing on a slightly sinuous course for a further 470 metres, where it meets and crosses the River Erme by Erme Pound. This section of the row deviates somewhat and at this point it has wandered 126 metres to the east of its southern section. The condition and survival of the stones between the circle and the pound is, overall, better than the remainder of the row, with less absent stones. Despite peat cutting having occurred here, many stones remain to 0.5 metres high, and others are visible just above the surface. On the east side of the Erme the row continues for 500 metres across the lower slopes of Brown Heath to Red Lake. For this section, the overgrowth of peat (which was never cut this far down the slope) and mollinia grass has disguised many of the stones with large and conspicuous gaps between them. At Red Lake the alignment has again been effaced by medieval tinworking, which has destroyed a 92 metre section of the row. From the north side of Red Lake the row begins the gentle ascent of Green Hill, the lower slopes of which appear to have been maintained as pasture for some time past, with no peat cutting evident and many stones surviving in situ. Further north, however, a marshy area and a small tinwork have disguised or effaced the stones, and for the final ascent, extensive peat cutting has depleted the number of extant stone considerably with only 16 remaining visible over a span of 520 metres. The most likely northern terminal is the despoiled cairn on the summit of Green Hill (MDV5106), though the last extant stone is almost 50 metres to the south. The course of the stone row is regularly followed over its entire length by walkers, which in places has caused a path to become eroded alongside it.

Various, 2018-2020, PALs Condition Recording forms, UE-12 & UE-59 (Worksheet). SDV362781.

(13/03/2019) SX6370 6601 Section recorded by volunteer condition assessor. Condition assessed as bad. Unlike the segments of the row to its north and south this section is constructed of larger stones wider spaced. The land is covered in peat and has a heavy overgrowth of purple moor grass. The grass has overgrown a high percentage of the stones which can now be found only by careful examination of the line. Somewhat surprisingly, for such a remote monument, there is a very well-worn path immediately alongside the row from Red Lake right down to its crossing of Erme. The path is destroying the peat which is now a boggy morass along its whole length.
(14/05/2020) SX 6360 6699 90m section of the Stall Moor stone row recorded by volunteer condition assessor. Condition os this section assessed as very good. The ground/peat level is currently high and soft so the stones of this stretch are small and less visible. Vegetation levels are, however, currently low so there is less to obscure them. There are no visible damage currently impacting on these stones in the row.
North of this run the valley of the Dry Lake makes identification of the row difficult. The first stone to its north is however prominent and contains a significant Xenolith on its western flank. There are more stones visible north of this one than are currently listed.

Various, 2018-2020, PALs Condition Recording photographs (Photograph). SDV363073.

Photographs taken in March 2019. Also photographed 14/05/2020 for the project.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV154791Un-published: Hazell, E.. 2002. The Decoding of Stall Moor Circle and Row. Digital. 16/1/2002.
SDV155390Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1976. NMR SX6364. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 2.
SDV156571Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1976. NMR SX6363. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. 3.
SDV157170Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950. SX66NW20. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index. 9/05/1950.
SDV157172Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1906-1907. Long Stone Row on Erme. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 4. Unknown. 11-12.
SDV157175Report - Survey: Quinnell, N. V.. 1979. Stall Moor Stone Row. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Field Investigation. Unknown.
SDV16216Monograph: Fox, A.. 1973. South West England 3,500BC - AD600 (Revised Edition). South West England. Hardback Volume. 70.
SDV255372Article in Serial: Falcon, T. A.. 1905. Dartmoor: A Note on Graves. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 37. Paperback Volume. 460.
SDV304210Article in Serial: Brailsford, J. W.. 1938. Bronze Age Stone Monuments of Dartmoor. Antiquity. 12, Issue 48. Digital. 445-6, 44.
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.
SDV337618Monograph: Worth, R. H.. 1967. Worth's Dartmoor. Worth's Dartmoor. A5 Hardback. 204 fig.72.
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. 74-77, Map 55, Figure 55.7.
SDV359352Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #91570 ]
SDV359353National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2016. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. Accessed 26/04/2016.
SDV359562Report - Survey: Riley, H.. 1994. Stall Moor Stone Row. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Field Investigation. Unknown.
SDV361913Cartographic: Newman, P.. 2018. Erme Valley Survey data (GIS and Excel spreadsheet). GIS ShapeFile. Digital.
SDV362781Worksheet: Various. 2018-2020. PALs Condition Recording forms. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital. UE-12 & UE-59.
SDV363073Photograph: Various. 2018-2020. PALs Condition Recording photographs. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV4366Related to: Cairn adjacent to the Stall Moor stone row, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV4310Related to: Cairn at southern end of the Stall Moor stone alignment, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV5106Related to: Cairn at the northern end of Stall Moor stone row, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV4236Related to: Enclosure 'B' and hut circles on Erme Plains, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV13172Related to: Enclosure 'C' with hut circles and tinners huts on Erme Plains, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV129518Related to: Hut circle within small prehistoric enclosure on the Erme Plains, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV24810Related to: Line of trial pits north-east of Dry Lake, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV28465Related to: Mound to the north-east of Stall Moor stone row, Lydford (Monument)
MDV24809Related to: Openwork north of Middle Mire (Monument)
MDV5104Related to: Same as 4309? (Monument)
MDV4331Related to: Small prehistoric Enclosure 'A' on the Erme Plains, Cornwood (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8082 - Survey of the Upper Erme Valley

Date Last Edited:Feb 10 2021 10:25AM