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HER Number:MDV4592
Name:Stone row on Conies Down

Summary

Double stone row on Conies Down, aligned approximately north-south, around 145 metres long. Only three pairs of upright stones survive; a total of 17 upright and 15 recumbent stones were noted in 1994. The average gap between the pairs is some 1.4 metres. The average size of the upright stones is 1.0 metres long, 0.3 metres wide and 0.2 metres high. The Lich Way crosses the southern end of the alignment and may have contributed to stone robbing. 2010 survey noted declining condition.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 585 789
Map Sheet:SX57NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX57NE5
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57NE/27
  • Old SAM County Ref: 546
  • Old SAM Ref: 22220
  • Pastscape: 439578

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Worth, R. N., 1893, The Stone Rows of Dartmoor, Part 2, 543 (Article in Serial). SDV231164.

(Est. 1880s: Burnard) Runs approximately south-west by north-east, between Conies Down Tor and Conies Down. Measures 176 metres long. About the centre of the alignment, faint traces of cairn or barrow. Nothing definite. Large prostrate slab appears to mark upper end.


Rowe, S., 1896, A Perambulation of the Forest of Dartmoor, 40 (Monograph). SDV249697.


Crossing, W., 1912 (1965), Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor, 120 (Monograph). SDV320981.


Tyler, F. C., 1930-1931, Kistvaens at Thornworthy and Stone Rows, 115-119 (Article in Serial). SDV251072.

This row is included in a discussion by Tyler on the orientation of stone rows.


Worth, R. H., 1946, The Stone Rows of Dartmoor. Part 1, 312, Row No.55 (Article in Serial). SDV251172.

A double stone row, 179.5 metres long, at Conies Down in the Cowsic Valley. Less than a dozen stones still stand; there are others either fallen or buried. There are no distinct traces of either a cairn or a barrow but at the northern end is a fallen stone which may be blocking stone. The southern end of the row comes near to the lich way. The ground falls south at a gradient of 1 in 10.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950-1951, SX57NE5 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV273347.

Visited 28/6/1950 No definite traces could be found of this stone row. The area is strewn with boulders and rocks making identification difficult.
Visited 24/10/1950 A few stones still exist at the northern end of this row but they are not sufficiently prominent to be retained as a marked feature (map revised).


Grinsell, L. V., 1978, Dartmoor Barrows, 147 (Article in Serial). SDV273224.

Visited 6/6/1976 A cairn-like outcrop just west of southern (lower) end of stone row seems to have been mistaken for a cairn by Crossing (1912/1965, page 120).


Emmett, D. D., 1979, Stone Rows: The Traditional View Reconsidered, 111 (Article in Serial). SDV251087.


Robinson, R., 1982, List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1982 (Un-published). SDV342809.

Visited 26/1/1982 Department of Environment Field Monument Warden visit.


Robinson, R., 1986, List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1986 (Un-published). SDV345664.

Visited 6/9/1986 Field Monument Warden visit.


Butler, J., 1991, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North, 76-77, Map 30.11, Fig 30.7 (Monograph). SDV219155.

The double stone row on Conies Down has not survived particularly well; Butler suggests this is due to stone robbing over the years, exacerbated by the proximity to the Lich Way. Only 21 stones remain in place, the majority are either fallen or missing (perhaps buried) and neither end of the row appears complete. The original length was probably similar to its present survival (around 172 metres), as a small group of boulders around 20 metres beyond the last stone at the lower end appear to be in their natural position.
The stones increase in height slightly towards the upper end (but would never have been impressive, with the average height only 0.26 metres) and there is a very low mound at this end, thought by Butler to be a possible cairn. About 3.0 metres across, it would have presented an unlikely target for stone robbing and if indeed a feature it must have always been very slight.


Quinnell, N. V., 1995, Notes (Personal Comment). SDV273353.

Visited 22/3/1995 As previously described.


Newman , P., 2018, Archaeological Sites within Merrivale Training Area, Dartmoor National Park, Devon: A condition survey on behalf of Defence Infrastructure Organisation (Report - Survey). SDV361635.

A 145 metre-long double stone row south-west of Conies Down Tor with 17 upright and 15 recumbent stones. The average height of the stones is 1 metre.
Condition of site noted as being in gradual decline: slight erosion hollows at base of some upright stones. Not significant but continued monitoring required.


Ordnance Survey, 2018, MasterMap 2018 (Cartographic). SDV360652.

'Stone row' is depicted on the modern mapping.


Historic England, 2018, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV360653.

The stone alignment on Conies Down survives comparatively well in a remote part of the Moor. It is the highest known example on Dartmoor and survives in an area with deep peat deposits which have protected the monument and its associated contemporary ground surface and provide a valuable source of environmental information concerning the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed and used.
Details: This monument includes a stone alignment situated on a gentle south-facing slope of Conies Down overlooking the valley of Conies Down Water. The stone alignment is 173m long and includes a double row of twenty-one stones with an average height of 0.26m. There is an average distance of 1.9m between the two rows and they are aligned 3 degrees east of north. The spacing between the stones is intermittent as a result of either partial robbing or some of the smaller ones being buried below the present day ground surface. There are no visible terminals associated with this row. A hollow way, known as the Lichway, passes the monument a short distance to the south. This trackway leads across Dartmoor towards Lydford and is known to have been used to carry the dead to the parish church in the early medieval period.


National Monument Record, 2018, Pastscape, 1978, 1994, 2005 data (Website). SDV360651.

On the south-west slope of Conies Down Tor at approximately 500.0 metres OD, is the remains of a double stone row. The row aligned approximately north/south is visible in part over 173.0 metres from SX58557890 to SX58577907 with an average distance of 1.9 metres between the rows though the spacing of the stones is now indeterminate. The stones average 1.0 metre long and 0.5 metres wide and 0.2 metres high. There are now no apparent terminals though at the present south end some natural boulders are visible. Further south the area is peat bog.
Surveyed at 1:10 000 on PFD and at 1:1000. See ground photographs (citing Ordnance Survey 1/9/1978, Field Investigators Comments).
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The stone row on Conies Down, SX58587906 to SX58557892, lies on a gentle, south-facing slope to the north of Conies Down Water. It is oriented a few degrees west of north-south and is 145 metres long. The stone row was originally a double alignment of stones, but only three pairs of upright stones survive. There are a total of 17 upright stones and some 15 recumbent stones. The average gap between stones along the row is 10 metres and between the pairs the gap is some 1.4 metres. The average size of the upright stones is 1.0 metres long, 0.3 metres wide and 0.2 metres high. The Lich Way crosses the southern end of the alignment.
The recumbent stone at the northern end may be a blocking stone; there is no trace of the slight cairn mentioned by Butler (1991) at this end. Some 20 metres to the south of the southernmost upright is a small, natural outcrop which is probably the small cairn described by Crossing (1965) (citing Riley, H. M., 23/08/1994, Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments in England Field Investigation).
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This feature remains as described in 1994 though some of the stones possess erosion hollows at their bases (citing Probert, S. A. J., 05/01/2005, English Heritage 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. 76-77, Map 30.11, Fig 30.7.
  • Article in Serial: Worth, R. N.. 1893. The Stone Rows of Dartmoor, Part 2. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 25. Unknown. 543.
  • Monograph: Rowe, S.. 1896. A Perambulation of the Forest of Dartmoor. Perambulation of the Forest of Dartmoor. Unknown. 40.
  • Article in Serial: Tyler, F. C.. 1930-1931. Kistvaens at Thornworthy and Stone Rows. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 16. 115-119.
  • 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. 312, Row No.55.
  • Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1978. Dartmoor Barrows. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 36. A5 Paperback. 147.
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950-1951. SX57NE5. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
  • Personal Comment: Quinnell, N. V.. 1995. Notes. Not Applicable.
  • Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1912 (1965). Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 120.
  • Un-published: Robinson, R.. 1982. List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1982. Lists of Field Monument Warden Visits. Unknown.
  • Un-published: Robinson, R.. 1986. List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1986. Lists of Field Monument Warden Visits. Printout.
  • Website: National Monument Record. 2018. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk. Website. 1978, 1994, 2005 data.
  • Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2018. MasterMap 2018. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
  • National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2018. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
  • Report - Survey: Newman , P.. 2018. Archaeological Sites within Merrivale Training Area, Dartmoor National Park, Devon: A condition survey on behalf of Defence Infrastructure Organisation. Southwest Landscape Investigations. A4 Comb Bound.

Associated Monuments

MDV122712Related to: Ancient trackway known as The Lichway (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7441 - Condition survey of the archaeological sites of Merrivale Training Area
  • EDV7570 - Condition survey of Merrivale Range training area

Date Last Edited:Aug 21 2018 10:25AM