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HER Number:MDV5136
Name:Harford Stone Row on Brown Heath in the Erme Valley, Harford


Harford Stone Row on Brown Heath is a double stone row, of small stones extending to 220 metres


Grid Reference:SX 640 652
Map Sheet:SX66NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishHarford
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishHARFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX66NW48
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX66NW/51
  • Old SAM County Ref: 319
  • Pastscape: 441705

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Spence Bate, C., 1871, Prehistoric Antiquities of Dartmoor, 502 (Article in Serial). SDV277110.

Crossing, W., 1912 (1965), Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor, 397 (Monograph). SDV320981.

Worth, R. H., 1919, 38th barrow report (Article in Serial). SDV153925.

Worth, R. H., 1943, The Prehistoric Pounds of Dartmoor, 288 (Article in Serial). SDV320337.

Royal Air Force, 1946, CPE/UK 1890, 4277-8 (Aerial Photograph). SDV140289.

Photograph taken on 10th December 1946.

Worth, R. H., 1946, The Stone Rows of Dartmoor. Part 1, 288 (Article in Serial). SDV251172.

The whole monument is of great interest. The row is double and has a circle at its northern end; but the row does not point to the true centre of the circle, the cairn does not occupy the true centre of the circle, and the kistvaen was not central in the cairn. On Brown Heath, near Erme Pound, there was formerly a kistvaen, which stood within a circle at the head of a stone row. Of late years the kistvaen has been so thoroughly ruined that it is now lost in the stones of the cairn. Unfortunately, no measurements were taken before the destruction was complete. Row Number 4.

Davidson, C. + Seabrook, R., 1973, Stone Rings on south-east Dartmoor, 28, Figure 7 (Article in Serial). SDV345864.

National Monuments Record, 1976, SX6465, 1 (Aerial Photograph). SDV151191.

Photograph taken on 22nd April 1976.

Burl, A., 1977, Stone Circles of the British Isles, 344 (Monograph). SDV260575.

Hankin, C. F., 1977-1979, Harford Parish Checklist (Worksheet). SDV149931.

Site visited on 21st June 1976. A double stone row on the south slope of Brown Heath. The row begins at its south lower end at SX64096513 where it touches the wall of an enclosure, and is almost lost in the fallen stones of the wall. Running north the row is double for all its length the major row being that on the east side. The minor row has fewer stones and of smaller size.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1978, SX66NW48 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV151213.

(14/01/1978) A double stone row, on Brown Heath, circa 182 metres in length running from SX 6408 6514 to SX 6411 6532. At the north end is a stone circle surrounding a cairn which contains the remains of a cist. The row does not point to the centre of the circle but is circa 2 metres to the east, the cairn does not occupy the true centre of the circle, and the cist was not central in the cairn.
The point at which the southern end of the row ended is not easily determined as it is lost in a prehistoric enclosure wall. The eastern part of the row contains more stones than the western part, in which there are notable gaps. There are a few large stones, the largest being 1 metres high, measuring 1 metre by 0.7 metres, but most are relatively small, their average height being 0.5 metres. (See related records for cairn circle / cist).
All surveyed at 1:10 000 PFD

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

Robinson, R., 1983, List of Field Monument Warden Visits (Site Visit). SDV114314.

Site visited on 19th January 1983.

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

Visible on aerial photograph and recorded.

Hazell, E., 2001, Decoding of Burford Down Stone Row (Un-published). SDV155304.

Site visited on 10th December 2001. 'Hook Lake' double stone row extending to 183 metres with up to 280 stones.

Stainer, S. + Stainer, N., 2011, Hook Lake Stone Rows survey (Plan - measured). SDV363074.

Survey of the stone alignments detailing the remaining stones carried out in 2011.

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

Feature shown on survey.

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

A double stone row running approximately south to north extends 220 metres tangentally between two enclosures on the eastern slope of the River Erme, north of Stony Bottom. Only 25 stones including recumbents could be recorded in 2018, though the terrain is heavily covered by molina grass tussocks, which may be disguising many more stones. The stones comprise posts or slabs of granite, none of which are in excess of 1 metre tall and most are less than 0.5 metres. A hut circle near the northern end has been built just touching the line of of the row and one stone of the row is now within the spread of the ruined hut. A round cairn with vestiges of a kerb forms the northern terminal of the row.

Historic England, 2020, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV363414.

The monument includes a double stone alignment with cairn and two enclosures with stone hut circles forming part of a substantial prehistoric settlement on a south-west facing slope overlooking Hook Lake and the valley of the River Erme. The stone alignment includes two parallel lines of upright stones standing 1.4 metres apart leading downslope for 227 metres from a round cairn. The alignment includes 80 upright stones and a further 12 fallen and buried stones. The average height of the stones is 0.36 metres and the lower end of the alignment is denoted by a pair of terminal stones. The alignment has been incorporated into the wall of the southern enclosure and an unenclosed stone hut circle, providing conclusive evidence that the alignment is earlier then the settlement. It is interesting to note that the Bronze Age enclosure builders had little regard for the alignment, but perhaps superstition prevented them from removing it all together. The cairn at the upper end of the alignment measures 9.2 metres in diameter, stands up to 0.8 metres high and is surrounded by a circle of stones standing up to 1.6 metres high. A number of edge set slab within the mound suggest the survival of further concentric stone rings. A cist recorded in 1871 is no longer visible and may survive as a buried feature.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV114314Site Visit: Robinson, R.. 1983. List of Field Monument Warden Visits.
SDV140289Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. CPE/UK 1890. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4277-8.
SDV149931Worksheet: Hankin, C. F.. 1977-1979. Harford Parish Checklist. Parish Checklist. Digital.
SDV151191Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1976. SX6465. National Monument Record Aerial Photograph. 1.
SDV151213Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1978. SX66NW48. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Unknown.
SDV153925Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1919. 38th barrow report. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 51.
SDV155304Un-published: Hazell, E.. 2001. Decoding of Burford Down Stone Row. Digital.
SDV251087Article in Serial: Emmett, D. D.. 1979. Stone Rows: The Traditional View Reconsidered. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 37. Paperback Volume. 111.
SDV251172Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1946. The Stone Rows of Dartmoor. Part 1. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 78. A5 Hardback. 288.
SDV260575Monograph: Burl, A.. 1977. Stone Circles of the British Isles. Stone Circles of the British Isles. Unknown. 344.
SDV277110Article in Serial: Spence Bate, C.. 1871. Prehistoric Antiquities of Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 4. 502.
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.
SDV320337Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1943. The Prehistoric Pounds of Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 75. A5 Hardback. 288.
SDV320981Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1912 (1965). Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 397.
SDV345864Article in Serial: Davidson, C. + Seabrook, R.. 1973. Stone Rings on south-east Dartmoor. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 31. Paperback Volume. 28, Figure 7.
SDV361913Cartographic: Newman, P.. 2018. Erme Valley Survey data (GIS and Excel spreadsheet). GIS ShapeFile. Digital. [Mapped feature: #125271 ]
SDV363074Plan - measured: Stainer, S. + Stainer, N.. 2011. Hook Lake Stone Rows survey. Measured Survey Drawing. Digital.
SDV363414National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2020. National Heritage List for England. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV5137Related to: Cairn at north end of Harford Stone Row, Harford (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8082 - Survey of the Upper Erme Valley
  • EDV8115 - Measured survey of the Hook Lake Stone alignments

Date Last Edited:Apr 20 2020 1:55PM