HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.


HER Number:MDV6003
Name:Stone row south of Laughter Tor

Summary

One of two alignments south of Laughter Tor. This eastern alignment is orientated from north-west to south east and includes a 164m long, double alignment of at least 23 upright stones, with an average height of 0.23m. The spacing of the stones is irregular and the distance between the rows is 1.7m. A small cairn with a tall standing stone built into its centre stands at the north-west end of this stone alignment.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 653 753
Map Sheet:SX67NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX67NE94
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 442476
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX67NE/27
  • Old SAM County Ref: 802
  • Old SAM Ref: 34459
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX67NE28

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Worth, R. H., 1940, The Dartmoor Menhirs, 197 pl.4 (Article in Serial). SDV231163.

South of Lough Tor (Laughter Tor) stands the menhir known as "the Laughtor Man". This menhir formerly marked the termination of a double stone row. It is 8ft 7ins high, 2.5 ft at its greatest width and 18ins wide at the base, tapering to 9 ins at the tip.

Worth, R. H., 1946, The Stone Rows of Dartmoor. Part 1, 310, Row No. 50 (Article in Serial). SDV251172.

(Estimated 1945) 23 stones remain varying in distance apart from 1 to 2m. The average height of the stones is 300 to 600mm. At the north-western end is a standing stone. At the south-eastern end two of the stones are comparatively large; suggesting a possible barrow.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1952, SX67NE28 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV230021.

(18/07/1952) Stone Row, menhir Laughter. Condition rather bad. The 3 south-eastern extremity stones are still standing but the remainder are only just visible above ground.

Worth, R. H., 1953, Dartmoor, 229 (Monograph). SDV231148.

A double row of stones, consisting of 23 stones, extends for 657 feet varying in distance apart from 4 to 6 feet. The average height of the stones is 1 to 2 feet. At the north west end is a standing stone, 8 feet 8 inches high. At the south east end two of the stones are comparatively large; suggesting a possible barrow. The standing stone was re-erected in 1893.

Ancient Monuments, 1970, Schedule Note (Schedule Document). SDV230012.

(06/05/1970) Stone row south of Laughter Tor. A much robbed double row of stones. Remains of 2 stone rows to south-east of standing stone. Only 21 upright remain.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1976, SX67SE94 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV230153.

(22/09/1976) Immediately south of the standing stone (MDV6001) a stone row was found, exposed by burning. It consists of 13 visible small stones "and some 9 can be located by probing".

National Monument Record, 1977, sx6575, 1/365-385 (Aerial Photograph). SDV247974.

Grinsell, L. V., 1978, Dartmoor Barrows, 151 (Article in Serial). SDV273224.

(17/07/1976) No trace of cairn claimed by Worth at lower (south-east) end.

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

Hemery, E., 1983, High Dartmoor, 488 (Monograph). SDV249702.

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

A very small part of this row is visible and only one row on NMR 1977 aerial photograph.

Haythornthwaite, R. L., 1988, Brimpts Farm, Dartmeet, Princetown (Duchy Farms Survey) (Report - Survey). SDV223270.

(27/10/1998) SX 6521 7538. (A) A standing stone (re-erected in 1893 and again in 1911), at about 395m OD on gentle, rough grass and heather covered, s-facing slopes, some 350m SSW of Laughter Tor.
Now oriented E-W and standing some 2.7m high, it is 0.65m wide and 0.45m thick at ground level. (see GP's). According to Worth (1953) "when fallen this was 12ft (3.65m) long." It appears to be placed centrally within a flat topped grass covered mound 0.3m maximum height and about 8m in diameter but it is not possible to ascertain if this is an original feature. The ground at the base of the stone is worn away revealing an assortment of small packing stones.
About 18m SE of the standing stone a double row of stones extends down the slope from SX 6524 7537 some 205m to SX 6537 7531. Oriented NW-SE and 1.4m apart at the NW end widening to 2m at the SE end it consists of twenty one good stones, mainly upright and probably in situ, and a further nine stones, possibly original, but now displaced (see Fig 1). The majority of the stones are aligned with the rows.
There are eight stones at the NW end and thirteen at the SE end, probably due to robbing of the central section. The stones vary in height from 0.1m to a maximum of 1.3m and are from 0.15m to 1.2m wide and 0.1m to 0.3m thick. The larger stones tend to be at the SE end. (Worth says that this suggests there may have been a barrow at this SE end but no evidence for this is visible on the ground).
From Worth's photograph (Plate 56B) the rows were much better seen when he described them as being 657ft (200m) long. The rows are now some 144m long but may have originally been up to 203m in length.
(DAS Proceedings, 1965, Vol 12's comment refers to the stone row SX 67 NE 94)
A further table of information is held in the archive.

Gerrard, S., 1990-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset., MPP 157098 (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

(09/05/2002) Double stone alignment 690m south-west of Laughter Hole Farm. The last two uprights within the row are within a circular hollow measuring 3.6m in diameter and 0.3m deep, within which there is erosion caused by animal poaching. Gorse, grass bilberry and rushes

Quinnell, N. V., 1995, Note in Sites and Monument Record (Personal Comment). SDV138550.

(22/03/1995) As above.

Ancient Monuments, 2003, Schedule amendment (Schedule Document). SDV230030.

(30/9/2003) SX 65287535. Bronze Age standing stone 2.65 metres high, 0.7 metres wide and 0.52 metres thick, set into a small cairn. About 18 metres to the south east is a double stone row orientated north west to south east and consisting of at least 23 upright stones and a further 9 displaced ones averaging about 1.7 metres apart. The standing stone was re-erected in 1893 and again in 1911 and the cairn was excavated in 1903. Scheduled.

English Heritage, 2011, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV347072.

The monument includes two double stone alignments, a cairn and standing stone situated on a south facing slope of Laughter Tor overlooking the valley of the East Dart River. The eastern alignment is orientated from north-west to south east and includes a 164 meters long, double alignment of at least 23 upright stones, with an average height of 0.23 meters. The spacing of the stones is irregular and the distance between the rows is 1.7 meters. A small cairn with a tall standing stone built into its centre stands at the north-west end of this stone alignment. The cairn measures 5.5 meters in diameter and 0.2 meters high, whilst the standing stone is 2.65 meters high, 0.7 meters wide by 0.52 meters thick. The standing stone was re-erected in 1893 and again in 1911. The cairn was excavated in 1903 by Robert Burnard who found considerable quantities of charcoal.
The second stone alignment (PRN 6002) lies to the south of the standing stone and is also orientated approximately north-west to south-east and includes a 10 meter long double row of at least ten upright stones with an average height of 0.05 meters. The spacing of the stones is irregular and the distance between the rows is 1.0 meter. (Amended 2003) Other details: SAM ID: 34459.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV138550Personal Comment: Quinnell, N. V.. 1995. Note in Sites and Monument Record. Unknown.
SDV223270Report - Survey: Haythornthwaite, R. L.. 1988. Brimpts Farm, Dartmeet, Princetown (Duchy Farms Survey). Agricultural Development Advisory Service. A3 Comb Bound.
SDV230012Schedule Document: Ancient Monuments. 1970. Schedule Note. The Schedule of Monuments. Unknown.
SDV230021Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1952. SX67NE28. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV230030Schedule Document: Ancient Monuments. 2003. Schedule amendment. The Schedule of Monuments. Unknown.
SDV230153Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1976. SX67SE94. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV231148Monograph: Worth, R. H.. 1953. Dartmoor. Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 229.
SDV231163Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1940. The Dartmoor Menhirs. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 72. Paperback Volume. 197 pl.4.
SDV247974Aerial Photograph: National Monument Record. 1977. sx6575. National Monument Record Aerial Photograph. Unknown. 1/365-385.
SDV249702Monograph: Hemery, E.. 1983. High Dartmoor. High Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 488.
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. 310, Row No. 50.
SDV273224Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1978. Dartmoor Barrows. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 36. A5 Paperback. 151.
SDV277946Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. MPP 157098.
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.
SDV347072National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2011. National Heritage List for England. Website.

Associated Monuments

MDV66340Related to: Cairn 720 metres south-west of Laughter Hole Farm (Monument)
MDV66333Related to: Field system south-east of Laughter Tor (Monument)
MDV66342Related to: Field wall 710 metres south-west of Laughter Hole Farm (Monument)
MDV6002Related to: Stone row south of Laughter Tor (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8634 - Brimpts Farm, Duchy Farms Survey
  • EDV8409 - Dartmoor Royal Forest Project

Date Last Edited:Feb 7 2022 11:26AM