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HER Number:MDV6145
Name:Alignment D on Shovel Down

Summary

One of a group of probably Bronze Age stone alignments. Recorded in 1974 as a single stone row measuring approximately 123 metres in length, with no terminal features. Worth extended it in a curve to the north, but the Ordnance Survey considered this to be part of a separate row (MDV6181). Greeves (1976) and the Royal Commission survey in 1991 identifies it as the southern part of one long alignment (D-G-H-J).

Location

Grid Reference:SX 660 857
Map Sheet:SX68NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishChagford
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishGIDLEIGH

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX 68 NE 16
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68NE/30
  • Old SAM County Ref: 144
  • Old SAM Ref: 28663
  • Pastscape: 443524

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Rowe, S., 1830, 'Antiquarian Investigations of the Forest of Dartmoor' (Article in Serial). SDV344933.


Ormerod, G. W., 1857-1858, On some British and druidical remains in the parishes of Chagford and Gidleigh, 22-23 (Article in Serial). SDV274183.


Wilkinson, J. G., 1860, The Rock-Basins of Dartmoor, and Some British Remains in England, 101-132, fig (Article in Serial). SDV273188.


Worth, R. N., 1892, The Stone Rows of Dartmoor, 391-2 (Article in Serial). SDV237176.


Worth, R. H., 1930, Proceedings at the Annual Meeting, 38-39 (Article in Serial). SDV231168.


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

For particular stone rows within this complex, refer to related records. The Merrivale group is included by Tyler in a discussion of the orientation of the stone rows.


Worth, R. H., 1932, The Prehistoric Monuments of Scorhill, Buttern Hill, and Shuggledown (Shoveldown), 287, Row 39 (Article in Serial). SDV239731.

This is an elongated and very irregular group, lying in part in the valley of the South Teign, between Batworthy and Thornworthy corners. A suitable reference point is the fourfold retaining circle which lies at the head of row A. The contour of the ground is important, but it can only be approximately given. At the northern end of the group the level is approximately 400 metres O.D. 360 metres south it has risen to approximately 415 metres O.D., and at the three boys, 350 metres further south, it has fallen to approximately 400 metres O.D. It follows that, except near the summit level, there are no points from which the half of the group can be seen at the same time as parts of the other half. The group was never intended to be seen as a whole, which is not surprising since there are many individual rows the whole length of which cannot be seen at one time; except, in these days, from the air.


Ralegh Radford, C. A., 1952, Prehistoric Settlements on Dartmoor and the Cornish Moors, 73 (Article in Serial). SDV337080.


Worth, R. H., 1967, Worth's Dartmoor, 219 (Monograph). SDV337618.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1974, SX68NE16 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV274181.

13/06/1974 and 16/07/1974. Row D SX66058583 to SX66048571. A single row 123 metres long with no terminal features. Worth extends it as a curve for a further 50 metres to the north, but this extension is straight, on a different alignment, and almost certainly a separate row (see G).


Walrond, L. F. J., 1975, Details about Shovel Down stone rows (Personal Comment). SDV273490.

100 metres south of Batworthy Corner, field observation of marks in peat adds the following details to Ordnance Survey map.
1. A shorter third stone row, to west of two already recorded, begins with an extant stone and also converges on the Fourfold circle from north-west.
2. This line is maintained to the cist as recorded, but then continues south-east, after a gap, for another 150 metres. The two rows appear to diverge after leaving the cist. The whole complex appears as two groups of single and double stone rows, the one converging at fourfold circle, the other at the cist, and joined by the intermediate stone rows.


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, Plan included (Site Visit). SDV274180.

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.


Grinsell, L. V., 1978, Dartmoor Barrows, 134, 139 (Article in Serial). SDV273224.


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).


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


Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Interpretation). SDV319854.

Not visible on Royal Air Force 1947 (or National Monuments Record) aerial photographs.


Gerrard, S., 1990-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset., MPP 143942-143949, 1997 (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

(No information from Gerrard included on this record).


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


Sites and Monuments Record, 1999?, Unattributed Shovel Down entry (Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry). SDV273524.

Worth's row 39 is recognised by the Ordnance Survey (25/8/1978) as rows D and G. The total length being 209 metres, with 47 and 25 stones respectively. The remaining length recognised by Greeves is also divided into two rows, H and J, with 24 and 46 stones respectively. Row H is 51 metres long, and row J is 228 metres long, and it is probably overlain by a reave at its southern end. Row G is the possible independent row referred to by Worth (see related records).


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 (National Heritage List for England). SDV360653.

See designation record for details.


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

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.
D: SX 66028583 to SX 66048568. A single row (47 stones visible July '78) 149.0m long, with no terminal features; it curves slightly to the south west Worth (1967) extends it as a reave for a further 50.0m to the north but this extension is straight, on a different alignment, and almost certainly a separate row (see G) (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.
They occupy the head of a gentle combe in the angle formed by the northern flank of the ridge running from Kestor to Shovel Down and immediately below the ridge. Two of the rows run over the crest and onto the south-east facing slopes of Shovel Down.
A 1:200 survey was carried out in August 1991. The survey revealed fewer stones than were recorded in 1978, but no probing was done. The rows are generally as described by the Ordnance Survey in 1974, but an updated description is held in the archive.
The general preservation of the complex is good. However, some peat cutting has taken place and stones have been removed for the newtake walls at Batworthy Corner and Thornworthy Corner. This is particularly noticeable at the southern end of E - F where only three stones survive, but a large number of very slight hollows are visible confirming Ormerod’s observations made in 1858 (1858, 20-24).
Other features which effect the preservation of the rows include prospecting at the northern end of the complex, a hollow way and the Southill Leat. This is especially serious on B and C where paths have developed between the lines of stones, and have eroded the surface by up to 0.2 metres. Animal erosion exacerbates the problem.
All the double rows have foci of some kind, 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

SDV231168Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1930. Proceedings at the Annual Meeting. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 62. 38-39.
SDV237176Article in Serial: Worth, R. N.. 1892. The Stone Rows of Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 24. Digital. 391-2.
SDV239731Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1932. The Prehistoric Monuments of Scorhill, Buttern Hill, and Shuggledown (Shoveldown). Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 64. Unknown. 287, Row 39.
SDV251072Article in Serial: Tyler, F. C.. 1930-1931. Kistvaens at Thornworthy and Stone Rows. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 16. 115-119.
SDV251087Article in Serial: Emmett, D. D.. 1979. Stone Rows: The Traditional View Reconsidered. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 37. Paperback Volume. 111.
SDV273188Article in Serial: Wilkinson, J. G.. 1860. The Rock-Basins of Dartmoor, and Some British Remains in England. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 16. Unknown. 101-132, fig.
SDV273224Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1978. Dartmoor Barrows. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 36. A5 Paperback. 134, 139.
SDV273490Personal Comment: Walrond, L. F. J.. 1975. Details about Shovel Down stone rows. Not Applicable.
SDV273524Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry: Sites and Monuments Record. 1999?. Unattributed Shovel Down entry. Not Applicable.
SDV274180Site Visit: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1976. Site visit notes and plan of the Shovel Down stone rows. dartmoor National Park Authority. Digital. Plan included.
SDV274181Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1974. SX68NE16. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
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. 22-23.
SDV274190Personal Comment: Quinnell, N. V.. 1995. Shovel Down stone rows notes. Not Applicable. 22/3/1995.
SDV277946Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. MPP 143942-143949, 1997.
SDV319854Interpretation: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
SDV337080Article in Serial: Ralegh Radford, C. A.. 1952. Prehistoric Settlements on Dartmoor and the Cornish Moors. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. 18. Unknown. 73.
SDV337618Monograph: Worth, R. H.. 1967. Worth's Dartmoor. Worth's Dartmoor. A5 Hardback. 219.
SDV344933Article in Serial: Rowe, S.. 1830. 'Antiquarian Investigations of the Forest of Dartmoor'. Transactions of the Plymouth Institute. 1.
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: #112417 ]
SDV360653National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2018. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
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

MDV6179Related to: Alignment E on Shovel Down (Monument)
MDV6181Related to: Alignment G on Shovel Down (Monument)
MDV14881Related to: Alignment H on Shovel Down (Monument)
MDV14882Related to: Alignment J on Shovel Down (Monument)
MDV6149Related to: Longstone on Shovel Down, Chagford Common (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6198 - Geophysical Survey on Shovel Down and Kes Tor

Date Last Edited:Mar 8 2019 3:54PM