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HER Number:MDV6158
Name:Fourfold circle on Shovel Down, Chagford

Summary

The remains of a stone circle with a robbed cairn. The stone circle consists of four concentric stone rings. A low turf-covered cairn measuring 10 metres in diameter and 0.4 metres high has a central cist which has been robbed.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 659 860
Map Sheet:SX68NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishChagford
Civil ParishGidleigh
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishGIDLEIGH
Ecclesiastical ParishCHAGFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX68NE17
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 443527
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68NE/36
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68NE/36/1
  • Old SAM County Ref: 144
  • Old SAM Ref: 28663

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CAIRN (Constructed, Bronze Age - 2200 BC (Between) to 701 BC (Between))
  • CIST (Constructed, Bronze Age - 2200 BC (Between) to 701 BC (Between))
  • STONE CIRCLE (Constructed, Bronze Age - 2200 BC (Between) to 701 BC (Between))

Full description

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

(Estimated 1856) It is described as a triple circle: in the outer-most circle are 10 stones, in the next are 6 and in the inner one 8, with three stones standing in the centre. Maximum diameter is nearly 8 metres.

Wilkinson, J. G., 1860, The Rock-Basins of Dartmoor, and Some British Remains in England, 112-114 (Article in Serial). SDV273188.

Spence Bate, C., 1870-1871, On the Prehistoric Antiquities of Dartmoor, 504-505 (Article in Serial). SDV277110.

Worth, R. H., 1932, The Prehistoric Monuments of Scorhill, Buttern Hill, and Shuggledown (Shoveldown), 283-5, Estimated 1931 (Article in Serial). SDV239731.

Shuggledown (Shovel Down). A barrow with a four-fold retaining circle marks the southern end of a Stone Row ('B' SX 68 NE 16). The outer circle, consisting of nine standing stones and one fallen stone, is approx. 29 feet in diameter to the internal faces of the stones. Possibly seven stones are missing. The inner circle, approx. 19 feet in diameter, has six standing stones and possibly once had four more. The third circle, approx. 15 feet in diameter, consists of eight standing stones and possibly once had two more. The innermost circle has four stones, two standing, and possibly once had two more. The diameter is approx. 8 feet. With the exception of Lukis every observer has described this as a triple circle.
Diameter (circle 1 is 8.75 metres, 2 is 5.75 metres, 3 is 4.65 metres, 4 is 2.4 metres).

Worth, R. H., 1937, 56th Report of the Barrow Committee, 99 fig. 15 (Article in Serial). SDV20973.

(Estimated 1936) All the circles are of the open type. It lies at the southern end of a stone row. (Worth's No.34; MDV6171).

Brailsford, J. W., 1938, Bronze Age Stone Monuments of Dartmoor, 447 (Article in Serial). SDV304210.

Worth, R. H., 1940, The Dartmoor Menhirs, 198 (Article in Serial). SDV231163.

Worth, R. H., 1941, Retaining Circles Associated with Stone Rows, Dartmoor, 238 (Article in Serial). SDV251083.

Fox, A., 1957, Cairns and stone alignments on Shovel Down, 155-158 (Article in Serial). SDV348211.

Triple circle at south end of stone row. A small barrow with peristalith and two interior rows of orthostats and wrecked cist. Two large menhirs fallen beside circle. Batworthy circle.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1974, SX68NE17 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV274821.

SX65968601 Cairn (peristalith, two internal concentric circles on stone and ruined cist)
A barrow with a four-fold retaining circle marks the southern end of a stone row ('B' SX68NE16). The outer circle, consisting of nine standing stones and one fallen, is approximately 29 feet in diameter to the internal faces of the stones. Possibly seven stones are missing. The inner circle, approximately 19 feet in diameter, has six standing stones and possibly once had four more. The third circle, approximately 15 feet in diameter, consists of eight standing stones and possibly once had two more. The innermost circle has four stones, two standing and possibly once had two more. The diameter is approximately 8 feet. With the exception of Lukis every observer has described this as a triple circle (citing Worth, R. H., 1932, 284-5 and 1941, 238).
A small barrow with peristalith 25 feet in diameter, two interior circles of orthostats and a wrecked cist (citing Fox, A., 1950).
A cairn at the southern end of a stone row with four circles of stone, the outermost with a diameter of 30 feet. Immediately adjoining the circle are two large fallen stones. One is a pillar 11.5 feet long and the other a slab over 7 feet with one end broadly triangular in shape. They probably stood facing each other at the end of the stone row (citing Pettit, P., 1974, Prehistoric Dartmoor, 149-54).
None of the above authorities gives this cairn a proper name. Triple Circle and Fourfold Circle are always used descriptively (Ordnance Survey, 12/06/1974).
A turf-covered cairn, 10.0 metres in diameter and 0.4 metres in height with a ruined central cist of small slabs. Two concentric circles of orthostats and a perimeter circle protrude from the turf. Surveyed at 1:2500 (Ordnance Survey, 09/07/1974).

Greeves, T. A. P., 1976, Report of Field Visit to the Shovel Down stone rows (13/08/1976) (Report - non-specific). SDV362905.

13/8/1976 All the stones which Worth planned in 1931 were visible, but three of the stones from the innermost circle are no longer in situ and are now lying loose on the ground surface.

Greeves, T. A. P., 1976, Site visit notes and plan of the Shovel Down stone rows (Site Visit). SDV274180.

13/8/1976 All the stones which Worth planned in 1931 were visible, but three of the stones from the innermost circle are no longer in situ and are now lying loose on the ground surface.

National Monument Record, 1977, NMR SX6586, 3/50-51 (Aerial Photograph). SDV220197.

National Monuments Record, 1977, NMR SX6685, 10 (Aerial Photograph). SDV254388.

Grinsell, L. V., 1978, Dartmoor Barrows, 139, Gidleigh 3, 23/4/1973 (Article in Serial). SDV273224.

Four-fold stone circle on Shovel Down, apparently in low cairn, limited by innermost circle. Diameter 8.8 metres, height 0.3 metres.

Walrond, L. F. J., 1979, Notes on the Fourfold Circle, Shovel Down (Worksheet). SDV274839.

Visited 19/8/1979 The inner circle area of the Fourfold circle does not conform with Worth (page 187) In the centre is evidence of recent disturbance (4-6 years old?). In the centre a large stone has been placed (apparently cavities exist underneath). Appears unchanged from Walrond's July 1978 visit. The innermost circle has six stones, of which two are loose.
The standing stones in the alignments are noted as being less visible than in 1978 or 1977 due to rising peat levels.

Robinson, R. + Greeves, T. A. P., 1981, Two Unrecorded Prehistoric Multiple Stone Rings, Glasscombe, Ugborough, South Dartmoor, 35 (Article in Serial). SDV142714.

Reference to this fourfold circle in comparison to those at Glasscombe.

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

Visible on National Monuments Record aerial photographs and recorded on map overlay.

Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England, 1987-1993, Duchy Farms Project Survey Visit, R. Wilson-North (Report - Survey). SDV350839.

(19/09/1991) SX 65968601 Fourfold Circle a sub-circular configuration of four apparently concentric stone rings. The outer ring has a diameter of 9m, the others have diameters of 6.4m, 4.7m and 2.4m respectively. The monument comprises 29 visible stones. Most are approximately 0.3m in height although they vary from 0.1-0.55m. The middle two rings define the bottom and top of the scarp of a small earthen cairn apparently an integral part of the monument. It is most pronounced on the E (downslope side). In the centre is a roughly sub-circular pit measuring 1.3m by 0.7m and 0.45m deep; it is probably the remains of a badly robbed cist.
On the N side are two fallen stones. When upright they may have served as a focal point for the end of the stone row (SX 68 NE 16 B). They measure 3.4m and 1.2m in length, the former being inscribed `GP' (for Gidleigh parish) and confirming its reuse as a boundary stone. Both stones lie within a pronounced erosion hollow 0.3m deep. If the stones did function as a pair at the end of a stone row, then their relationship with the fourfold circle is unclear.
(See RCHME archive survey `The Stone Rows on Shovel Down' at 1:200 scale).

Griffith, F. M., 1989, DAP/LT, 8-10 (Aerial Photograph). SDV346554.

Turner, J. R., 1990, Ring Cairns, Stone Circles and Related Monuments on Dartmoor, 58, 82, g31 (Article in Serial). SDV229817.

Multiple stone circle. Outer diameter 8.6 metres, inner 2.2 metres. Circle 1 has six stones, two fallen. Circle 2 has eight stones. Circle 3 has six stones. Circle 4 has ten stones, one fallen. Double stone row descends to north.

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

(1997) Kerbed cairn. Central pit 1.2m by 0.9m by 0.3m deep. A very complex cairn. The mound extends from second ring from the outside and is 0.3m high.

Butler, J., 1991, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North, 178-180, 182; fig 36.11 (Monograph). SDV219155.

The cairn at the uphill end is known as the Fourfold circle from the four concentric rings of stones which surround the central pit. A slight rise within the outer ring is all that remains of the mound, most of the smaller stones from the body of the cairn have been removed. The rings are elliptical rather than truly circular with the longer axis in the direction of the row. The outer ring has a diameter of about 9 metres and contains ten stones, the others six, eight and five stones respectively, though they all have several gaps.

Griffith, F. M., 20/02/1987, DAP/ID, 7-9 (Aerial Photograph). SDV306073.

GetMapping, 2010, GetMapping 2010 aerial photographs (Aerial Photograph). SDV351585.

Circles of stone visible on the aerial photograph.

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

See Designation Record for full details.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV142714Article in Serial: Robinson, R. + Greeves, T. A. P.. 1981. Two Unrecorded Prehistoric Multiple Stone Rings, Glasscombe, Ugborough, South Dartmoor. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 39. Paperback Volume. 35.
SDV20973Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1937. 56th Report of the Barrow Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 69. A4 Unbound. 99 fig. 15.
SDV219155Monograph: Butler, J.. 1991. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Two. Paperback Volume. 178-180, 182; fig 36.11.
SDV220197Aerial Photograph: National Monument Record. 1977. NMR SX6586. National Monument Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 3/50-51.
SDV229817Article in Serial: Turner, J. R.. 1990. Ring Cairns, Stone Circles and Related Monuments on Dartmoor. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 48. Paperback Volume. 58, 82, g31.
SDV231163Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1940. The Dartmoor Menhirs. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 72. Paperback Volume. 198.
SDV239731Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1932. The Prehistoric Monuments of Scorhill, Buttern Hill, and Shuggledown (Shoveldown). Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 64. Unknown. 283-5, Estimated 1931.
SDV251083Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1941. Retaining Circles Associated with Stone Rows, Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 73. 238.
SDV254388Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1977. NMR SX6685. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 10.
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. 112-114.
SDV273224Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1978. Dartmoor Barrows. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 36. A5 Paperback. 139, Gidleigh 3, 23/4/1973.
SDV274180Site Visit: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1976. Site visit notes and plan of the Shovel Down stone rows. dartmoor National Park Authority. Digital.
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. 23 map.
SDV274821Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1974. SX68NE17. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV274839Worksheet: Walrond, L. F. J.. 1979. Notes on the Fourfold Circle, Shovel Down. Worksheet. Digital.
SDV277110Article in Serial: Spence Bate, C.. 1870-1871. On the Prehistoric Antiquities of Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 4. Digital. 504-505.
SDV277946Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. MPP 143949.
SDV304210Article in Serial: Brailsford, J. W.. 1938. Bronze Age Stone Monuments of Dartmoor. Antiquity. 12, Issue 48. Digital. 447.
SDV306073Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 20/02/1987. DAP/ID. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 7-9.
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.
SDV346554Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1989. DAP/LT. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 8-10.
SDV348211Article in Serial: Fox, A.. 1957. Cairns and stone alignments on Shovel Down. Archaeological Journal. 114. Unknown. 155-158.
SDV350839Report - Survey: Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England. 1987-1993. Duchy Farms Project Survey Visit. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Archaeological Survey. Unknown. R. Wilson-North.
SDV351585Aerial Photograph: GetMapping. 2010. GetMapping 2010 aerial photographs. Getmapping. Photograph (Digital). [Mapped feature: #112444 ]
SDV360653National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2018. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. 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

MDV6168Related to: Alignment A on Shovel Down (Monument)
MDV6171Related to: Alignment B on Shovel Down (Monument)
MDV14875Related to: Alignment C on Shovel Down (Monument)
MDV6181Related to: Alignment G on Shovel Down (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6198 - Geophysical Survey on Shovel Down and Kes Tor
  • EDV8423 - Duchy Farms Project

Date Last Edited:Jun 27 2022 4:18PM