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HER Number:MDV69604
Name:Cut Hill Stone Row, Lydford

Summary

Cut Hill stone row consists of an alignment of eight large stones orientated south-west to north-east. Radiocarbon dating on the peat stratified above and below the monoliths provided the first secure date for a stone row within the region. The results date this alignment to the second half of the fourth millennium BC; significantly earlier than previously assumed (Dartmoor rows having thought to date to between the late third - middle of the second millennium BC).

Location

Grid Reference:SX 599 828
Map Sheet:SX58SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Stone and earthwork remains of a prehistoric cairn and stone row on Cut Hill

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX58SE/12
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • STONE ALIGNMENT (Early Neolithic to LANEBA - 3710 BC to 2245 BC (Between))
  • ENVIRONMENTAL INVESTIGATION (Early Neolithic - 3700 BC to 3300 BC (Between))

Full description

Fyfe, R. M. + Greeves, T., ?2005, A 4th millenium stone row on Cut Hill, Dartmoor, southwest England (Report - non-specific). SDV359637.

Radiocarbon dating of the peat underneath two elements of the stone row on Cut Hill and a date from above one of the elements implied the row was laid out during the second half of the 4th millenium BC.


Greeves, T. A. P., 2004, Cut Hill Stone Row (Worksheet). SDV273772.

A line of five regularly spaced large stones at circa 595 metres OD to the northeast of a Prehistoric barrow on 'Cut Hill' were observed during a field visit by Tom Greeves in 2004. The circa 100 metre long alignment is orienated south-west to north-east with the stones lying on the Prehistoric land surface in an area where the overlying peat had been removed. The long axis of each stone is aligned northwest to southeast suggesting they may have been deliberately pushed over to fall in the same direction. The southern stone is 2.3 metres by 0.9 metres by circa 0.2 metres with packing stones around the western end. The second stone circa 29 metres to the north is 2.4 metres by 0.8 metres by circa 0.2 metres and the third stone circa 32 metres further north is 1.85 metres by 0.7 metres by circa 0.2 metres with the letters 'J E W' cut in the centre of the exposed face. The fourth stone circa 21 metres to the north is 1.9 metres by 1.2 metres by circa 0.2 metres and the most northerly stone circa 22 metres further north is 2.6 metres by 0.7 metres by circa 0.2 metres. Plan of the southwest stone with packing stones.


Straker, V., 2005, Palaeoenvironmental Sampling from Cut Hill and Whitehorse Hill (Report - Scientific). SDV352054.

Samples taken from Stone 1 at Cut Hill stone row dated to the mid 4th millenium BC.


Fyfe, R., 2008, Cut Hill, Dartmoor (Phase 3); Stone row chronology and landscape change (Report - Scientific). SDV352088.

Cut Hill Stone Row project was undertaken in three phases.
Phase 1 focused on environmental analysis of a section excavated from immediately under one of the exposed stones which suggested that peat formation locally began around 5510-5360 cal BC on a predominantly open heathland. A date from immediately underneath the stone suggested a 'terminus post quem' of 3710-3530 cal BC for placement of that element of the monument.
Phase 2 focused on environmental analysis of a 1.9 metre section excavated from a peat hag 5 metres from the stone examined in Phase 1 and described the longer-term local landscape context of the monument.
Phase 3 undertook a pollen analysis and a chronology sequence which included a new stone element located through probing within on of the peat hags. The newly excavated stone ended in its final recumbent position shortly after 3347-3100 cal BC and was sealed by peat by 2476-2245 cal BC at the end of the Late Neolithic to the start of the Early Bronze Age. It is not clear whether the stones were originally upright or always recumbent. If they were originally upright then the date for construction of the monument may be earlier than the late 4th millenium BC. The stone is circa 1,96 metre long by 0.7 metres wide. The outline vegetation chronology confirm a model of later Mesolithic burning on Dartmoor 5700-4100 cal BC which ended locally around 4500 cal BC. Woodland remained within the wider upland landscape with some areas forming blanket peat by the end of the Mesolithic.


Greeves, T. A. P., 2009, Flint found at Cut Hill (Worksheet). SDV344899.

Flint microlith found on Cut Hill lying on washed peat 5.15 meters north-east of the south-west corner of Stone 1 (the most south-westerly of the visible stones) of the stone alignment. Find identified by Exeter museum as Mesolithic backed bladelet dating to between 8000-6500 BC.


Morris, S., 2010, Ancient Stones found in Devon, 19th April 2010 (Article in Serial). SDV352086.

Nine stones up to 2.6 metres high by just 20 centimetres wide are lying flat but it is thought they originally stood in a long thin line. The row is unusually large and straight and the high location is exceptional.


Western Morning News, 2010, Dartmoor Stones are older than Stonehenge, 3 (Article in Serial). SDV352053.

Nine stones spread out in a straight line at Cut Hill. Six of the stones are still visible. The site has been dated to around 3500 BC. The stones appear to be aligned to mark the rising of the midsummer sun and the setting of the midwinter sun.


Geddes, L., 2010, Do Dartmoor Stones have link to Stonehenge?, 17th April 2010 (Article in Serial). SDV352084.

Row of nine stones on Cut Hill discovered in 2004. Carbon-dating of the peat surrounding the stones suggest the stones had fallen or were placed flat on the ground between 3600 and 3100 BC.


Viegas, J., 2010, Pre-Stonehenge Megaliths Linked to Death Rituals, 9th April 2010 (Article in Serial). SDV352085.

Nine megaliths dated to around 3500 BC discovered on Dartmoor are now lying flat. A ditched barrow exists close to the Cut Hill stones suggesting that burials and rituals might have taken place there. The alignment extends over 705 feet in length.


Mail Online, 2010, Row of Ancient Stones found on Dartmoor 'are older than Stonehenge', 18th April 2010 (Article in Serial). SDV352083.

A row of ancient stones that mirrors the path of the sun like Stonehenge but is up to 1000 years older has been unearthed on Dartmoor.


Fyfe, R. M. + Greeves, T., 2010, The Date and Context of a Stone Row: Cut Hill, Dartmoor, 55-70 (Article in Serial). SDV352087.

Stone row of nine monoliths on Cut Hill in Dartmoor. They are stratified by peat above and below them allowing an accurate radiocarbon date and an environmental context. The results show that the nine stone alignment was erected in a clearing of heathland in the fourth millenium BC. The date raises the possibility of a Neolithic appearance for this type of stone row in south-west Britain and Brittany. It is unknown whether the stones were originally erected in an upright position or whether they were always recumbent. Only Stone 1 of the exposed stones has anything which may resemble packing stones around it suggesting an original upright position.


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.

An alignment of six or seven recumbent granite boulders in an area of peat erosion on the summit of Cut Hill, which could represent remains of a collapsed stone row.


Unknown, Oct/Nov 2004, Moor Secrets, 57 (Article in Serial). SDV357417.

Surprising discovery of a stone row replete with an adjoining barrow on Cut Hill, one of Dartmoor's highest hills.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV273772Worksheet: Greeves, T. A. P.. 2004. Cut Hill Stone Row. Worksheet. Digital.
SDV344899Worksheet: Greeves, T. A. P.. 2009. Flint found at Cut Hill. Worksheet. Digital.
SDV352053Article in Serial: Western Morning News. 2010. Dartmoor Stones are older than Stonehenge. Western Morning News. Newspaper/Magazine Cuttin. 3.
SDV352054Report - Scientific: Straker, V.. 2005. Palaeoenvironmental Sampling from Cut Hill and Whitehorse Hill. English Heritage Research Department Report. A4 Stapled.
SDV352083Article in Serial: Mail Online. 2010. Row of Ancient Stones found on Dartmoor 'are older than Stonehenge'. Mail Online. Website. 18th April 2010.
SDV352084Article in Serial: Geddes, L.. 2010. Do Dartmoor Stones have link to Stonehenge?. New Scientist. Newspaper/Magazine Cuttin. 17th April 2010.
SDV352085Article in Serial: Viegas, J.. 2010. Pre-Stonehenge Megaliths Linked to Death Rituals. Discovery News. Website. 9th April 2010.
SDV352086Article in Serial: Morris, S.. 2010. Ancient Stones found in Devon. The Guardian. Website. 19th April 2010.
SDV352087Article in Serial: Fyfe, R. M. + Greeves, T.. 2010. The Date and Context of a Stone Row: Cut Hill, Dartmoor. Antiquity. 84. A4 Comb Bound. 55-70.
SDV352088Report - Scientific: Fyfe, R.. 2008. Cut Hill, Dartmoor (Phase 3); Stone row chronology and landscape change. University of Plymouth. A4 Spiral Bound.
SDV357417Article in Serial: Unknown. Oct/Nov 2004. Moor Secrets. Current Archaeology. 194. Unknown. 57.
SDV359637Report - non-specific: Fyfe, R. M. + Greeves, T.. ?2005. A 4th millenium stone row on Cut Hill, Dartmoor, southwest England. A4.
SDV361635Report - 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. [Mapped feature: #112894 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV69603Related to: Barrow on Cut Hill, Dartmoor (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV1677 - BLADE (Mesolithic - 6500 BC to 8000 BC)

Associated Events

  • EDV6230 - Cut Hill, Dartmoor (Phase 3): stone row chronology and landscape change
  • EDV7441 - Condition survey of the archaeological sites of Merrivale Training Area
  • EDV7570 - Condition survey of Merrivale Range training area
  • EDV7620 - Okehampton Artillary Range

Date Last Edited:Aug 10 2018 9:49AM