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HER Number:MDV8281
Name:Headless Cross, Mardon Down, Moretonhampstead


A standing stone rather than a 'headless cross'. The original was damaged beyond repair by a stolen car set on light beside it in 1990 and a replica, apparently made out of a gatepost, was erected in its stead.


Grid Reference:SX 770 878
Map Sheet:SX78NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishMoretonhampstead
Ecclesiastical ParishMORETONHAMPSTEAD

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX78NE4
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 445360
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX78NE/1

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • STANDING STONE (Early Medieval to Late 20th Century - 1066 AD? (Between) to 1992 AD (Between))
  • STANDING STONE (Erected, Late 20th Century - 1992 AD (Between) to 1992 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

Stone marked.

Masson Phillips, E. N., 1937, The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon: Part I, 327 (Article in Serial). SDV240502.

A stone known as Headless Cross or Maximajor Stone. It is not part of a cross and is apparently a standing stone.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1953-1981, SX78NE4 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV305581.

(16/04/1953) Roughly rectangular in section, the head is much weathered and rounded. It stands at the junction of old tracks. An Ordnance Survey bench mark has been cut into the south-east face.
(23/12/1981) An erect unweathered stone (see ground photograph) measuring 1.6m. high and 0.2m. by 0.3m. with roughly dressed sides, rounded corners and a broken top. It does not have the appearance of either standing stone or cross-shaft but may have been a boundary stone or way marker. Revised at 1:2500 on M.S.D.

National Monuments Record, 1982, NMR SF2112, 1001 (Aerial Photograph). SDV345548.

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

Visible and recorded.

Griffiths, D. M., 1986, Headless Cross (Personal Comment). SDV356188.

As recorded by Ordnance Survey in 1981.

Griffiths, D. M., 1992, Standing Stone (Worksheet). SDV305584.

Headless Cross was driven into by a stolen car on 28th November 1990. It was broken in three pieces and covered in molten metal. Not possible to ment. A replica was made by Dartmoor National Park Authority and erected in 1992.

McCrone, P., 1996, Hingston Down Field System (Correspondence). SDV356189.

The replica was made from an adapted gatepost. It was erected to replace the original after a stolen car was set on fire beside it.

Ordnance Survey, 2014, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV355681.

Stone marked.

Historic England, 2021-2022, NRHE to HER website, Accessed 28/06/2022 (Website). SDV364039.

The original stone was vandalised when a car was driven into it and set alight. The heat irreparably split the stone in three and so in 1992 the Dartmoor National Park Authorities erected this duplicate stone as a replacement (info from T. Sandles, 07/06/2005).

Sources / Further Reading

SDV240502Article in Serial: Masson Phillips, E. N.. 1937. The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon: Part I. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 69. A5 Hardback. 327.
SDV305581Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1953-1981. SX78NE4. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV305584Worksheet: Griffiths, D. M.. 1992. Standing Stone. Digital.
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.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV345548Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1982. NMR SF2112. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 1001.
SDV355681Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2014. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #49878 ]
SDV356188Personal Comment: Griffiths, D. M.. 1986. Headless Cross.
SDV356189Correspondence: McCrone, P.. 1996. Hingston Down Field System. Letter to B. Horner. Digital.
SDV364039Website: Historic England. 2021-2022. NRHE to HER website. https://nrhe-to-her.esdm.co.uk/NRHE. Website. Accessed 28/06/2022.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jun 28 2022 3:26PM