Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Stone circle, cairn alignment, cider millstone and boundary ditch 410m south east of Sourton Tors

A Scheduled Monument in Sourton, Devon

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 50.6876 / 50°41'15"N

Longitude: -4.0589 / 4°3'32"W

OS Eastings: 254657.363

OS Northings: 89570.862

OS Grid: SX546895

Mapcode National: GBR Q0.617X

Mapcode Global: FRA 27D8.6JL

Entry Name: Stone circle, cairn alignment, cider millstone and boundary ditch 410m south east of Sourton Tors

Scheduled Date: 1 November 1966

Last Amended: 14 June 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007827

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24060

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Sourton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument includes a stone circle, cairn alignment, cider mill and a short
length of boundary ditch with bank situated on level ground on the saddle
between Sourton Tors and Corn Ridge. The stone circle includes a 32m diameter
ring of 18 stones. Every stone is now lying on the ground and no attempt has
been made to re-erect them. The stones would originally have stood up to 1.8m
high. Originally they were regularly spaced at about 2.5m intervals but many
are now missing as a result of stone working. The cairn alignment is
orientated NNE to SSW and includes a 344.5m long row of 74 small cairns with a
large mound at either end. The diameters of the small cairns range from 1m to
2.5m and their heights from 0.1m to 0.4m, with a spacing of between 4m and 6m.
The cairn at the southern end measures 10m in diameter and stands up to 0.4m
high. A number of shallow hollows in the surface of the mound suggest partial
early excavation or robbing. The cairn at the northern end measures 13m in
diameter and 0.8m high. A number of stone slabs set around the perimeter of
the mound indicate the presence of a kerb which now survives largely as a
buried feature. The surface of this cairn is also pitted with shallow hollows
indicating previous robbing or partial excavation.
The cider millstone lies 6m from the cairn alignment and includes half of the
lower stone of a cider mill. This stone was made nearby but discarded during
transport from the Moor. A cider mill consisted of an annular trough in which
ran a millstone, set on its edge. The diameter of this stone is 2.28m. Its
thickness at the margin is 0.43m and at its centre 0.68m. The depth and width
of the annular trough is 0.17m.
The post-medieval boundary ditch cuts through the cairn alignment and includes
a 6m wide and 1m deep flat-bottomed ditch with a 3m wide and 0.8m high bank
sitting on both edges.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Dartmoor is the largest expanse of open moorland in southern Britain and,
because of exceptional conditions of preservation, it is also one of the most
complete examples of an upland relict landscape in the whole country. The
great wealth and diversity of archaeological remains provide direct evidence
for human exploitation of the Moor from the early prehistoric period onwards.
The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites,
major land boundaries, trackways, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as
later industrial remains, gives significant insights into successive changes
in the pattern of land use through time. Stone circles, or circular
arrangements of upright stones, were set into the ground and acted as
ceremonial and funerary monuments during the later Neolithic and Bronze Age
periods (c.2400-700 BC). On Dartmoor they are often found in association with
stone alignments and burial monuments such as cairns and cists. The circles
may be single or enclose further circles; they may occur as isolated examples
or in groups. The 26 examples on Dartmoor form one of the most dense
concentrations of monuments of this type in the country. Due to their relative
rarity (with a national population of only some 200 examples) and longevity as
a monument type, all stone circles are considered to be nationally important.

In addition to the stone circle, a cairn alignment survives within this
monument. The term cairn alignment has been used to describe a row of cairns
and it has been argued that the function is similar to that of stone
alignments. This cairn alignment is the only known example on Dartmoor.
The stone circle and cairn alignment 410m south east of Sourton Tors survive
comparatively well and together form an unusual combination of Bronze Age
ritual monuments. The millstone and boundary ditch represent evidence for
subsequent land use during the post-medieval period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 219
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 219
Worth, R H, Worth's Dartmoor, (1981), 384
Turner, J R, 'Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings' in A Cairn Alignment On Sourton Common, Dartmoor, (1991), 143-144
Turner, J R, 'Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings' in A Cairn Alignment On Sourton Common, Dartmoor, (1991), 143-144
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX58NW2,
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX58NW4,

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.