Ancient Monuments

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Stone alignment and round cairn on Langstone Moor

A Scheduled Monument in Peter Tavy, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5908 / 50°35'26"N

Longitude: -4.0495 / 4°2'58"W

OS Eastings: 255019.949353

OS Northings: 78788.642712

OS Grid: SX550787

Mapcode National: GBR Q0.D3NR

Mapcode Global: FRA 27DH.XW9

Entry Name: Stone alignment and round cairn on Langstone Moor

Scheduled Date: 27 June 1963

Last Amended: 24 February 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007897

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20399

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Peter Tavy

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument is situated on a broad ridge between Cocks Hill and White Tor
and includes a stone alignment, cairn and part of a hollow way called the
Lichway. The stone alignment includes a 128m long, single row of twenty-seven
stones, although only thirteen remain in place and these have an average
height of 0.19m. The spacing between the stones is intermittent as a result
of either partial robbing or some of the smaller ones being buried below the
present day ground surface due to peat accumulation. The downslope terminal
stone lies at the southern end of the stone alignment and measures 2.95m high,
0.75m wide and 0.4m thick. This stone was re-erected by the Dartmoor
Exploration Committee in 1893. At the northern end of the stone alignment is
a round cairn. The cairn mound measures 5m in diameter and stands up to 0.4m
high. A hollow in the centre of the mound suggests previous robbing or
partial early excavation. A hollow way measuring 4m wide and 0.4m deep, known
as the Lichway, passes between the downslope terminal stone and the remainder
of the alignment. This trackway leads across Dartmoor towards Lydford and is
known to have been the route used to carry the dead to the parish church in
the early medieval period.

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 alignments or stone rows
consist of upright stones set in single file or in avenues of two or more
parallel lines, up to several hundred metres in length. They are often
physically linked to burial monuments, such as small cairns, cists and
barrows, and are considered to have had an important ceremonial function. The
Dartmoor alignments mostly date from the Late Neolithic period (c.2400-2000
BC). Some eighty examples, most of them on the outer Moor, provide over half
the recorded national population. Due to their comparative rarity and
longevity as a monument type, all surviving examples are considered nationally
important, unless very badly damaged.

Round cairns are Prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age
(c.2500-1000 BC). They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, the
latter predominating in areas of upland Britain where such raw materials were
locally available in abundance. Round cairns may cover single or multiple
burials and are sometimes surrounded by an outer ditch. Often occupying
prominent locations, they are a major visual element in the modern landscape.
Important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation
amongst Early Prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative
of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are
considered worthy of preservation. Dartmoor provides one of the best
preserved and densest concentrations of round cairns in south-western Britain.
The stone alignment and round cairn on Langstone Moor survive well and form an
important part of a widely dispersed group of ritual monuments. Furthermore
this are contains abundant archaeological evidence relating to Prehistoric
settlement and land-use.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991)
Worth, R H, Worth's Dartmoor, (1981)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Stone Alignments, (1988)
National Archaeological Record, SX57NE18,

Source: Historic England

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