Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Beardown Man standing stone

A Scheduled Monument in Dartmoor Forest, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5995 / 50°35'58"N

Longitude: -3.985 / 3°59'6"W

OS Eastings: 259611.309152

OS Northings: 79633.974923

OS Grid: SX596796

Mapcode National: GBR Q3.YN4M

Mapcode Global: FRA 27JH.59J

Entry Name: Beardown Man standing stone

Scheduled Date: 11 January 1965

Last Amended: 24 February 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008013

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22222

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Dartmoor Forest

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Widecombe-in-the-Moor St Pancras

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This monument includes a standing stone situated immediately to the west of
Devil's Tor on a gentle west-facing slope overlooking the valley of the River
Cowsic. The stone leans slightly towards the south-east and measures 3.4m high
by 1m wide and 0.4m thick.

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. Standing stones are single, sometimes
large, upright stones which often occur in isolation from other monuments.
Their date and significance are uncertain, but their distribution in western
and northern Britain has been linked to the principal routes from the lowlands
to the uplands and they have been interpreted as markers for a system of
farming involving the movement of animals from lowland to upland pastures at
certain seasons of the year. As such they provide an important insight into
farming practices on the Moor in the past. The exact number extant in England
is not known but is probably less than 250. The recorded examples on Dartmoor
form an important subgroup of the total population, and in consequence most
are considered to be of national importance.

The Beardown Man standing stone is one of only two certain examples of an
isolated standing stone on Dartmoor.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57NE4, (1982)

Source: Historic England

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