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Prehistoric stone alignment 1km SSE of Eastmoorgate

A Scheduled Monument in Altarnun, Cornwall

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.5748 / 50°34'29"N

Longitude: -4.5087 / 4°30'31"W

OS Eastings: 222459.302829

OS Northings: 78008.702071

OS Grid: SX224780

Mapcode National: GBR NC.F5PM

Mapcode Global: FRA 17FK.582

Entry Name: Prehistoric stone alignment 1km SSE of Eastmoorgate

Scheduled Date: 17 February 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012228

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15193

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Altarnun

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Altarnon with Bolventor

Church of England Diocese: Truro

Details

The monument includes a Prehistoric stone alignment, with two outlying stones,
situated across a broad valley from the summit of the central hill of East
Moor to the southern slope of Fox Tor on eastern Bodmin Moor, forming one
element of a local concentration of broadly contemporary ceremonial and
funerary monuments. The monument is divided into three separate areas.
The stone alignment is visible as a single, almost straight, row of spaced
stone slabs, extending for 614m on a SSW-NNE axis from the north-west edge of
the summit of East Moor's central hill, across a broad shallow valley to end
on the southern lower slope of Fox Tor. The alignment contains 30 visible
slabs spaced 6.25m to 13.75m apart where the original regular sequence of
stones has survived above the surface. Some larger gaps occur in the visible
sequence, the largest comprising two gaps of 50m and one of 103m, where stones
have been removed or have fallen and lie buried beneath the thick peaty turf;
in either case, these gaps will contain the stone holes of the intervening
slabs, their packing stones and, in some cases, the fallen stones themselves.
The stones of the alignment vary from broad flat slabs to narrow pillar-like
stones and range from 0.4m to 1.7m in length, with one surviving as a broken
stump 0.1m high. Eight of the stones survive either as upright or leaning
slabs up to 1m high, either end- or edge-set according to their form, with the
long axes of their bases generally matching the NNE-SSW axis of the alignment
as a whole. Stock erosion around most of these slabs reveals packing stones
about their bases, wedging them erect. The slab at the SSW terminal of the
alignment is marked out from the other slabs by being larger overall,
measuring 1.75m wide by 0.2m thick and standing 1m high, and by being edge-set
NW-SE, across the axis of the alignment. Apart from the broken stump, the
remaining 21 slabs have fallen flat in the turf. The alignment is accompanied
by two outlying stones, each visible as an edge-set slab, with a NNE-SSW long
axis and packing stones about the base. One of these is situated 35m WNW of
the alignment at a point 150m along it from its SSW terminal; this slab is 1m
wide, 0.2m thick and stands 0.7m high. The other outlier is situated 14m ESE
of the alignment at a point 344m along it from its SSW terminal and is 1.3m
wide, 0.15m thick and stands 0.7m high.

The SSW terminal of the alignment is situated close to several broadly
contemporary funerary and ritual monuments located around the central hill's
summit, including a large embanked platform cairn 52m to the south-east, a
second stone alignment whose north-east slab is on the periphery of another
platform cairn 132m to the south-east, and a ritual spaced-stone enclosure
135m to the north-west.

MAP EXTRACT
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

Bodmin Moor, the largest of the Cornish granite uplands, has long been
recognised to have exceptional preservation of archaeological remains. The
Moor has been the subject of detailed archaeological survey and is one of the
best recorded upland landscapes in England. The extensive relict landscapes
of Prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval date provide direct evidence for
human exploitation of the Moor from the earliest Prehistoric period onwards.
The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites,
field systems, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial
remains provides significant insights into successive changes in the pattern
of land use through time.

Stone alignments or stone rows consist of upright stones set in a single line,
or in two or more parallel lines, up to several hundred metres in length. They
are often sited close to Prehistoric burial monuments, such as small cairns
and cists, and to ritual monuments, such as stone circles, and are therefore
considered to have had an important ceremonial function. The seven stone
alignments known on Bodmin Moor date from the Late Neolithic to Early Bronze
Age periods (c 2400-1600 BC) and provide rare evidence of ceremonial and
ritual practices on the Moor during these periods. Due to their rarity and
longevity as a monument type, all examples that are not extensively damaged
will be considered nationally important.

This stone alignment on East Moor has survived well, retaining at least
two-thirds of its stones. Stone holes and related packing material will be
preserved beneath the thick turf in the intervening gaps, while the thicker
peat in the valley near the centre of the alignment will preserve
environmental evidence and buried land surfaces contemporary with the
alignment's construction and use. It is the longest stone alignment in
Cornwall, with the highly unusual addition of two related outlying stones. Its
proximity to the broadly contemporary funerary and ceremonial monuments
demonstrates well the diversity of ritual practices and the nature of upland
land use during the later Neolithic and Bronze Age periods.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
consulted 1992, Carter, A/RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcriptions for SX 2277 & SX 2278,
consulted 3/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1088.1,
consulted 3/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1088.2,
consulted 3/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1089,
consulted 3/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1101,

Source: Historic England

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