Ancient Monuments

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Stone alignment and terminal cairn with a retaining kerb on Ringmoor Down

A Scheduled Monument in Sheepstor, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4759 / 50°28'33"N

Longitude: -4.0255 / 4°1'31"W

OS Eastings: 256370.393597

OS Northings: 65968.199136

OS Grid: SX563659

Mapcode National: GBR Q1.THSJ

Mapcode Global: FRA 27GS.TST

Entry Name: Stone alignment and terminal cairn with a retaining kerb on Ringmoor Down

Scheduled Date: 11 June 1965

Last Amended: 21 October 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012246

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10596

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Sheepstor

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


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 frequently lead to burial monuments such as small cairns, cists
and barrows and are therefore thought to have had a ceremonial function. The
70 or so examples known on Dartmoor were probably constructed in the Late
Neolithic period (around 2,500BC).
The Ringmoor Down alignment has a double row of stones 337m in length
orientated north-east/south-west, with a cairn and retaining kerb at the
south-western end and an orthostat 1.10m in height at the northern end. It
runs close to the 290m contour and has twenty- seven standing stones ranging
from 0.15m to 1.25m in height. Robbing has reduced the number of stones,
but opposing pairs are on average 1.4m apart. The cairn is 7m in diameter
and 0.4m in height and is surrounded by a retaining kerb 12.9m in diameter.
The retaining kerb was restored by Baring-Gould in 1909. Prior to this, one
stone remained standing and four were fallen, while sockets for a further
six were recorded. There are now ten standing stones, the original one is
0.7m in height, the restored and imported stones stand up to 0.9m in height.

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 provides 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 provide rare evidence of ceremonial or ritual practices on
the Moor during the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age. Although affected by some
robbing, the Ringmoor Down alignment remains an important example.

Source: Historic England


SX56NE-008 & 008.1,

Source: Historic England

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