Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Spurrell's Cross stone alignment and cairn.

A Scheduled Monument in Harford, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4236 / 50°25'24"N

Longitude: -3.89 / 3°53'24"W

OS Eastings: 265837.115256

OS Northings: 59895.27533

OS Grid: SX658598

Mapcode National: GBR Q9.2NJF

Mapcode Global: FRA 27RX.SDH

Entry Name: Spurrell's Cross stone alignment and cairn.

Scheduled Date: 10 October 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012460

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10555

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Harford

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Ugborough St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


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 2,500 BC). This single alignment lies close to
Spurrell's Cross and runs north-west/south-east, at least fourteen stones
remain unevenly spaced and aligned and with a maximum height of 0.6m. The
length of the alignment, which has been truncated by the Red Lake Railway
track, is 113m. The cairn at its southern end is 11m in diameter and 0.4m in
height with six stones of a retaining kerb.

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, such as that at Spurrell's Cross, provide rare evidence of
ceremonial or ritual practices on the Moor during the Late Neolithic and
Bronze Age.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings' in Dartmoor Barrows, , Vol. 36, (1978), 172
Devon County SMR SX65NE-008,
Devon County SMR SX65NE-008.01,

Source: Historic England

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