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Multiple stone alignment and associated cairns west of Glasscombe Upper Plantation

A Scheduled Monument in South Brent, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4354 / 50°26'7"N

Longitude: -3.8795 / 3°52'46"W

OS Eastings: 266616.796542

OS Northings: 61190.407908

OS Grid: SX666611

Mapcode National: GBR Q9.255M

Mapcode Global: FRA 27RX.4D4

Entry Name: Multiple stone alignment and associated cairns west of Glasscombe Upper Plantation

Scheduled Date: 24 March 1956

Last Amended: 14 October 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013031

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10569

County: Devon

Civil Parish: South Brent

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 2500 BC)
This complex of multiple stone alignments, cairns and remains of cairns lies
on the west bank of the East Glaze Brook north-west of Glasscombe Upper
Plantation. The stone rows follow the main contour and are aligned roughly
north-east/south-west, with five cairns at the northern end. There are
seven, or possibly eight rows, the possible eighth being represented by two
stones 25m apart between the two triple rows and aligned with the centre of
their terminal cairn. The northernmost row is single and is 157m in length,
with stones standing up to 0.64m in height. The spacing between stones is
very irregular, the terminal cairn at the north end is 8m in diameter and
0.5m in height. There are two shorter triple rows south of it, both
terminating at the north-eastern end at a cairn retaining kerb, the first
triple row is 7.8m in length and the southernmost is 66m in length and again
the spacings are irregular. This and the variation in length may be due to
robbing for the newtake. The cairn retaining kerb at the north end of the
triple rows is a semi-circle 14m in diameter, with five stones up to 0.5m in
height. Two sets of concentric rings of stones (retaining kerbs) at the
northern end are 14m and 23m in diameter. The adjacent cairn is 8m in
diameter and 0.5m 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. The complex of
alignments near Glasscombe Upper Plantation is unusual and particularly
significant as it is connected with a group of cairns and the
remains of cairns (retaining kerbs) at the north-eastern end and with a
further complex of stone settings and cairns on the far bank of the East
Glaze Brook. There are also several other settlements and funerary monuments
in the vicinity.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Davidson, C J, Seabrook, R A G, 'Proc. Devon Arch. Soc.' in Stone Rings on South East Dartmoor, , Vol. 31, (1973), 26
Grinsell, L V, 'Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings' in Dartmoor Barrows, , Vol. 36, (1978), 171
Robinson, R, Greeves, T A P, 'Proc Devon Arch Soc' in Two unrecorded prehistoric multiple stone rings, Glasscombe, , Vol. 39, (1981), 33-36
Devon County SMR SX66SE-003,
Devon County SMR SX66SE-350,

Source: Historic England

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