Ancient Monuments

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Stone alignment on Piles Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Harford, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4341 / 50°26'2"N

Longitude: -3.8955 / 3°53'43"W

OS Eastings: 265480.189989

OS Northings: 61072.805501

OS Grid: SX654610

Mapcode National: GBR Q9.213X

Mapcode Global: FRA 27QX.464

Entry Name: Stone alignment on Piles Hill

Scheduled Date: 3 July 1964

Last Amended: 24 January 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013033

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10566

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).
The stone alignment on Piles Hill runs east/west for c.850m, cutting off the
spur on the 380m contour and descending the slope on either side, thus no
more than c.200m of the length is visible at any point. It is a double
alignment with over forty stones visible in either row, all of which are
fallen or leaning, but further examples may well be hidden by heather. The
spacing between the rows is on average 20m and the spacing between the
stones is on average 8m. The north row is better preserved and is more
regular. It ends at the west with a leaning, tapered stone, 1.8m in length
and 0.9m by 0.25m at the base and this is associated with some fallen stones,
which suggest that there might have been a terminal stone setting. The south
row has a fallen stone over 2m in length at its western end and one
measuring nearly 3m at its eastern end. The stones vary between 1m and 3m in
length and many of the fallen stones show drill marks, suggesting that they
have been cut or split recently, possibly in connection with the
construction of the Redlake Railway, which cuts across the rows and is
excluded from the scheduling. The fallen stones lie mainly north/south, at
right-angles to the rows and it is possible that the full length of the
alignment may never have stood upright.
The monument consists of two separate protected areas, separated by the

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 Piles Hill alignment
is particularly significant because it is associated with a group of cairns
on Piles Hill and with several other stone alignments within a few hundred

Source: Historic England


Devon County SMR SX66SE-006,

Source: Historic England

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