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Two double stone alignments, cairn and standing stone 700m south west of Laughter Hole Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Dartmoor Forest, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.5624 / 50°33'44"N

Longitude: -3.9033 / 3°54'11"W

OS Eastings: 265289.574136

OS Northings: 75357.195452

OS Grid: SX652753

Mapcode National: GBR Q7.LYYJ

Mapcode Global: FRA 27QL.14M

Entry Name: Two double stone alignments, cairn and standing stone 700m south west of Laughter Hole Farm

Scheduled Date: 1 January 1971

Last Amended: 8 September 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021047

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34459

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Dartmoor Forest

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Widecombe-in-the-Moor St Pancras

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Details

The monument includes two double stone alignments, a cairn and standing
stone situated on a south facing slope of Laughter Tor overlooking the
valley of the East Dart River. The eastern alignment is orientated from
north west to south east and includes a 164m long, double alignment of at
least 23 upright stones, with an average height of 0.23m. The spacing of
the stones is irregular and the distance between the rows is 1.7m. A small
cairn with a tall standing stone built into its centre stands at the north
west end of this stone alignment. The cairn measures 5.5m in diameter and
0.2m high, whilst the standing stone is 2.65m high, 0.7m wide by 0.52m
thick. The standing stone was re-erected in 1893 and again in 1911. The
cairn was excavated in 1903 by Robert Burnard who found considerable
quantities of charcoal.

The second stone alignment lies to the south of the standing stone and is
also orientated approximately north west to south east and includes a 10m
long double row of at least ten upright stones with an average height of
0.05m. The spacing of the stones is irregular and the distance between the
rows is 1m.

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

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 provide 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 or stone rows
consist of upright stones set in single file or in avenues of two or more
parallel lines, up to several hundred metres in length. They are often
physically linked to burial monuments, such as small cairns, cists and
barrows, and are considered to have had an important ceremonial function. The
Dartmoor alignments mostly date from the Late Neolithic period (c.2400-2000
BC). Some eighty examples, most of them on the outer Moor, provide over half
the recorded national population. Due to their comparative rarity and
longevity as a monument type, all surviving examples are considered nationally
important, unless very badly damaged.

Despite some earlier robbing and restoration, the two double stone
alignments, cairn and standing stone 700m south west of Laughter Hole Farm
survive comparatively well and will contain information relating to the
ritual use of this area during the prehistoric period. This ritual complex
lies between broadly contemporary settlements and this group of monuments
therefore together provide a valuable insight into the character of
prehistoric funerary, ritual and agricultural exploitation of this area.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 58
Other
Title: Duchy Farms Survey - Brimpts Farm
Source Date: 1988
Author:
Publisher:
Surveyor:
1:10000 plan

Source: Historic England

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