Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks, walking the Stone Rows and Stone Circles of Dartmoor
Dartmoor Resource: Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks GPS Datasets

Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks GPS Datasets

The GPS datasets available on this page are snapshots taken of the information stored in the Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks database. The listings include all known visible stone circles, stone rows and cists. It also includes the major cairn circles as listed by Turner and some enclosed settlements and neolithic tombs and so on. There are dubious stone rows and rows that are no longer visible having disappeared for various reasons, robbed out or disappeared beneath the peat - these are not included in the listings. The listings include 550 monuments as of August 2017. There are 1000s of hut circles and minor cairns on Dartmoor and these are not yet included in these GPS listings.

The data has come together through years of reaseach although much of it is taken from published books and papers. Around 20% of the data is from GPS readings I have taken whilst visiting sites and these will be accurate to within 2 or 3 metres. The figures taken from various academic texts will at best be accurate to only within 10 meters and quite often to only 100m. Finally, most of these sites are within the Dartmoor National Park and as such are accessible, unless they are on firing ranges in which case you need to check whether firing is taking place. A few however are on private land and no right of access is implied by their inclusion in these listings - check the Dartmoor OL 28 Explorer Map for access rights.

Datasets created August 2017

The full dataset runs to 550 waypoints and many GPS devices have a maximum of 1000 waypoints so bear this in mind if you download and install. For those who want a smaller subset of the data there are also downloads for just the stone circles, stone rows and cists below.

Guide to naming and suffixes

We use the convention of naming versions as YYMM. All of the data will appear in your GPS device or in MapSource with a name which is restricted to 14 characters. Each name will have a two character suffix such as "SR:" for example "SR:ShaughMoor" means Shaugh Moor Stone Row. These suffixes are:

Full dataset - Data1708

This is the full dataset as compiled in August 2017. Any additions or corrections to the data will of course appear in later versions. This dataset is 550 waypoints.

Full dataset - Data1512

This is the full dataset as compiled in December 2015. This dataset is 450 waypoints.

Stone Circles dataset

Last updated in August 2017

Stone Rows dataset

Last updated in August 2017

Cists dataset

Last updated in August 2017

Datasets in other formats

These datasets have been created using GPSBabel. The process starts by constructing a file in Garmin MapSource - txt (tab delimited) format. To see this download the full dataset in Garmin MapSource - txt (tab delimited) format and open the file with Excel (or another spreadsheet program). The data can be edited and added here. Once finished we only need the non-empty columns. Highlight and copy and paste into a text file and save. Then load this into GPSBabel and export to whichever file format you require.

Future updates

The database on this website has the core data in place but it is refined over time. For example I have visited 80 of the sites in the last year and recorded more accurate GPS positions. Some new sites will also no doubt be added and others corrected. It maybe that creating a new version of this GPS data is an annual event - could be more or less frequent depending on the need and the time I have to sort it out. As far as I'm aware such data is not subject to copyright but I do ask people using this facility to understand that years of work have gone into putting this information together and I would like both some credit and control over the data. For amateur archaeologists I'm sure this data is potentially extremely helpful. I do ask people using it to help out by reporting errors or more accurate information especially for cists and cairns.

Supplementary datasets

Last updated in August 2017

The data included in the Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks database was expanded in 2017 to attempt to include all known cairns and hut circles - approximately 6500 sites. The maximum number of waypoints that can be installed on a Garmin GPS device is 1000. The full dataset above is the core 550 sites on the website. Excluding the approx 3500 hut circles this leaves approx 880 lesser cairns and more obscure stone rows which are not included in the core data. This totals to more than 1000 entries which cannot be done. The work-around used by the author is to permanently include the core sites above and use one of 3 supplementary sets of approx 350 sites giving a total of just over 900. Dartmoor has been divided into 3 bands. A supplementary southern band, central band and northern band. This level of detail is only of interest and relevance to those investigating the more obscure sites.

To use this data you will need to delete all waypoints on your GPS device before you start. It might make sense to download all the data from your handset to your computer so you have a record of what was previously on the device. Then install the core data, then the relevant supplementary set. Unfortunately, if you are exploring the northern moor shortly after exploring the southern moor you will need to wipe the previous GPS data and reload the relevant sets. Of course this is only relevant if you need that level of detail.

The bands dliberately overlap. Ordered by the northern cardinal, there are 880 records divided by northern cardinal as follows:

Supplementary data; Southern Band

Last updated in August 2017

Supplementary data; Central Band

Last updated in August 2017

Supplementary data; Northern Band

Last updated in August 2017

Page last updated 20/02/16