Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks, walking the Stone Rows and Stone Circles of Dartmoor
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Dartmoor Site: Hart Tor Stone Row & Cairn Circle

Hart Tor Stone Row & Cairn Circle

This site is featured on the Burrator 1: Down Tor Stone Row and Cairn Circle walk. The photos here are of the Hart Tor Double Stone Row & Cairn Circle (SX57717169 Butler Vol. 3. Map 46, 5). There are two cairns close by on the lower slopes of Hart Tor. One has an associated single stone row and the other has an associated double stone row - they diverge at an angle of 18 degrees.The single row consists of 16 stones and is 56.4m long, although Gerrard suggests it was probably once much longer. The single row leads to a carin which does not have a retaining circle. The double row consists of 93 stones and is much longer, around 122m in length [Gerrard], and extends all the way down to the River Meavy in the valley below. This row is fairly well preserved although it is crossed by a tinners ditch about a third of the way down its length and again by a leat a third of the way from the lower end. There is some damage where the tinners have cut back the bank of the Meavy. This row is not particularly spectacular today but according to Butler it may have once been quite different. The structure was planned by Wilkinson in 1859 who states that the row is "terminated by a large monolith, now fallen, measuring about 25 feet long by 2 feet and 3 inches". Butler suggests it would have been "a truly gigantic terminal pillar, far larger than any that has survived on the Moor".

Gardner Wilkinson sketch of Hart Tor Rows

Gardner Wilkinson sketch in Journal Brit. Arch. Assoc. xviii.: "Avenue 418 feet from end of fallen stone to circle"

The other interesting feature of this row is the precision of its construction. Whilst it is difficult to see from the rough terrain it traverses - the row has pairs of stones which are spaced fairly accurately 1.9m apart along the rows, the rows being at a constant 1.7m separation. The cairn circle is 9.3m across and consists of 14 tall slabs some of which have fallen. Wilkinson apparently noticed concentric stone circles - which can't be seen today although there is clearly an inner circular mound, which as can be seen in the photos below, does have some stones jutting out. Nearby below Black Tor and on the western bank of the River Meavy is another cairn around 4m across and about 0.8m in height.

The last photos here are of the cross at Crazy Well Pool and the view from there down to Burrator Reservoir.

These photos were taken on the 9th August 2009.

See also: Guide to Dartmoor Stone Rows

Bibliography & references

Butler, J. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Vol. 3. - The South-West (Devon Books, 1994)
Gerrard, Sandy Hart Tor Stone Rows & Cairns, Meavy Valley Archaeology. Site Report No.9 (1999)
Wilkinson J. Gardner. British Remains on Dartmoor in Journal Brit. Arch. Assoc. xviii. pp.22-53, pp.111-132 (1862)

Hart Tor Double Stone Row
Hart Tor Double Stone Row
Hart Tor Double Stone Row
Hart Tor Double Stone Row
Hart Tor Double Stone Row
Hart Tor Double Stone Row
Hart Tor Double Stone Row
Hart Tor Double Stone Row
Hart Tor Double Stone Row
Crazy Well Pool Cross
Crazy Well Pool Cross
Burrator

Page last updated 19/9/11