Shovel Down
Bronze Age Stone Rows, Standing Stone, Stone Circle and Cairn
South of Batworthy, Dartmoor, Devon  OS Map Ref SX65948601
OS Maps - Landranger 191 (Okehampton & North Dartmoor), Explorer OL28 (Dartmoor)


The Long Stone looking southeast towards Thornworthy Tor
The Long Stone looking southeast towards Thornworthy Tor

Shovel Down is the location of a mixture of monument types including stone rows, a standing stone, stone circle, cairn and a settlement area with hut circles and an associated field system. It is the stone rows that the visitor meets with first when walking uphill from Batworthy Corner. There are four rows (although it is suggested there may be as many as six) that form a staggered 'Y' shape running in a general north to south direction along a rise to the east of the Down, the first runs north-south for about 180 metres with the stones about a metre apart and gradually increasing in height before ending at the south with a pair of large fallen pillars, one 2 metres long, the other about 3.5 metres in length. Just beyond are the overgrown remains of a small concentric stone circle or cairn consisting of four rings ranging from about 2.5 metres to 9 metres in diameter. Another double stone row extends to the northnorthwest with three remaining stones of a stone circle to the west of its northern end. A third row to the centre of the site starts just to the west of the concentric circle and heads southsoutheast. Beyond this a fourth more damaged row heads south ending with a large upright known as the Long Stone which stands over 3 metres tall - initials carved into one face point to its more modern use as a boundary stone. A little further to the south is the remaining leaning stone of the 'Three Boys' although what this monument was is unclear.
Assuming that the rows, circles and standing stones are contemporary with the settlement sites it is interesting that the two groups of monuments stand apart with settlement to the west, ceremonial sites to the east. The stone circle of Scorhill stands a mile away to the northnorthwest on the other side of the North Teign river.
Glossary Item: Bronze Age

North row looking north
North row looking north towards Batsworthy
Central row looking southeast
Central row looking southeast.

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