<< Our Photo Pages >> Devil's Arrows - Stone Row / Alignment in England in Yorkshire (North)

Submitted by Andy B on Monday, 25 December 2017  Page Views: 54968

Neolithic and Bronze AgeSite Name: Devil's Arrows Alternative Name: Three Grey Hounds, Three Sisters, Devils Arrows, The Devil's Bolts
Country: England County: Yorkshire (North) Type: Stone Row / Alignment
Nearest Town: Boroughbridge
Map Ref: SE39076659  Landranger Map Number: 99
Latitude: 54.093736N  Longitude: 1.404127W
Condition:
5Perfect
4Almost Perfect
3Reasonable but with some damage
2Ruined but still recognisable as an ancient site
1Pretty much destroyed, possibly visible as crop marks
0No data.
-1Completely destroyed
4 Ambience:
5Superb
4Good
3Ordinary
2Not Good
1Awful
0No data.
3 Access:
5Can be driven to, probably with disabled access
4Short walk on a footpath
3Requiring a bit more of a walk
2A long walk
1In the middle of nowhere, a nightmare to find
0No data.
4 Accuracy:
5co-ordinates taken by GPS or official recorded co-ordinates
4co-ordinates scaled from a detailed map
3co-ordinates scaled from a bad map
2co-ordinates of the nearest village
1co-ordinates of the nearest town
0no data
5

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I have visited· I would like to visit

DrewParsons SumDoood whese001 would like to visit

juleslandau visited on 2nd Dec 2023 - their rating: Cond: 4 Amb: 5 Access: 5 Awe inspiring in their immensity and grandeur.

wildtalents visited on 22nd Apr 2023 - their rating: Cond: 4 Amb: 4 Access: 4 On a day when it never stopped raining it was still worth trudging (trespassing) through the farmer's knee-high crops of I don't know what, rather than gazing at the two smaller arrows from afar. The biggest arrow is across the road and mighty impressive. Easy parking at the roadside: the site is now perched on the edge of a modern "little boxes" housing estate.

FranPears visited on 9th Aug 2022 - their rating: Cond: 4 Amb: 3

TheCaptain visited on 13th May 2022 - their rating: Cond: 5 Amb: 4 Access: 5 Its not too far from York, so I went for a look at the Devil's Arrows, which were easy to find. Despite a new housing estate now encroaching and the very nearby A1 and A1(M), these are still at large in fields and feel wild and free. All three stones are magnificent and monsters with interesting rainules running down them. Magnificent.

Richard13 visited on 2nd Jul 2021 - their rating: Cond: 3 Amb: 3 Access: 5 Access and information has improved since my last visit. A new road (Marina Lane) branches off Roecliffe Road on the way into Boroughbridge and this now features a small parking area with an information board about the stones which seems to be aimed at visitors to the Devils Arrows. One of the Arrows sits adjacent to the main road in a small clearing while the two others stand in the field opposite it. All of them can be seen from the new parking spaces and can be walked to. Although the main road into Boroughbridge passes by one stone and the two others are close to the A168 road this does not detract as much as you think it would as the stones are big enough to have an imposing presence of their own. Access to one Arrow is extremely easy as it is next to the road, while access to the others would probably depend more on the state of the crops in the field. This is an excellent site to visit as a break if you are on a car journey up or down the A1(M) and the new layby and information board is a positive development. In spite of this I am sure that many people drive straight past and don't realise that the stones are there

Catrinm visited on 12th Oct 2019 - their rating: Cond: 3 Amb: 4 Access: 5

indigosue visited on 1st Aug 2019 - their rating: Cond: 4 Amb: 3 Access: 4 I've been here a few times when I lived in North Yorkshire and at least twice since I moved to Suffolk. The ambience is not helped by being right next to the A1M, although I used to look for glimpses of the stones when driving past. They are well worth a visit because they are fascinating and awesome. I love the eroded fluted millstone grit look.

Richard13 visited on 1st Jul 2019 - their rating: Cond: 3 Amb: 3 Access: 5

Catrinm visited on 25th Aug 2018 - their rating: Cond: 4 Amb: 4 Access: 5 Impressively large arrows and well preserved. Now next to new housing estate.

SandyG visited on 1st Aug 2017 - their rating: Cond: 4 Amb: 3 Access: 5 There is limited safe parking in the vicinity of the monument.

drolaf visited on 13th Jul 2017 - their rating: Cond: 4 Amb: 4 Access: 4

MartinJEley visited on 4th Apr 2015 - their rating: Cond: 3 Amb: 3 Access: 4 The stones are easily accessed with two standing in a field still in use and the third just across the road. The close alignment is clearly visible. Worth the visit.

kthdsn visited on 20th Jul 2014 - their rating: Cond: 4 Amb: 3 Access: 5

Majick123 visited on 13th Jun 2013 - their rating: Cond: 3 Amb: 4 Access: 5 Beautiful stones. The Main stone is on the main road, with the other 2 remaining stones in the adjacent corn field. Access is good for the two stones in the field, but please respect it is a working field and try not to damage the crop. Once in the Field you can see the alignment of the stones, and the magnificence of the monument.

TheWhiteRider visited on 22nd Jun 2012 - their rating: Cond: 3 Amb: 1 Access: 4

woodini254 visited on 12th May 1997 - their rating: Cond: 4 Amb: 5 Access: 4

Sunny100 visited on 1st Jan 1970 - their rating: Cond: 3 Amb: 4 Access: 5 Fairly easy to get to once out of the town, one next to a house, the other two in a field close by. And yes they are aligned.

Bladup rldixon kelpie nicoladidsbury NickyD have visited here

Average ratings for this site from all visit loggers: Condition: 3.65 Ambience: 3.53 Access: 4.63

Devil's Arrows
Devil's Arrows submitted by Humbucker : All three Devils Arrows looking from the north. The light improved for a brief few minutes & the sun made a brief appearance while I was there before turning into a flat, grey evening. (Vote or comment on this photo)
Stone Row in North Yorkshire. Three stones remain, the shortest being 5.5m, the tallest stone is 6.8m.

Probably a five-stone row originally. The fourth stone was reputedly broken up in 1582 to build the bridge over the River Tutt, and the fifth is lost in history. The stones are of gritstone, having pointed tops, with a fluted effect caused by weathering, and are buried up to 1.5m into the ground. Dating from the Late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age, the stones were the site of a solstice fair in historical times. Several astronomical alignments have been postulated, as well as a straight ley-type alignment.

The Devils Arrow alignment. Ref: Lines on the Landscape, Devereux and Pennick

Access: Turn off the A1(M) at the A6055 (Boroughbridge) and head into the town. Turn left after the Three Arrows Hotel, down Roecliffe Lane. The stones are a few hundred metres down and unfortunately near to the A1(M) that now bypasses Boroughbridge. The tallest is just off the road to the left, behind a gate. The other two are 200m away on the opposite side of the road, in a cornfield. It is possible to get near the stones by walking down the side of the field, taking care not to trample the corn. Strikingly tall stones. The nearby motorway is not as disturbing as I had expected, due to a high hedge which hides it.

For more information see Pastscape Monument No. 53493 and Historic England List ID 1014705 (Stone alignment west of Boroughbridge known as the Devil's Arrows, including three standing stones and the setting for a fourth), which gives the grid references of the three stones as SE 39071 66588, SE 39099 66531, SE 39152 66430.

The Northern Antiquarian's (TNA) page for Devil’s Arrows, Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire shows the location site on the 1855 OS Map and a drawing of the site from 1895. The Journal of Antiquities also features an entry for the Devil’s Arrows, Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire, which includes a drawing, a photograph of the Arrows and folklore.

Update October 2019: The alignment is also featured on the Stone Rows of Great Britain website - see their entry for the Devil’s Arrows, which includes a description, a plan of the row, photographs of the alignment and the individual stones, access information and links to other online resources for more information. The SRoGB includes a link to 'The Smell of Water: the legend of the Devil's arrows'.

Note: David Parke has made a couple of good 'Monument' podcasts and an audio introduction. One talks to various enthusiasts about the Devil's Arrows, there other is an episode about the Long Man of Wilmington - details in the comments on our pages.
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Devil's Arrows
Devil's Arrows submitted by nicoladidsbury : The Devil's Arrows * B * Prehistory Photo Competition (UK or Ireland) (5 comments - Vote or comment on this photo)

Devil's Arrows
Devil's Arrows submitted by rldixon : Devils Arrows taken while being abducted by aliens ..Againnn.... (12 comments - Vote or comment on this photo)

Devil's Arrows
Devil's Arrows submitted by Sunny100 : Old b/w image of 'The Devil's Arrows stone row, north Yorkshire, showing the almost true alignement. These Bronze-Age menhirs vary in height from between 16 to 22 feet and are heavily grooved with centuries of erosion. (7 comments - Vote or comment on this photo)

Devil's Arrows
Devil's Arrows submitted by nicoladidsbury : The stones are fantastic and come alive in the evening light. (5 comments - Vote or comment on this photo)

Devil's Arrows
Devil's Arrows submitted by rldixon : Photo of the Devil's Arrows. Taken in 2008. I've been playing about with it in Photoshop to try for a more dramatic photo. (1 comment - Vote or comment on this photo)

Devil's Arrows
Devil's Arrows submitted by rldixon : Devil's Arrows in infra red taken 14-06-2011 (3 comments)

Devil's Arrows
Devil's Arrows submitted by rldixon (4 comments)

Devil's Arrows
Devil's Arrows submitted by rldixon : Devil's Arrows with crops and wild flowers and some nice sunshine taken 14-06-2011 (4 comments)

Devil's Arrows
Devil's Arrows submitted by rldixon

Devil's Arrows
Devil's Arrows submitted by TerryStaniforth : 2 Of the Devils arrows in snow. 21st Feb 05 (1 comment)

Devil's Arrows
Devil's Arrows submitted by rldixon : Devil's Arrows taken 14-06-2011

Devil's Arrows
Devil's Arrows submitted by TerryStaniforth : Devils Arrows in Snow 21st Feb 2005 (3 comments)

Devil's Arrows
Devil's Arrows submitted by Bladup : The Devil's Arrows. This Original Artwork in a glass frame is £39.99 + Postage (Just whatever it costs), and is 15 and a half cm x 12 cm. A limited (to a 100) edition print in a 8" x 10" frame would be £19.99 + £2.90 postage, E-mail me at [email protected] if interested. (4 comments)

Devil's Arrows
Devil's Arrows submitted by rldixon : Devil's Arrows taken with a telephoto zoom to compress the perspective. 14-06-2011

Devil's Arrows
Devil's Arrows submitted by rldixon : The Third Arrow taken 14-06-2011

Devil's Arrows
Devil's Arrows submitted by rldixon : The Third stone the one thats hard to get a good photo of ....... with the Blue Plaque in front of it

Devil's Arrows
Devil's Arrows submitted by rldixon : Devil's Arrows taken 14-06-2011 the smaller of the three stones

Devil's Arrows
Devil's Arrows submitted by rldixon : the 2 stones in the field together (2 comments)

Devil's Arrows
Devil's Arrows submitted by DavidRaven : 'Legend has it that these huge stones were actually bolts thrown by an irate Devil, standing atop How Hill near Fountains Abbey. He was aiming for the early Christian settlement at Aldborough. As is usual in these old tales, he botched the throw and they fell short! I was mightily impressed! The shortest one, pictured, stands eighteen feet high! Hewn of gritstone, buried up to five feet into the... (2 comments)

Devil's Arrows
Devil's Arrows submitted by Antonine : 2011

Devil's Arrows
Devil's Arrows submitted by kbr61263 : The middle stone from Devils arrows, looking back to the field entrance

Devil's Arrows
Devil's Arrows submitted by rldixon : Devil's Arrows taken 14-06-2011 the smaller of the three stones

Devil's Arrows
Devil's Arrows submitted by rldixon : devils arrows with interesting sky infra red taken 2009

Devil's Arrows
Devil's Arrows submitted by rldixon : the first time I've managed to get a decent image of this stone; the 3rd stone at the other side of the road usually hidden by the trees feb26 2008 (1 comment)

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Prehistoric Rock Art in the Northern Dales

Prehistoric Rock Art in the Northern Dales

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"Devil's Arrows" | Login/Create an Account | 16 News and Comments
  
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Postcard from the past: Emma Watson - The Devil's Arrows by Andy B on Thursday, 16 May 2024
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Dr Emma Watson from Durham University visits the Devil's Arrows:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMSp4eXnyNM
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Devil's Arrows new parking layby and information board by Richard13 on Saturday, 03 July 2021
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Access and on-site information has now improved for this site!

A road (Marina Lane) branches off Roecliffe Road on the way into Boroughbridge (just after the passing the first stone) and this side road now has a small parking area (it will probably fit 3 cars) with an information board about the stones.
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Devil's Arrows Monument Podcast by Andy B on Tuesday, 19 December 2017
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The Devil's Arrows Monument Podcast, which includes a long interview with Gavin who created the 'Smell of Water' blog featured in the previous post
https://soundcloud.com/user-310122391/episode-2-the-devils-arrows

http://monumentpodcast.com/episode%202%20-%20devil's%20arrows.html
More here
http://www.monumentpodcast.com/

Also an episode about the Long Man of Wilmington
http://monumentpodcast.com/episode%201%20-%20the%20long%20man.html
and an introduction
http://monumentpodcast.com/prologue.html
It's not just someone talking - there are some fun audio 'cut ups' as well
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Building work near Devils Arrows by Andy B on Tuesday, 19 December 2017
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The Devil’s Arrows are a row of three prehistoric standing stones located in a field on the outskirts of Boroughbridge.

The stones exist in a wider, complex, prehistoric landscape, a recent archaeological survey of the surrounding area uncovered a number of features including a double timber post row and an associated ditch, extensive flint scatters and grooved ware pottery.

Lots of well researched info here

Including "The road beside the field is currently being improved to provide access to a new housing development. It is always a little disturbing to see a development encroaching upon an ancient site."

https://teessidepsychogeography.wordpress.com/2017/11/15/the-devils-arrows-3/

Also here - the legend of the origin of the prehistoric stone row,

https://teessidepsychogeography.wordpress.com/2016/01/17/the-devils-arrows-boroughbridge/
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Devil’s Arrows - Commemorating Ignorance by Andy B on Tuesday, 25 July 2017
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Prof. Howard M. R. Williams muses about the rather crap plaque by the third 'arrow'

There is a fourth stone beside the southermost of the Devil’s Arrows. This isn’t brand new, and I suspect it hails from the 1970s or thereabouts. Embedded within it is a light blue disc that might aim to inform the visitor regarding what they are looking at. This blue plaque simply states:

THE DEVIL’S ARROWS
Three pre-historic monolithis
of millstone grit,
probably transported here
from the area of Knaresborough
c. 2700 B.C.

So this is a plaque on a stone referencing stones. To be more precise still, the new stone commemorates the old ones but its really focus of commemoration is ignorance. Here’s why.

Of course this roadside monumental sign doesn’t indicate where the other two Arrows are; they are behind it and across the road behind a hedge and these have no signs. So the first point is that this stone breaks the southernmost away from the others, as much as it joins them together.

The plaque and its stone says next to nothing. No mention of the folklore, no mention of context, no mention of parallels, no comment on meaning or significance past or present. Instead the sign opts for simplisticity: noting where the Arrows might have come from and an extremely odd precise date. Implicitly, it articulates the Arrow’s protected status and physically blocks vehicular access to the stone from the road.

In doing so, the stones are physically protected but also shrouded in ignorance. More still, they are afforded an official stamp of authority that serves to celebrate, even commemorate that ignorance regarding the Devil’s Arrows.

More at
https://howardwilliamsblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/10/devils-arrows-commemorating-ignorance/
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Re: News of Roman ampitheatre near Devil’s Arrows by AngieLake on Thursday, 18 August 2011
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"Archaeologists have unearthed a legendary lost amphitheatre on a Yorkshire hilltop.
The summit of Studforth Hill, just outside the village of Aldborough between Harrogate and York, is now home to grazing cattle but was once the largest outdoor arena in northern England."

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2027370/Lost-Roman-amphitheatre-hilltop-near-Yorkshire-village.html#ixzz1VQ8M3ADg

"Between Ripon and York" would be more accurate. :-)
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A L Lewis, The ‘Devil’s Arrows, Yorkshire, 1879 by Andy B on Friday, 03 June 2011
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A[lfred] L[ionel] Lewis, “The ‘Devil’s Arrows’, Yorkshire”
Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, 1879, 180–183

http://www.cantab.net/users/michael.behrend/repubs/lewis/pages/da.html
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Re: Devils Arrows by coldrum on Monday, 29 March 2010
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Street View


View Larger Map
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Re: Devils Arrows by coldrum on Tuesday, 11 August 2009
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Pastscape site entry:

http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=53493
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Re: Devils Arrows by Thorgrim on Monday, 29 August 2005
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Yes - there is a camping and caravanning site very close. Look at an OS map and you will see that it is just the other side of the main road. You go under the underpass towards the village of Roecliff.
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Re: Devils Arrows by Anonymous on Monday, 29 August 2005
can u camp near devils arrows. if u cud reply it would be most helpful
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Re: Devils Arrows by Anonymous on Monday, 03 May 2004
I visited the Devil's Arrows, Boroughbridge, Yorks, on Saturday May 1st, and used my GPS device to mark their exact positions. Satellite reception was good, with an accuracy of around 10ft.


I had been told that the alignment of the stones was "roughly" towards the triple henge site near West Tanfield, some 17km north-west, but when I checked this on MemoryMap, I found that it is quite a bit to the east of this line. In fact, I found that on the alignment of the Devil's Arrows there were THREE OTHER points - marked "Henge, (site of)", just over 6km north-west, (SE33868 75515) due west of Dishforth airfield , and a tumulus and "henge" a couple of kilometres further on (SE35243 73555). Finally, there are a group of tumuli just south of Melmerby (at SE33843 75525).


I have not had time to check out these sites, but I wondered if anyone else has noticed this alignment, and knows of its significance.


I'd be glad to send my GPS data to anyone who wants to check my inferences. so please let me know if you're interested.



Graham Smith
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    Re: Devils Arrows by Anonymous on Saturday, 19 July 2008
    Graham
    Didyou ever find out any more about the henges south of melmerbY?

    Bob Curry
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    Re: Devils Arrows by Anonymous on Thursday, 06 May 2021
    Graham, you are correct about the alignment, I have found this independently. The alignement to Melmerby is not exact though and I think should be discounted.
    [ Reply to This ]

Re: Devils Arrows by yak on Monday, 06 May 2002
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Very impresive huge standing stones. Not very well sign posted as I drove past them twice even though you can see them from the A1(M)! Their condition seems OK considering they are so accessable.
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