<< Our Photo Pages >> Upper Erme Row - Stone Row / Alignment in England in Devon

Submitted by thecaptain on Thursday, 24 August 2006  Page Views: 15877

Neolithic and Bronze AgeSite Name: Upper Erme Row Alternative Name: Stall Moor, Stall Moor-Green Hill
Country: England County: Devon Type: Stone Row / Alignment
Nearest Town: Ivybridge  Nearest Village: Cornwood
Map Ref: SX63526447  Landranger Map Number: 202
Latitude: 50.464133N  Longitude: 3.924305W
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
3 Ambience:
5Superb
4Good
3Ordinary
2Not Good
1Awful
0No data.
4 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.
2 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

graemefield visited on 7th Jun 2016 - their rating: Cond: 3 Amb: 5 Access: 1

SandyG visited on 6th Apr 2013 - their rating: Cond: 4 Amb: 5 Access: 2

TheCaptain have visited here

Average ratings for this site from all visit loggers: Condition: 3.5 Ambience: 5 Access: 1.5

Upper Erme Row
Upper Erme Row submitted by thecaptain : The stones run off over the moor, up hill and down dale, crossing several streams and two rivers on their way to the top of Green Hill. (Vote or comment on this photo)
This is the longest ancient stone row in Britain, and possibly the world, at just over 3.3 kilometres in length, stretching from the Kiss-in-the-Ring stone circle at the south, northwards along the upper Erme valley and up to a cairn near the top of Green Hill at the north. The southern end is at position SX63526446, the north end at SX63666779.

Being so remote from modern habitation, it survives fairly well, with about a thousand stones still visible, which is probably about half of the original number. Many of the others are probably still there, but now buried beneath the turf and peat. For much of the length of the row there is no loose rock on the surface, so most of the stones must have been moved here from elsewhere.

At the southern end, the row starts at the 16 metre diameter Kiss-in-the-Ring stone circle. From here the row runs northwards, with the stones generally about half a metre tall above the modern turf, and spaced at intervals of about 1.5 to 2 metres. The grass around these stones is in July very long, and many of the stones are very difficult to see, but the path of the row is clearly seen by the darker shade of the grass surrounding them, and also for the path which runs alongside. The stones run off over the moor, up hill and down dale, crossing several streams and two rivers on their way to the top of Green Hill. What a magnificent row this is.

After about a kilometre, the row turns to the right and bears around a hillside, before dropping down into the Erme valley and crossing the river near to the Bronze Age Erme Pound settlement. From here it continues in haphazard fashion up and over the hill on the east bank before dropping down to the river valley again where it crosses the Red Lake River.

North of this river, it proceeds up the slopes of Dry Lake hill in fine style. The row here is very well conserved and stones are positioned about every 2 metres, although only about a foot tall with the current level of the ground. It is probable that the stones are substantially bigger than this but are now well buried in the peat, and there are the occasional fallen stone near to the surface which are about 1.5 metres in length, which gives the idea that they were perhaps all once possibly this size.

This part of the row can be followed easily over the hillside for more than a kilometre, before it fades away at the crossing of a small stream which has seen the attention of the tinners. Just the occasional stone can be followed from here up to the top of Green Hill, and its remains of a cairn near to the summit at 473 metres altitude. It has to be said that it is a bit of a leap of faith to get the row to this cairn, but in all probabilities the stones are all there buried under the peat.

The cairn itself is fairly indistinct, and takes a good bit of imagination to see what should be here. However its position is given away by the different vegetation growing on it, as is often the case on the moor. This cairn is about 9 metres in diameter, and has the usual hollow at the centre, with a few large block s of stone to be seen, at least one of which is standing on its edge. From here, the stone circle at the southern end of the row is now visible again, as are the four large pillars of the Stalldon Row on the southern skyline.

Now out here, you really are miles away from any habitation or even signs of life, and in a very exposed position in the middle of the almost featureless moor. Not a place to be in bad weather. But on a nice clear day like when I visited, its wonderful being here, although it’s a major walk to get back to the car.

Update August 2019: The whole of this stone row is featured on the Stone Rows of Great Britain website - see their entry for Upper Erme, which includes a description, a simplified plan of the alignment, photographs and an illustration of the sea views visible from the northern end of the row.

The row is also recorded as Pastscape Monument No. 441623 and is scheduled as part of Historic England List ID 1003287 (Stall Moor circle and long stone row).

The row is also featured on the Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks (PDW) website: Stall Moor (Upper Erme) Stone Row.
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Upper Erme Row
Upper Erme Row submitted by SandyG : The Upper Erme stone row curving towards its southern end. Most of the Dartmoor rows are not straight although this one does meander across the landscape rather more than most. (Vote or comment on this photo)

Upper Erme Row
Upper Erme Row submitted by thecaptain : The row runs northwards from the Kiss-in-the-Ring stone circle, with the stones generally about half a metre tall above the modern turf, and spaced at intervals of about 1.5 to 2 metres. The grass around these stones is in July very long, and many of the stones are very difficult to see, but the path of the row is clearly seen by the darker shade of the grass surrounding them, and also for the... (Vote or comment on this photo)

Upper Erme Row
Upper Erme Row submitted by Bladup : Upper Erme Stone Row, Just before the river at SX637656, In the background is part of the massive Erme Pound, This photo is looking NE (Vote or comment on this photo)

Upper Erme Row
Upper Erme Row submitted by Bladup : Upper Erme Stone Row, This stone is found at SW637662 looking WNW, This is the Northern end of the Southern section of this massive row (Vote or comment on this photo)

Upper Erme Row
Upper Erme Row submitted by Bladup : Upper Erme Stone Row looking West over the River Erme at SX637661, Follow the Row to the left and you'll shortly have to cross the forementioned river to follow the Row to the large cairn and Stone Circle (Vote or comment on this photo)

Upper Erme Row
Upper Erme Row submitted by Bladup : Just over the River Erme, Upper Erme Stone Row at SX637657, This is the part of the Row with the least visible stones, I imagine that this is because of the very boggy nature of the ground here, hence swallowed stones, This view is looking North

Upper Erme Row
Upper Erme Row submitted by Bladup : Upper Erme Stone Row at SX637655, Looking South

Upper Erme Row
Upper Erme Row submitted by Bladup : Upper Erme Stone Row at SX637654, Looking South

Upper Erme Row
Upper Erme Row submitted by Bladup : Upper Erme Stone Row at SX637653, Looking South, The hill looming large in the background is Stalldown Barrow

Upper Erme Row
Upper Erme Row submitted by Bladup : Up and down it goes, Upper Erme Row at SX636651 looking North

Upper Erme Row
Upper Erme Row submitted by Bladup : Upper Erme Stone Row as it passes the Cairn

Upper Erme Row
Upper Erme Row submitted by Bladup : Upper Erme Row looking West towards the large Cairn (in the background), The large (for this Row) Stone in the foreground is a holed stone, I don't know if this has been noted before by anyone, I imagine it has

Upper Erme Row
Upper Erme Row submitted by Bladup : Upper Erme Row, The Row near the large cairn looking South East

Upper Erme Row
Upper Erme Row submitted by Bladup : Upper Erme Row southern end looking North, The top of the Cairn is just visible on the horizon just right of Center, The Cairn is found to the West of the Row

Upper Erme Row
Upper Erme Row submitted by Bladup : The Southern End of Upper Erme Row Looking North

Upper Erme Row
Upper Erme Row submitted by Bladup : The Southern End of Upper Erme Row with Stall Moor Stone Circle (Kiss-in-a-Ring) in the background, Looking South

Upper Erme Row
Upper Erme Row submitted by Bladup : Upper Erme Stone Row, The Southern End looking North away from Stall Moor Stone Circle (Kiss-in-a-Ring)

Upper Erme Row
Upper Erme Row submitted by Bladup : The Southern End of Upper Erme Row terminates at Stall Moor Stone Circle (Kiss-in-a-Ring), Which is to be seen in the background

Upper Erme Row
Upper Erme Row submitted by graemefield : The upper Erme row on my way back from visiting the circle and looking forward to a night of wildcamping

Upper Erme Row
Upper Erme Row submitted by SandyG : Stone row leading through historic peat cuttings. The excellent survival of the row within such an intensively exploited industrial landscape is noteworthy.

Upper Erme Row
Upper Erme Row submitted by SandyG : Tiny stones protruding through the turf are a characteristic of many Dartmoor rows. These are often overlooked and seldom photographed. They are however an important characteristic of this type of site.

Upper Erme Row
Upper Erme Row submitted by SandyG : A small stone forming part of the row can be seen peeking out below an isolated patch of deeper peat. This certainly confirms the considerable antiquity of the row and offers an opportunity for scientific dating. The stones in the background also belong to the row.

Upper Erme Row
Upper Erme Row submitted by SandyG : Stones within an area where the turf has been removed. Their survival illustrates that the historic turf cutters respected the row which would have been visible before they commenced their work. The peat is actually rather shallow and indicates that many of the stones are indeed very small.

Upper Erme Row
Upper Erme Row submitted by SandyG : The majority of stones within most Dartmoor rows are really rather small. These stones are rarely photographed because they are much less spectacular than the less common but more impressive large orthostats. This is unfortunate because despite their size they form an integral part of the rows and are therefore as significant and informative.

Upper Erme Row
Upper Erme Row submitted by thecaptain : About mid length, the row drops down into the Erme valley and crosses the river near to the Bronze Age Erme Pound settlement. From here it continues in haphazard fashion up and over the hill on the east bank before dropping down to the river valley again where it crosses the Red Lake River. (1 comment)

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Prehistoric Circles and Rows by Ian Honeywood


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Nearby sites listing. In the following links * = Image available
 28m S 184° Stall Moor circle* Stone Circle (SX6351764442)
 488m N 359° Upper Erme Cairns* Cairn (SX6352264958)
 671m S 175° Blatchford Brook Foot Settlement* Ancient Village or Settlement (SX63566380)
 949m SSE 155° Dry Lake North Settlement* Ancient Village or Settlement (SX639636)
 1.0km NNE 33° Hook Lake Row* Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue (SX6411265318)
 1.0km NNE 33° Brown Heath Cairn and Cist* Chambered Cairn (SX6411465327)
 1.1km NNE 30° Hook Lake Settlement* Ancient Village or Settlement (SX6408065390)
 1.1km NNE 20° Erme Pound Cist Cist (SX63926551)
 1.1km N 351° Knackersmill Gulf North Cist Cist (SX63376559)
 1.2km N 10° Erme Pound* Ancient Village or Settlement (SX6375965651)
 1.3km S 190° Stalldown North* Cairn (SX63276323)
 1.3km SW 223° Ranny Brookhead Cist* Cist (SX62616354)
 1.5km SW 231° Ranny Brook Enclosure Ancient Village or Settlement (SX6232963551)
 1.6km N 8° Redlake Foot* Cist (SX63786607)
 1.6km SW 235° Ranny Brook North Cist* Cist (SX62156355)
 1.8km SW 235° Yealm Steps* Ancient Village or Settlement (SX62016348)
 1.9km SSE 153° Three Barrows West prehistoric settlement* Ancient Village or Settlement (SX6436762738)
 2.0km S 187° Stalldown Encircled Cairn* Cairn (SX6320862489)
 2.0km S 187° Stalldon Row* Stone Row / Alignment (SX63236248)
 2.0km S 185° Stalldown Stone Row Cairn E* Cairn (SX63286245)
 2.1km S 186° Stalldown Cairn Circle* Stone Circle (SX63246241)
 2.1km ENE 60° Western White Barrow* Cairn (SX6535465480)
 2.1km SSW 209° Harrowthorn* Cairn (SX6244662645)
 2.2km S 179° Stalldown Ring Cairn Circle* Ring Cairn (SX63526230)
 2.2km S 175° Hillson's House* Cairn (SX63666228)
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"Upper Erme Row" | Login/Create an Account | 2 News and Comments
  
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Re: Upper Erme by Ethelwulf on Saturday, 26 August 2006
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This looks a fantastic site, Captain.
A very good description to go with this image of the stones.
In my experience, half the fun is the dscoveryof these remote sites (battling through long grass and startled sheep) And the endophin rush that such wakling brings, rewarded at the end with a prehistoric site.
Excellent.
Pity Devon is over 500 miles away.
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Re: Upper Erme by TheCaptain on Wednesday, 23 August 2006
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Another interesting account of this stone row can be found here.
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