<< Our Photo Pages >> Piles Hill NE - Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue in England in Devon

Submitted by TheCaptain on Thursday, 01 July 2004  Page Views: 8851

Neolithic and Bronze AgeSite Name: Piles Hill NE
Country: England County: Devon Type: Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue
Nearest Town: Ivybridge  Nearest Village: Harford / Didworthy
Map Ref: SX65886111  Landranger Map Number: 202
Latitude: 50.434477N  Longitude: 3.889869W
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.
3 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

Catrinm visited on 14th Apr 2024 - their rating: Cond: 2 Amb: 3 Access: 3

SandyG visited on 9th Mar 2013 - their rating: Cond: 2 Amb: 4 Access: 3 Car parking location is available at SX 64342 59548. From here head east to the Two Moors Way at SX 65765 59965. Then follow the track north to SX 65388 61077 where it crosses the row.

TheCaptain have visited here

Average ratings for this site from all visit loggers: Condition: 2 Ambience: 3.5 Access: 3

Piles Hill NE
Piles Hill NE submitted by TheCaptain : Piles Hill Avenue, Dartmoor, Devon SX651611 to SX659611 Looking down the eastern end of the avenue. Corringdon Ball with all its features in the near distance. (Vote or comment on this photo)
This wonderful monument consists of an avenue of large stones, almost a kilometre in length running in an west to east direction over the top of the ridge of Piles Hill. The stones are generally between 1 and 2 metres in length, with many more than 2 metres. The western end is at SX65056111 the eastern end at SX65886111

What enormous fun this monument is! Originally created of massive stones, especially for Dartmoor, most are now fallen and buried under the ground, leaving just their tops showing or a bump in the ground. I had a grand time trying to find the stones and follow the lines they made, even in the rain.

The monument basically consists of an avenue of large stones, almost a kilometre in length running in an east to west direction over the top of the ridge of Piles Hill. The stones are generally between 1 and 2 metres in length, with many more than 2 metres. The two rows vary in their distance apart, between 15 and 20 metres, and the stone spacing about 5 or 6 metres in each row. The avenue is not straight, and curves northwards towards both ends as they progress down the hillsides. The stones are few and far between at the top of the hill, but become much more regular away from the top. No doubt many of the stones at the top were used in the construction of the tramway. From the top of the ridge, the rows can be followed down the hillside. I started by going down to the west following the bumps in the ground which are the stones of the south row. In places 4 or 5 stones can be seen at a time, which makes following the row easier. The avenue comes to a proper end, with a very large slab marking the end of the south row. The northern row ends with a large still standing slab, 2 metres long with a pointed top, arranged across the row in the manner of a blocking stone. It also has a neighbour. While here, a fantastic double rainbow appeared at the top of the hill, forming an arc right over the top of this stone. I tried to get a good photograph of this, but the eye is much better than the camera at making changes in brightness out, and the rainbow does not appear much at all in my pictures.

Following the northern row back up the hillside is more difficult than following the southern row, as it has much fewer remaining stones. In fact, trying to follow the northern row over the top of the ridge became an impossibility, and I went back to the southern row, and then followed this over the ridge and down the eastern side of the hill. The southern row is fairly easy to follow down the hill, and after a while, it seems that most of the stones can still be made out. Progressing down the hill, the northern row makes an appearance again, and is also fairly complete towards the bottom of the avenue, which is much narrower down this end. Once more, the row seems to come to a complete end, with a strange arrangement of earthworks and large stones placed across the row, including a large blocking stone 2.5 metres in length which is in the middle between the two rows.

Trying to imagine this monument in its complete state, it would have been magnificent. Compared to the usual small Dartmoor rows, with their tiny stones and avenues no wider than a single person, this would have been awesome, and it would have almost rivalled the avenues at Avebury. Unfortunately, when in the 19th century many rows and circles on the moor were re-erected, this monster somehow missed out.

Getting decent pictures was not an easy task, especially as I do not profess to be a proper photographer, but just take pictures. I challenge any of you photographers out there to get nice pictures of this avenue which show the size and scale of things.

Update August 2019: This stone row is featured on The Stone Rows of Great Britain website - see their entry for Piles Hill, which includes photographs, a plan of the row showing the location of the associated cairns, a description and additional sources of information. The SRoGB also includes a section for Landscape Comments, which illustrates the landscape features which come into (and out of) view as you progress along the row. They add: "The Piles Hill stone row as well as being the only avenue on Dartmoor is unusual in that was built over the top of a hill … the view from either end of the row is radically different".

Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks also includes two entries for this row: Piles Hill Stone Row and Piles Hill Double Stone Row and Cairns.

Further information can also be found on Pastscape Monument No. 442017 and on the Devon & Dartmoor HER: MDV5662 Stone alignment on Piles Hill. The row is scheduled as Historic England List Entry No. 1013033 (Stone alignment on Piles Hill).
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Piles Hill NE
Piles Hill NE submitted by SandyG : Stones forming part of the southern row at SX 65575 61048. View from west (Scale 1m). (Vote or comment on this photo)

Piles Hill NE
Piles Hill NE submitted by SandyG : Stones forming part of the southern row at SX 65575 61048. View from east (Scale 1m). (Vote or comment on this photo)

Piles Hill NE
Piles Hill NE submitted by SandyG : Large recumbent slab forming part of the southern row at SX 65642 61049. View from west (Scale 1m). (Vote or comment on this photo)

Piles Hill NE
Piles Hill NE submitted by SandyG : A line of stones forming part of the southern row at SX 65696 61054. View from west (Scale). (Vote or comment on this photo)

Piles Hill NE
Piles Hill NE submitted by SandyG : The stone on the left forms part of the northern row and the stones on the right part of the southern row. View from west at SX 65738 61057. (Vote or comment on this photo)

Piles Hill NE
Piles Hill NE submitted by SandyG : Split stones at SX 65784 61063 forming part of the stone row.

Piles Hill NE
Piles Hill NE submitted by SandyG : The eastern end of the row. View from the south (Scale 1m).

Piles Hill NE
Piles Hill NE submitted by SandyG : A pair of recumbent stones denote the eastern end of this double stone row. View from north (9th March 2013).

Piles Hill NE
Piles Hill NE submitted by SandyG : All of the stones in this row are now recumbent. When standing this must have been spectacular indeed. (9th March 2013)

Piles Hill NE
Piles Hill NE submitted by optilith : A stone that was split but never taken.

Piles Hill NE
Piles Hill NE submitted by TheCaptain : Piles Hill Avenue, Dartmoor, Devon SX651611 to SX659611 The arrangement of stones and earthworks at the eastern terminus of the avenue. Corringdon Ball with all its features in the near distance.

Piles Hill NE
Piles Hill NE submitted by TheCaptain : Piles Hill Avenue, Dartmoor, Devon SX651611 to SX659611 Some of the stones in the eastern section of the southern row.

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Nearby sites listing. In the following links * = Image available
 378m SE 143° Glasscombe Ball NE* Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue (SX6610060802)
 440m SSE 161° Glasscombe Corner Stone Row* Stone Row / Alignment (SX6601660691)
 482m SSE 163° Glasscombe Corner SW Terminal Cairn* Cairn (SX6601060646)
 502m ENE 71° Upper Glazebrook* Ancient Village or Settlement (SX66366126)
 582m SW 229° The Longstone (Piles Hill)* Standing Stone (Menhir) (SX65436074)
 615m WSW 249° Piles Hill Cairns* Cairn (SX653609)
 644m S 187° Glasscombe Ball North (North Cairn)* Cairn (SX6578360473)
 696m S 191° Glasscombe Ball North* Stone Row / Alignment (SX6573360429)
 716m S 191° Glasscombe Ball North (South Cairn)* Cairn (SX65736041)
 727m E 84° Corringdon Ball* Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue (SX6660761169)
 735m E 81° Corringdon Ball N.* Stone Row / Alignment (SX66616121)
 739m SSW 209° Hobajons Cross* Standing Stone (Menhir) (SX65516047)
 751m ENE 78° Corringdon Ball Cairns* Cairn (SX66626125)
 763m E 82° Corringdon Ball Central* Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue (SX66646120)
 790m E 81° Corringdon Ball Multiple Cairn Circle* Cairn (SX6666561215)
 804m E 81° Corringdon Ball S.E.* Stone Circle (SX6667961215)
 807m E 82° Corringdon Ball South* Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue (SX6668461205)
 828m W 269° Piles Hill W* Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue (SX65056111)
 871m SE 133° Lower Glasscombe* Cist (SX6650660502)
 948m SSW 200° Butterdon Hill Row* Stone Row / Alignment (SX6553960225)
 984m ENE 75° Brent Fore Hill* Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue (SX66846134)
 1.0km ENE 74° Brent Forehill Encircled Cairn* Cairn (SX6685461356)
 1.1km ENE 78° Corringdon Ball Tomb* Chambered Tomb (SX6694561308)
 1.1km E 101° Corringdon Ball settlement* Ancient Village or Settlement (SX66956088)
 1.1km NW 306° Sharp Tor cairn* Cairn (SX65006179)
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"Piles Hill NE" | Login/Create an Account | 6 News and Comments
  
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Re: Piles Hill NE by Catrinm on Friday, 26 April 2024
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not sure if this news article has been posted re Piles hill..
the videos above about the same finding don't load anyway
www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-66924400
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Re: Piles Hill NE by Runemage on Monday, 30 October 2023
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Current excavations have revealed a 'cobbled' area made of quartz as well as post holes that show some stones now prostrate were initially standing. youtu.be/YtxexmPKnyE?si=M8zNf0yHO-CMtZ0d
youtu.be/YtxexmPKnyE?si=M8zNf0yHO-CMtZ0d
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Re: Piles Hill Double Stone Row - Archaeologist seeks help by AngieLake on Monday, 29 May 2023
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Noticed this article in devonlive's web pages:

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/dartmoor-enigmatic-stone-row-leaves-8475697

Maybe someone can help Andy Crabb?
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Re: Piles Hill NE by SandyG on Monday, 28 January 2019
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This is the same site as Piles Hill West.
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    Re: Piles Hill NE by TheCaptain on Tuesday, 29 January 2019
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    Yes, for reasons that have disappeared into the mists of time, we have sitepages for both the eastern and werstern ends of this magnificent avenue. Its probably something to do with names originally got from Worth or Burl or suchlike. However, I do think it is useful to have both ends represented, so that it makes it appear the size it is on the maps, and perhaps easier to find.
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Re: Piles Hill NE by optilith on Wednesday, 22 June 2011
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Piles Hill Double Stone Row is a really interesting site. The stones are significantly larger than the average Dartmoor rows and of a different character. Jeremy Butler suggests the original length was 865m with a width of 5.55m and a possible 150 stones in each row. All of which should make this a unsung gem. However the stones were not re-erected when so many others were over a century ago and what remains needs a little imagination.

A long curve of buried stones rises over the hill and down the other side with the west end being the most photogenic. I read somewhere that the nature and size of this double row may make it the ancestor of the other Dartmoor rows. I can't seem to find this entry but it does seem to make sense to me.

It would certainly be a good candidate for some Archaeological dating work.
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