The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Shovel Down & The Long Stone

Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue


Shovel Down Complex - 1.4.2004

The instructions on the megalithic walks website (see link below) are excellent. Just a couple of additions though. First, to be clear that the bridge mentioned (i.e. where to park) is just outside Batworthy Farm, at SX662866. The space near the bridge should take 4 to 5 cars. I also saw cars parked at various small places off the road over the common, but the bridge area is better and more sensible. Secondly, the journey through the lanes is pretty tortuous, but at least you shouldn't get lost if you have an OS map. Once successfully on the right road (after the crucial junction at SX690870), it is pretty much follow the road and don't take any of the turnings off the lane. To avoid some of the earlier lanes try the B3206 to Chagford from the A382. Be careful to avoid the Range Rovers though! Judging from the cars and the shops this ancient Stannary town looks like a squeaky clean Devon version of Hampstead!

As you walk up towards Batworthy Corner, the north east most row comes clearly into view. A few hundred metres on and you've experienced your first bit of Shovel Down! This first row leads to an intriguing circle of three concentric stone circles. Up and over the hill and the enormous long stone suddenly comes into view. This massive, enigmatic stone has lots of stones around its base. Are they modern? They somehow don't look quite right. The southern stone row (as shown on the OS map) basically doesn't exist; there is nothing there.

I believe I found the remaining one of the 'Three Boys', but it is 70% fallen. From here, if you know where you are looking you can just see the top of the Long Stone. It would be interesting to know if it could be seen from the top of the three boys when it was / they were erect.

There must be 3 rows to the north, not just two as the OS map shows. The middle row starts and continues further away from the others, and is a good way to walk onwards to Scorhill.

When I later returned to the bridge I was led down the rocky path by a dog from Batworthy Farm, like Lassie leading an injured child!
pure joy Posted by pure joy
7th April 2004ce

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