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Shovel Down & The Long Stone

Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue

<b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by dougImage © Doug
The remains of several double stone rows and one single row of Bronze Age date. The rows are orientated roughly north south. Lying to the south is the Long Stone, a 3.2m tall menhir. Further south is the single remaining stone of The Three Boys. On open moorland.
Also known as:
  • The Three Boys

Nearest Town:Okehampton (12km NW)
OS Ref (GB):   SX6602485792 / Sheet: 191
Latitude:50° 39' 20.81" N
Longitude:   3° 53' 44.08" W


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<b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by hrothgar <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Meic <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Meic <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Meic <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Meic <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Meic <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Meic <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Meic <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by postman <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Meic <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Meic <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Lubin <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Lubin <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Lubin <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Lubin <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Lubin <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Lubin <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Lubin <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Lubin <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Lubin <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Lubin <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Lubin <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Lubin <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Lubin <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Lubin <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Jane <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by doug <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by doug <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by pure joy <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by pure joy <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by pure joy <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by pure joy <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by pure joy <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by greywether <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by greywether <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by greywether <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Moth <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Moth <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Moth <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Joolio Geordio <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Joolio Geordio <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Joolio Geordio <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Joolio Geordio <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by moey <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by moey <b>Shovel Down & The Long Stone</b>Posted by Slartibartfast

Fieldnotes

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The rows here seem to meander forever taking the traveller past the almighty great nearby tor and point you towards the stone circle 1km at Scorhill. The longest stone row idles its way across the moor with two lines of small stones, some hidden under grassy hummocks. Walking the length is not an option. You have no choice but to do it. The most complete section is actually not part of the main row, but deviates off pointing back down to Batworthy. Jane Posted by Jane
10th July 2005ce
Edited 10th July 2005ce

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

Folklore

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The beeting of the bounds around the parishes where this stone is the meeting point of used to be an occasion for fighting, and of moving the boundry stones (presumably not this one as it is huge!)

Mildren, James 1984 Dartmoor in the Old Days Cornwall, UK : Bossing Books
Posted by Floksnog
12th October 2008ce

Grinsell records that during the annual beating of the bounds of Gidleigh common, the first man to reach the long stone was given money as a prize.

('folklore of prehistoric sites in Britain')
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
8th June 2004ce

The longstone is said to move round slowly at sunrise so that each face is warmed by the sun in turn. A similar story exists for the stones of the GreyWethers stone circle. pure joy Posted by pure joy
19th March 2003ce
Edited 19th March 2003ce

Miscellaneous

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Details of the remaining Three Boys stone on Pastscape

(SX 66038549) Three Boys (Cromlech) (NR) (Remains of). (1)
The stone marking the southern end of a stone row ('F' SX 68 NE 16) is the only survivor of three such stones known as the Three Boys. It stands 4 1/2 feet high and leans over. The other two have been removed to form gateposts for a neighbouring enclosure. The suggestion that they formed the supporters of a dolmen is unlikely as the remaining stone would be quite unsuitable for this purpose. They were probably three unusually large stones used to mark the end of the stone row. (2)
(SX 66038549) Three Boys (NAT) Standing Stone (NR). (3) The remaining stone of Three Boys leans at 45o to the NNE; it is 1.7m long, 0.8m wide and 0.3m thick. Packing stones are visible at its base. A surrounding wet-hollow, diameter 3.7m, depth 0.4m,has been created by sheep. There is no trace of a mound. The situation, shape and size of the stone strongly suggests that it formed a terminal/blocking-stone to the double stone row (SX 68 NE/16 'F') which originally extended from the Three Boys to Long Stone. Published 1:2500 survey revised. (4) As described by authority 4. Se Sx 68 NE 16 E-F. (see also RCHME survey `The Shovel Down Stone Rows'(part 1) at 1:200 scale). (5)
Chance Posted by Chance
12th April 2016ce
Edited 19th January 2017ce

Burl (in his book on stone rows) describes a stone further south than the Longstone, at SX660855 - the surviving stone of the 'Three Boys' , the other two apparently taken away for gateposts. The remaining boy is about 4 1/2 ft high. Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
8th January 2003ce
Edited 8th June 2004ce

Links

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Megalithic Walks site


Where else can you find a Stone circle a stone row and a standing stone in the same location?
Posted by phil
13th January 2002ce