Monday, 17 May 2010

Cut Hill Stone Row

The start of a good spell of weather meant kit up and get out for a long-ish one. It's been a few months since I had a run up to Cut Hill and a good opportunity to get a few shots on the way for a talk I'm giving on aircraft crash sites on the moor.
Starting from Postbridge, down Drift Lane and up onto Broad Down. From there it was over to the crash site below Flat Tor, stopping to have a good look at this hut circle/shelter on the way. If it's a hut circle it's unusual in being remote from any others and if it's a shelter it's a bit on the small round side. It could also be a cache or tool store for use by tinners or peat cutters. Either way it's not recorded on the OS.

A swoopy downhill and a bit of bog-trotting brought us to the crash site. The remains of the Sea Vixen which crashed here in 1965 can still be seen round the edges of the pool (not marked on the OS either.)

A bit more bog-trotting and a sort-of uphill and we were at the top of Cut Hill. Close by is a recumbent stone row, now thought to be Neolithic which was officially investigated by Tom Greeves in 2004. It has almost certainly been recognised as such for many years before this since being exposed by human activity and natural erosion around the start of the last century.

Radio-carbon dating of the peat under the stones suggests a date of 3500BC which would imply that the stones have been recumbent for this long and that, as only one of the stones showed evidence of a hole with packing stones, they may never have been upright. Let's hope that they aren't subjected to the 'restoration' which has compromised so many other Dartmoor 'antiquities'.
Back to the car at Postbridge two and a half hours later feeling much better for the leg-stretch.


  1. I was unaware of the old stone row on Cut Hill... Dartmoor just keeps on unveiling secrets of the past. Fascinating.

  2. There's always something new! The third stone along has the inscription JEW and so is known as the Jew Stone. Why this is, nobody knows. There may well be other artifacts under the peat - I always have a good nose round when I'm up there!

  3. Now here is a chap that knows his stuff. Fascinating post this, I really should get down to Dartmoor at some point.

  4. Definately :-) What it lacks in hills it more than makes up for atmosphere

  5. what a funny (strange) talk to have to give!!

  6. Yeah. I was asked by a group to give a talk on Dartmoor with a bit of a different slant, so rather than send everybody to sleep with photos of tors I thought I'd mix in this bit of Dartmoor history. There's loads written about crash sites in Snowdonia and the Peaks but very little about the ones down here.

  7. I would be very interested in anything you know about the crash sites. I was at the Sea Vixen site myself last month. I'd like to get round and visit more of them.

  8. Hi Dave,
    There doesn't seem to be much known about them but what details there are can be found in Paul Rendell's 'Dartmoor News' No. 52. There's also a page on Tim Sandles' Legendary Dartmoor site which is really just a summary of this. It's all interesting stuff and there's one or two elusive ones!