Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks, walking the Stone Rows and Stone Circles of Dartmoor
HomeWalksSites Access Resources
Dartmoor Resource: Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks GPS Datasets

Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks GPS Datasets - Update July 2022

The GPS datasets available on this page are snapshots taken of the information stored in the Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks database. The listings include all known visible stone circles, stone rows and cists and cairns. Sites that have been destroyed, or are no longer visible or are very doubtful are generally excluded from this dataset but are available on request. Data for round houses is not included here but is available on request. The website did not originally attempt to cover all prehistoric sites but significant work has been done on this in recent years and the listings are now much more complete and incorporates all major listings previously published from Grinsell and Jeremy Butler to the Historic Environment Records. Datasets managed by other people, such as the HER data will change and evolve over time and this author suggests any researchers need to double check the HER as the data here was based on a snapshot a couple of years ago.

Below are listed annual, or twice annual, datasets in YYMM format (by Year and Month). The earlier versions had a much more restricted dataset, which originally included the major cairn circles as listed by Turner and some enclosed settlements and Neolithic tombs and so on. There are dubious stone rows and rows that are no longer visible having disappeared for various reasons, robbed out or disappeared beneath the peat - these are not included in the core listings. The core listings include 550 monuments as of August 2017. There are 1000s of hut circles and minor cairns on Dartmoor and these are not included in the core GPS listings but all sites, excluding hut circles, are included in the global and supplementary listings.

The data has come together through years of research although much of it is taken from published books and papers. Many of the grid references are checked against Google satellite or by site visit with a Garman GPS device. These will be accurate to within 3 to 5 metres. The figures taken from various academic texts will at best be accurate to only within 10 meters and quite often to only 100m. Finally, most of these sites are within the Dartmoor National Park and as such are accessible, unless they are on firing ranges in which case you need to check whether firing is taking place. A few however are on private land and no right of access is implied by their inclusion in these listings - check the Dartmoor OL 28 Explorer Map for access rights.

A snapsot of the data is availble from 2017 as a google map:

Prehistoric Dartmoor Map

Guide to naming and suffixes

We use the convention of naming versions as YYMM. All of the data will appear in your GPS device or in MapSource with a name which is restricted to 14 characters. Each name will have a two character suffix such as "SR:" for example "SR:ShaughMoor" means Shaugh Moor Stone Row. The third character indicates the stus of the site "?" means questionable and "x" means probably destroyed or not in existence. These suffixes are:

The third character indicates the status of the site ":" means known and exists. "?" means questionable and "x" means probably destroyed or not in existence. Examples of these suffixes are:

As of July 2022 the third character has been chanegd to also indicate whether the site is recorded in the database with a photo and presumed accurate grid reference. Thi sis to help of filed visits to know when sites are already recorded with details.

Datasets created July 2022

The July 2022 dataset is refinements on previous without any major fieldwork due to the lock down except on NW Dartmoor which is now easily accessible by the new Okehampton train service with a bicycle. This dataset is an early release for 2022 and the author may update and replace later. Older datasets are no longer listed here except old listings by site type. This list includes 1698 sites and excludes most round houses whichare approx another 4000 records which crashes my Garmin!

  • Full dataset in a zip file
  • Stone Circles dataset

    Last updated in May 2019

    Stone Rows dataset

    Last updated in May 2019

    Cists dataset

    Last updated in August 2017

    Datasets in other formats

    These datasets have been created using GPSBabel. The process starts by constructing a file in Garmin MapSource - txt (tab delimited) format. To see this download the full dataset in Garmin MapSource - txt (tab delimited) format and open the file with Excel (or another spreadsheet program). The data can be edited and added here. Once finished we only need the non-empty columns. Highlight and copy and paste into a text file and save. Then load this into GPSBabel and export to whichever file format you require.

    Future updates

    The database on this website has the core data in place but it is refined over time. For example I have visited 80 of the sites in the last year and recorded more accurate GPS positions. Some new sites will also no doubt be added and others corrected. It maybe that creating a new version of this GPS data is an annual event - could be more or less frequent depending on the need and the time I have to sort it out. As far as I'm aware such data is not subject to copyright but I do ask people using this facility to understand that years of work have gone into putting this information together and I would like both some credit and control over the data. For amateur archaeologists I'm sure this data is potentially extremely helpful. I do ask people using it to help out by reporting errors or more accurate information especially for cists and cairns.

    Supplementary datasets

    Updated from 2017

    The data included in the Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks database was expanded in 2017 to attempt to include all known cairns and hut circles - approximately 6500 sites. The maximum number of waypoints that can be installed on a Garmin GPS device is 1000. The full dataset above is the core 550 sites on the website. Excluding the approx 3500 hut circles this leaves approx 880 lesser cairns and more obscure stone rows which are not included in the core data. This totals to more than 1000 entries which cannot be done. The work-around used by the author is to to divide Dartmoor into 3 overlapping bands. A supplementary southern band, central band and northern band. This level of detail is only of interest and relevance to those investigating the more obscure sites.

    To use this data you will need to delete all waypoints on your GPS device before you start. It might make sense to download all the data from your handset to your computer so you have a record of what was previously on the device. Then install the relevant supplementary set. Unfortunately, if you are exploring the northern moor shortly after exploring the southern moor you will need to wipe the previous GPS data and reload the relevant sets. Of course this is only relevant if you need that level of detail and if your GPS device can cope with 5000 wapypoints you can simply install the global set above.

    The bands deliberately overlap.

    Supplementary data; Southern Band

    Last updated in May 2019

    Supplementary data; Central Band

    Last updated in May 2019

    Supplementary data; Northern Band

    Last updated in May 2019

    Page last updated 03/07/22