Historic Environment Record images

MSO7891 - Culbone Stone, Culbone Hill

ENPHER Number:MSO7891
Name:Culbone Stone, Culbone Hill
Type of Record:Monument
Grid Reference:SS 8321 4735

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record caveat document.


An inscribed stone of possibly 7th to 9th Century date at Culbone Hill, found and re-erected in 1940. It measures 0.65 metres high, and has a wheel cross incised in its southeastern face.


Culbone Stone from the east, 2009  © Exmoor National Park Authority

Culbone Stone from the east, 2009 © Exmoor National Park Authority

Culbone Stone from the north, 2009  © Exmoor National Park Authority

Culbone Stone from the north, 2009 © Exmoor National Park Authority

Monument Types

  • INSCRIBED STONE (AD 7th Century to AD 9th Century - 600 AD to 899 AD (Possible))

Designated Status

  • Scheduled Monument 1006141: Incised stone W of Stent Hill


SS83154732. In 1939-40 a cross-decorated stone of the 7th to 9th century was found in a wood near the Culbone-Porlock boundary. It was over 3 foot long, a slab of local Hangman Grit, with an obliquely placed incised ring-cross having a projecting stem. It was re-erected in 1940 at the spot where it was found with 2 foot showing above ground. [1]

The stone, as described by Grinsell, is in dense woodland at SS 83214736. It falls in Porlock parish, but is so close to the Culbone/Porlock boundary that this would seem to have been mered to the stone. Surveyed at 1:2500. [2]

SS 83204736. It is speculative as to whether the inscribed cross and circle was removed from the stone row 40 metres to the north (MSO7893), as it is very similar in size to the larger stones of that row. [3]

ST (should be SS) 832474. Incised stone west of Stent Hill. [4]

A sandstone block, known as the Culbone Stone, found and re-erected in 1940. It is 0.65 metres high, 0.44 metres wide and 0.19 metres thick. A wheel cross is incised on its south-eastern face, 0.11 metres in diameter and cut to a depth of 0.004 metres. The lower right arm of the cross has been extended beyond the circle for 0.07 metres. This extension is wider, shallower and more crudely cut, perhaps it is a later addition. [6]

An inscribed cross is also visible on one of the stones of the adjacent stone row (MSO7893). [7]

The cross is on the east face of the stone, which lies on or near the parish boundary. A rubbing was taken of the cross and location fixed. [9]

No sign of disturbance. [10]

No change - still in good condition. [11]

A standing stone bears an incised cross in a circle; a 'wheeled cross', which is a Christian symbol. The wheeled cross stone may have served as a marker of the direction of the parish boundary. [13]

In private ownership. [15]

The location of the stone is on or near to the Oare/Porlock parish boundary. Oare incorporates the former parish of Culbone. [16]

The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 0. [17]

The site was surveyed in June 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. It was given a survival score of 0. [18]

A tapering rough upright stone measuring 0.7 x 0.42 x 0.18m, situated amongst woodland on a permitted path. It has been inscribed with a 7th – 9th century wheel cross on its southern face, close to the tip of the stone. It may have once come from the nearby stone row (MSO7893). The stone is also very close to the parish boundary between Oare and Porlock. The condition has not changed since the last assessment in 2015. [19]

<1> Grinsell, L.V., 1970, The Archaeology of Exmoor: Bideford Bay to Bridgewater, P.139, 146. Plate P.126 (Monograph). SMO4578.

<2> Quinnell, N.V., Field Investigators Comments, Ordnance Survey visit, 8 September 1976 (Unpublished document). SMO7320.

<3> Fowler, M.J.F., 1988/1989, The Standing Stones of Exmoor: A Provisional Catalogue of 62 West Somerset Sites, P.1-13 (Oare 4) (Article in serial). SMO5660.

<4> Scheduled Monument Notification , Department of the Environment, England 2 (1978) 122 (Index). SMO4073.

<5> Eardley-Wilmot, H., 1983, Ancient Exmoor: A Study of the Archaeology and Prehistory of Exmoor, P.33-34 (Monograph). SMO4080.

<6> Quinnell, N.V. + Dunn, C.J., 1992, Lithic Monuments within the Exmoor National Park: A New Survey for Management Purposes by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. (Monograph). SMO5658.

<7> Sainsbury, I.S.S, Field Investigators Comments, RCHME Field Investigation, 11 January 1990 (Unpublished document). SMO7324.

<8> Wilson-North, R., Field Investigators Comments, RCHME Field Investigation, 29 July 1997 (Unpublished document). SMO7329.

<9> Historic Buildings Council, Plan and Drawing of Stone (Technical drawing). SSO347.

<10> Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, Field Monument Warden Report (Report). SSO1247.

<11> Various, Various, Oral Information or Staff Comments, E Dennison, Somerset County Council, 3 October 1986 (Verbal communication). SMO5308.

<12> Vowles, A., 1940, Discovery of an Early Christian symbol (Article in serial). SSO1958.

<13> Mold, E.T., 1983, Culbone Hill Stones, P.67-69 (Article in serial). SEM7179.

<14> Burrow, I., Minnitt, S. + Murless, B., 1981, Somerset Archaeology 1980, P.96 (Article in serial). SSO859.

<15> Various, Various, Oral Information or Staff Comments, Somerset County Council Planning (Verbal communication). SMO5308.

<16> Various, Various, Oral Information or Staff Comments (Verbal communication). SMO5308.

<17> Bray, L.S., 2010, Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park (Report). SEM7402.

<18> Gent, T. and Manning, P., 2015, Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015 (Report). SEM8278.

<19> Fuller, J., 2018, Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018, MSO7891 (Report). SEM8523.

Related records

MSO7893Related to: Culbone Stone Row, Culbone Hill (Monument)

Related Pages

Other References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11476
  • Local List Status (No)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 NW15
  • National Park: Exmoor
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 35920
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33853
Date Last Edited:Dec 18 2018 2:50PM


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