Scheduled Monument: Standing stones on Manor allotment
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
25 March 1969
Date last amended
02 September 2015
Summary of Monument
Stone setting on Great Tom’s Hill.
Reasons for Designation
Exmoor is the most easterly of the three main upland areas in the south western peninsula of England. In contrast to the others, Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor, there has been no history of antiquarian research and little excavation of its monuments. However, detailed survey work by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England has confirmed a comparable richness of archaeological remains, with evidence of human exploitation and occupation from the Mesolithic period to the present day. Many of the field monuments surviving on Exmoor date from the later prehistoric period. Examples include burial mounds (`barrows'), standing stones, stone alignments and stone settings. Stone settings are arrangements of small upright stones placed in roughly geometric patterns, many having a sophisticated layout. They are considered to be almost without parallel in Britain and Ireland. Stone settings were being constructed and used from the Late Neolithic period to the Middle Bronze Age (c.2500-1000BC) and provide rare evidence of ceremonial and ritual practices during these periods. Due to their rarity and longevity as a monument type, all surviving examples are considered to be of national importance. Despite some erosion and disturbance caused by animal rubbing the stone setting on Great Tom’s Hill survives comparatively well and will retain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, function, territorial significance, social organisation, possible ritual practices and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 2 September 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
This monument includes a stone setting situated on a gently sloping hillside known as Manor Allotment on South Common just below the crest of the ridge of Great Tom’s Hill and overlooking several tributaries to the Badgworthy Water. The stone setting survives as at least five upright earthfast stones up to 0.6m high with a sixth recumbent stone and a stump representing a possible seventh arranged in an imperfect rectangle measuring approximately 17.5m long by 7.5m wide to the north and 6m wide to the south. At least two further stones are thought to have formed part of the setting represented by hollows, but some suggest these might be shell holes.
Further archaeological remains in the vicinity are scheduled separately.
PastScape Monument No:-36205
National Grid Reference: SS 80180 43287