Scheduled Monument: Incised stone W of Stent Hill
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
10 November 1950
Date last amended
Summary of Monument
Early Christian memorial stone 280m north east of Yarner Moor Lodge.
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. Early Christian memorial stones are inscribed free-standing stones commemorating named individuals and dating to the early medieval period (c.AD 400-1100). The stones are erect, roughly dressed or undressed slabs, bearing incised inscriptions, usually set in one or more vertical lines down one face of the slab, although in four examples the text runs horizontally across the slab. All except two recorded texts are in Latin and, depending on their date, may be inscribed in a script of Romanised capitals or an insular form of lower case lettering called miniscules, or a mixture of the two. Six stones also have inscriptions in an Irish script called ogham. Most inscriptions are simple, bearing a personal name and often stating a family relationship, such as `filii' (son of), to another personal name. Fourteen stones contain elements of the simple inscriptions within a longer, complex inscriptive formula, often including the phrase `hic iacet' (here lies). Additional decoration is found on very few stones and usually comprises a cross within a circle. Early examples, prior to the eighth century AD, may bear an early Christian symbol called a Chi Rho monogram, compounding the first two Greek letters of the name `Christ'. Early Christian memorial stones are largely restricted to areas which retained Celtic traditions during the early medieval period, with at least 139 recorded from Wales. In England, they are almost entirely confined to the south-west peninsula; of the 56 recorded examples, 37 occur in Cornwall, 11 in Devon, a group of 5 in Dorset, and single examples in Somerset, Hampshire and Shropshire. As a very rare and diverse class of monument important for our understanding of the social organisation and the development of literacy and Christianity during the early medieval period, all surviving ground fast examples of early Christian memorial stones are considered worthy of protection. The early Christian memorial stone 280m north east of Yarner Moor Lodge is an extremely rare survival and survives close to its original location.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 27 August 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 an early Christian memorial stone situated on the summit of the prominent coastal ridge called Culbone Hill. The stone survives as an upright earthfast sandstone block measuring 0.6m high, 0.4m wide and 0.2m thick with a wheel cross with one projecting stem incised on its south eastern face of approximately 0.1m in diameter. The stone was found in 1940 and re-erected at that location. Known locally as the ‘Culbone Stone’ it lies within the parish of Porlock but is extremely close to the boundary between the parishes of Culbone and Porlock.
Further archaeological remains in the vicinity are the subject of separate schedulings.
PastScape Monument No:-35920
National Grid Reference: SS 83210 47374