MDE1250 - Lyn Long Stones (Monument)


Two standing stones on Lyn Down have moved from their original positions. One of them, 2.1 metres high, is named "Long Stone" on the Ordnance Survey 25 inch maps of 1887 and 1904.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

SS 727475. Lyn Down; two standing stones. Classified under Bronze Age. [1] SS 72654748 Long Stone (NAT). [2] Numerous stones are depicted and described on the Ordnance Survey 25 inch map (CSL) when the area was moorland. It has now been cleared and is arable but two stones have been re-set in an unploughed patch of ground. That at SS 7272 4752 is a slatey pillar 2.2 metres high, 0.6 metres wide and 0.2 metes thick, probably the 'Long Stone'. The other at SS 7272 4753 is 1.4 metes high, 0.4 metres wide and 0.3 metres thick. The 'Long Stone' could well be prehistoric since it is quite unsuited as a rubbing post though a boundary mark cannot be dismissed. The lesser stone is of little meaning now that all others have been removed. Surveyed at 1:2500 [3] Two menhirs, re-erected in 1906 in their original holes by Chanter and Worth,when the field was about to be broken for cultivation. The Long Stone had only recently fallen. Other stones then in the field are said to be bound stones of turbary plots. Two standing stones, clearly those re-erected and planned by Chanter and Worth [4] but removed and reset in the corner of the field before 1974. Originally about 17.3 metres apart and orientated west-north-west to east-south-east they are now 8.2 metres apart and orientated north to south. The unploughed patch [3] is now fully part of a currently pasture field. The southern stone is (contra [3]) 0.9 metres wide, 0.3 metres thick and 2.2 metres high. Width and thickness are the same at top and base but the stone is only 0.15m thick half way up. [5] SS 72723 47525. Two re-erected standing stones at about 333 metres above Ordnance Datum on the northern summit of Lyn Down. On the 1887 [6] and 1904 [7] Ordnance Survey Maps a stone is shown situated at SS 72656 47488 in an area of enclosed moorland on Lyn Down. It is annotated "Long Stone". According to Chanter and Worth [4] in 1906 there were "two `menhirs'....the larger of which is known as the Longstone" at this site. Both stones were fallen at the time of their visit and they helped workmen re-erect them in their original socket holes.The area has been ploughed for sometime, exactly when is not clear but it was probably shortly after their visit. The stones have been moved again and reerected once more some 75 metres north of their original position. A: Present position SS 72723 47525. It now stands 2.1 metres high above ground level and is 0.9 metres wide at its base tapering to 0.5 metres at the top which has partly broken off. It is a maximum of 0.3 metres thick. This stone is undoubtedly the Long Stone as its description and measurements coincide with those of Chanter and Worth. It is not known when it was removed from its former position at SS 72656 47488. B: Present position SS 72723 47533. This stone is 1.4 metres long, 0.5 metres wide and 0.3 metres thick. Although earthfast it is leaning to the northeast and its top is acutely angled. Its description and measurements indicate that it is the second `menhir' referred to by Chanter and Worth. Its original position is not clear and the measurements of its distance from the Long Stone do not coincide with any other stones on the Ordnance survey maps. Note: On the 1887 [6] and 1904 [7] maps 20 or more other stones are depicted to the north of the Long Stone. These were turbary marker stones," of a different character", [4] used as boundaries for turf cutting allotments. (To avoid confusion they have been treated as a separate site - See MDE11705). [8] The standing stones are situated 550 metres from lyn cross. Two menhirs reerected in 1906 in their original holes by Chanter and Worth. Height: 2.9 metres base: 760 milimetres long, width: 230 milimetres [9] One of the lyn long stones has been knocked over by cattle. Plans to re-erect in hand. [11] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a score of 4. [13] The site was surveyed in June 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. It was given a survival score of 3. [14] The site was surveyed as part of the 2017-2018 Standing Stone Condition Survey. The site is in a poor condition following damage to the surrounding area. The effect of this damage is likely minimal due to the movement of the stones from their previous location at the start of the 20th century. [15-16] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [17]

Sources/Archives (17)

  • <1> Monograph: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Archaeology of Exmoor: Bideford Bay to Bridgewater. David and Charles Limited. P. 190.
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey. Various. Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date) . OS 25" CSL.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Quinnell, N.V.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 8 October 1974.
  • <4> Article in serial: Chanter, J.F. and Worth, R.H.. 1906. The Rude Stone Monuments of Exmoor and its Borders. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 38. II, pp 538-552. P.539, 540.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Quinnell, N.V.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 21 November 1989.
  • <6>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1887, Devon Sheet 3(13). [Mapped feature: #44074 Original site of Long Stone shown on historic mapping, ]
  • <7> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-1907. County Series, 2nd Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1904, Devon 3(13) (Revision).
  • <8> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 31 January 1994.
  • <9> Index: Ministry of Works. 1924. List of Ancient Monuments.
  • <10> Report: Quinnell, N.V. and 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.. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. P. 25 SS74NW17.
  • <11> Unpublished document: Heal, S. V. E. 02/02/1998. Site Visit on behalf of Exmoor National Park Authority.
  • <12> Article in serial: Fowler, M. J. F.. 1993. The Standing Stones of Exmoor: A provisional catalogue of 86 North Devon sites. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 125. 155-178.
  • <13> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
  • <14> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015. Archaedia.
  • <15>XY Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. MDE1250. [Mapped features: #45225 Stone A., MDE1250; #45226 Stone B., MDE1250]
  • <16> Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018 - Scheduled Standing Stones. MDE1250.
  • <17> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35188, Extant 13 December 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 7269 4751 (71m by 50m) (3 map features)
Map sheet SS74NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 683
  • Devon SMR: SS74NW/8
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20048
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 NW17
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35188

Record last edited

Dec 13 2021 9:10PM


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