MDE1262 - Prehistoric stone setting at Clannon Ball (Monument)


A stone setting is situated on a west facing slope overlooking Farley Water and comprised five stones forming a possible rhomboid in 1906. Three uprights were still in situ [in 1988?].

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

(SS 7586 4365) Stones (NAT). [1] Clannon Ball. A stone circle 9 feet 8 inches in diameter is shown on the Ordnance Survey, this circle is around a small barrow. Nearby at Longitude 3o 46' 31" Latitude 51o 10' 41 1/4" is a stone setting, of four standing and one fallen stones (see plan). [2] SS 759 438. Clannon Ball; a stone setting of five stones in a rhomboid ? [3] There is not and almost certainly never has been a cairn or barrow with a retaining circle in the proximity of the published 'Stones', though a cairn exists 150 metres to the east (see MDE1269). The 'Stones' are evidently meant to represent the stone setting at SS 7592 4366. This setting accords with Chanter's measurements and is on a slight west slope. Surveyed at 1:2500. [4] (Clannon Ball) SS 7591 4363. This setting now comprises three upright slabs and one fallen stone. It is situated on a west facing slope well below the crest of the hill, at 402 metres Ordnance Datum. The site, located on a slight shelf, overlooks both a shallow dry valley and the broad valley of the Farley Water to rising ground beyond. The hillslope composed of Hangman Grits is covered by bracken, heather and rough pasture; surface stone is common over the area. The three slabs of sedimentary rock all lean to the east and the fourth lies in a shallow erosion hollow; a similar hollow 3 metres to the south marks the site of the fifth stone depicted on the 1906 plan. The orientation of the main axis of the setting is almost east to west. A robbed cairn (MDE9889) lies to the west, but with no obvious relationships, though cairns and turf mounds have been identified in the immediate vicinity of other settings (see MDE1317 and MDE1319). [5] The setting was incorrectly described in 1906 as a circle of stones around a small barrow. The site consists of rectilinear platform bounded on the north side by a line of three upright stones, 0.1 metres high. Transverse stones occur at both ends of the line, 0.4 metres high. Three low earthfast stones form the west side and another stone is visible at the southeast corner. The whole structure is approximately 2.0 metres east to west, by 1.5 metres and may be the remains of a prehistoric ritual monument. A path runs through the site. [6] "Stones" marked on the 1905 Ordnance Survey map. [8] Stone B is loose and in an active erosion hollow 1.7 metres in diameter and 0.5 metres deep. It is suffering from water erosion. Stone A is stable but in an active erosion hollow, 1.3 metres in diameter and 0.3 metres deep. Stone C is in an active erosion hollow that is 1.7 metres in diameter and 0.4 metres deep. The stone is stable. Stone D is recumbent and no longer visible. Due to animal activity in the area stones B and C are considered to be extremely vunerable. [9] The site was subject to further survey in 2012. Again, only stones A to C were located, with no sign of stone D being visible but the erosion hole (E) being viewed. Stone A had fallen into its erosion hollow since 2003 and there was evidence of animals using stones B and C for scratching. The site was said to be in in a generally good condition but under moderate vulnerability. [10] MDE1262 is a small stone setting in a trapezoidal form, aligned northwest to southeast along the contour of the hill on the western slopes of Clannon Ball, above Farley Water. Only 4 stones and the hollow where stone E once stood were recorded in 1992 and 2003, with stone D being recumbent, and Stone A as upright. Between then and 2012, Stone A also fell. Currently, only Stone B and C are standing. Probing in the hollow where stone D once stood revealed buried stone, however it cannot be confirmed if this is Stone D itself. Unfortunately there was no indication of any stone at E. Despite the change in previous years, the site has become somewhat stable since 2012, with no significant damage since. The main threat to this site is animal rubbing. Numerous tracks converge on the setting, and Stones B and C have been worn smooth by rubbing and present erosion hollows, however these are now smaller than previously recorded in 2012. Frost-damage is also a possible threat as these hollows are now heavily waterlogged. Rushes also obscure the hollows at stones D and E. [12]

Sources/Archives (12)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560.
  • <2> Article in serial: Chanter, J.F. + Worth, R.H.. 1906. The Rude Stone Monuments of Exmoor and its Borders. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 38. II. P. 546.
  • <3> Monograph: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Archaeology of Exmoor: Bideford Bay to Bridgewater. David and Charles Limited. P. 189.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Quinnell, N.V.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, 5 September 1974.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Fletcher, M.J.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 18 December 1988.
  • <6> Monograph: 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.. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England.
  • <7> Survey: Clannon Ball/ink survey . 1:100. General: Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <8> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1905. 6 Inch Map: 1905. 1:10560.
  • <9> Report: Dray, K.. 2003. A Condition Survey of Standing Stones on Badgworthy Land Company Owned Land, Exmoor. P. 24-5.
  • <10> Report: Slater, E.. 2012. A condition survey of standing stones on Badgworthy Land Company owned land, Exmoor National Park. p20-21.
  • <11> Artwork: Brayne, J.. 2000. Reconstruction Drawings for 'The Field Archaeology of Exmoor'. Clannon Ball stone setting reconstruction.
  • <12>XY Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. MDE1262. [Mapped features: #45311 Stone A., MDE1262; #45312 Stone B., MDE1262; #45313 Stone C., MDE1262; #45314 Stone D., MDE1262; #45315 Stone E., MDE1262]



Grid reference Centred SS 7592 4366 (34m by 27m) (Surveyed)
Map sheet SS74SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS74SE/25
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 50131
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20359
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE21491
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SE18
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 35257

Record last edited

Dec 5 2018 10:39AM


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