MDE1267 - Prehistoric stone setting on Badgworthy Lees (Monument)


Remnants of a possible prehistoric stone setting, now comprising three stones.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

(SS 78584465) Stone (NAT) (SS 78784467) Stone (NAT) [1] A visit to the site in 1969 recorded some fifteen stones forming a rough circle with a few loose stones in the centre and round about. The two close by standing stones may be related. The circle is c. 30 yards in diameter with stones two feet high. [2] At Badgworthy Lees, south of Withycombe Ridge Water, two stones are shown on the Ordnance Survey map [10]. To the northwest of the western stone is a hillside on which are several stones some evidently set artificially. Their original arrangement is now entirely lost. [3] SS 788 446. One standing stone. (Grinsell does not refer to any stone setting). [4] The eastern of the two probably prehistoric standing stones has apparently been removed. The western, at SS 7859 4464 (MDE9891), is an upright slab 0.3 metres wide and 0.7 metres high. To the northwest at SS 7849 4469 (this site) are two groups of three stones 20.0 metres apart. Two are upright slabs 0.4 metres and 0.6 metres high, the others are simply protrusions from the peat. It is impossible to determine whether these are natural occurrences or stone settings of prehistoric origin. Surveyed at 1:2500 for AO record purposes. [5] At SS 7848 4468 are two upright slabs set 1.7 metres apart and aligned north-north-east to south-south-west with a third, partly concealed 0.8 metres to the east. They are associated with an irregular erosion hole 0.2 metres deep. It is noted by Grinsell [4] and it is the most southerly of two groups of three stones recorded by Quinnell [5]; his northern group appears to be natural, earth fast stone which occurs in the immediate area. Uncertainty over the origin of this group of stones is well founded [5]. Stones A and B do appear to be deliberately set and are too well defined and distinct to be well rubbed natural outcrops. They are at best regarded as a probable remnant of a prehistoric monument, possibly a stone setting. The stones are prominently positioned on the edge of a bluff in bracken and heather facing east on a slight with fine views from nort-east to southwest over Badgeworthy Water. Two standing stones previously recorded under this NAR number are now MDE9890 and MDE9891 respectively. This site seems to be that regarded as a `stone circle' on Badgeworthy Lees, an observation appreciated by the Devon SMR [6]. A further table of information of the stones is held in the archive. [7-8] From Monarch entry 35299 [18], Re: MDE1275 (now incorporated into this HER Monument Record):-"SS 787 447 Stone Circle on Badgeworthy Lees. Possibly a duplication of MDE1256, stone row settings first reported as a stone circle or, less probably, MDE1273 or MDE1274, enclosed cremation cemeteries at SS 788 437. [12] This supposed stone circle is undoubtedly a duplication of MDE1267 arising from an incorrect National Grid Reference. Perhaps because there are other stones in the vicinity, probably natural grounders, the site was scheduled as a stone circle. [7]" The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 7. [11] The stones were also noted as stable in 2003. There is an erosion hollow between the stones but this is unchanged since the 1988 Royal Commision on the Historical monuments of England Survey. [13] The site was subject to further survey in 2012 and mapped using GPS. All three stones were again seen to be present, two with active erosion hollows. An animal track was seen to run through the site and two of the stones were being subsumed by an ant hill. [14] The site was surveyed in May 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. It was given a survival score of 3. [15] The site was surveyed as part of the 2017-2018 Exmoor Standing Stone Condition Survey. The condition of this site is “moderate”. Three stones were located, all leaning and densly covered by vegetation and dead vegetation indicates that bracken covers the area in the summer. Animals regularly visit the stones, indicated by erosion hollows and a track running through the site. [16-17] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [18,19]

Sources/Archives (19)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560.
  • <2> Index: Department of Environment. 1969. List of Ancient Monuments in England. Site visit, March 1969.
  • <3> 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. 547.
  • <4> Monograph: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Archaeology of Exmoor: Bideford Bay to Bridgewater. David and Charles Limited. P. 190.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Quinnell, N.V.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 6 October 1974.
  • <6> Archive: Devon County Council. Various. Devon SMR / HER records / parish files - Exmoor records. SS74SE/6.
  • <7> Technical drawing: Pattison, P.. 1989. Badgworthy Lees/ink survey . 1:100. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Pattison, P. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 17 January 1989.
  • <9> 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.
  • <10> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <11> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
  • <12> Report: Depart of Environment. 1971. Ancient Monuments of England. P. 52.
  • <13> Report: Dray, K.. 2003. A Condition Survey of Standing Stones on Badgworthy Land Company Owned Land, Exmoor.
  • <14> Report: Slater, E.. 2012. A condition survey of standing stones on Badgworthy Land Company owned land, Exmoor National Park. p27-28.
  • <15> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015. Archaedia.
  • <16>XY Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. MDE1267. [Mapped features: #45222 Stone A from the setting MDE1267., MDE1267; #45223 Stone B from the setting MDE1267., MDE1267; #45224 Stone C from the setting MDE1267., MDE1267]
  • <17> Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018 - Scheduled Standing Stones. MDE1267.
  • <18> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35299, Extant 19 May 2021.
  • <19> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35272, Extant 19 May 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 78483 44690 (1m by 2m) (3 map features)
Map sheet SS74SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (6)

External Links (2)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS74SE/6
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 637
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE1275
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20002
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20004
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SE23
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SE32
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35272
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35299

Record last edited

Jul 9 2021 10:44AM


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