MDE1280 - The Long Stone, Challacombe Common (Monument)


A prehistoric standing stone, known as the Long Stone, stands on a long east to west ridge overlooking the head of a west facing combe. It is 3 metres high.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

A standing stone known as the Longstone is 9 feet high, 2 feet 2 inches wide and 7 inches thick. 'Long Stone Barrow' is located to the southeast, and further eastwards is 'Wood Barrow'. The site is located on a long east-west ridge, one of the highest areas of Exmoor. [1] The stone was classified as Bronze Age by Grinsell. [5] The menhir is weathering badly, and also being worn away by sheep rubbing against it in the summer time. [6] Longstone, located at SS 70514307. A Standing Stone situated on a flat topped ridge of rough grassland and heather at about 465 metres Ordnance Datum. It is a tall slatey slab, 3 metres high, 1.2 metres wide and 0.25 metres thick at its base. It is orientated northeast/southwest, and an Ordnance Survey bench mark has been cut on its southeast side. There is a 'trigger' stone 0.7 metres high, 0.5 metres high and 0.15 metres thick, set against its southeast side. It stands in an erosion hollow 3 metres in diameter and 0.3 metres maximum depth. [7] The stone is shown on Donn's Map. [8] The monument is Scheduled: Devon 204, entitled 'Chapman Longstone'. [9] The Long Stone is a fine standing stone, 3.0 metres high and 0.25 by 1.2 metres wide across at its base. There is a large packing stone 0.7 metres high set against the southeast side. The stone stands in an erosion hollow 0.3 metres deep. [10] The Long Stone is located at SS 70514 43072. It is shown on Donn's Map of 1765, but incorrectly positioned on the Somerset side of the County Boundary. The 1:2500 survey is correct. [11] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 4. [16] A watercolour image of the Long Stone was produced by Leo Davey for the Exmoor Moorland Landscapes Partnership Scheme. [17] The site was surveyed in March 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. It was given a survival score of 4. [18] The site was survered as part of the Exmoor Standing Stone Condition Survey 2017-2018. The main upright, measuring: 2.6 x 0.8 x 0.2m, is propped up by a substantial trigger stone, measuring: 0.6 x 0.12 x 0.4m. The Stone’s relationship to the surrounding barrows and landscape is likely significant, especially upon this particularly exposed ridge. The monuments condition is considered to be “good”, since the last survey in 2015. The main threat continues to be livestock which have been rubbing against the stone and have created a very significant erosion hollow at the base. While both stones are very well-set, there is a concern that if this continues the stone may fall, especially if the trigger stone is disturbed. [19-20]

Sources/Archives (20)

  • <1> Article in serial: Chanter, J.F. + Worth, R.H.. 1905. The Rude Stone Monuments of Exmoor and its Borders. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 37. I. P.387, 391, Plate 1.
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-1907. County Series, 2nd Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560.
  • <4> Article in serial: Worth, R.H.. 1905. Twenty-Fourth Report of the Barrow Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 37. P.94, Plate 4.
  • <5> Monograph: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Archaeology of Exmoor: Bideford Bay to Bridgewater. David and Charles Limited. P.190.
  • <6> Index: Ordnance Survey. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Record Card. SS74SW10. Site visit 8 January 1948.
  • <7> Unpublished document: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Field Investigators Comments. MJ Fletcher, 19 September 1974.
  • <8> Monograph: Donn, B.. 1965. A Map of the County of Devon 1765 (Reprint). Devon and Cornwall Record Society.
  • <9> Index: Scheduled Monument Notification . Department of the Environment 1987 County List: Devon 17 County No.204.
  • <10> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation.
  • <11> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation.
  • <12> Unpublished document: Weston, S.. 1983. Field Monument Warden Visit. Photograph from site visit.
  • <13> 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. P.18, Location plan.
  • <14> Article in serial: Fowler, M.J.F.. 1993. Standing Stones of Exmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 125. P.163.
  • <15> Report: Wilson-North, R. + Cowley, J.. 2004. Exmoor National Park Monument Management Scheme 2003-4.
  • <16> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2009. Final Results Table: Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment.
  • <17> Artwork: Davey, L.. 2013. Challacombe Common, Exmoor: Painting of the Long Stone. Watercolour.
  • <18> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015.
  • <19> Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018 - Scheduled Standing Stones. MDE1280.
  • <20>XY Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. MDE1280. [Mapped feature: #45328 The Challacombe Longstone/Chapman Longstone, MDE1280]



Grid reference SS 7051 4307 (point) (Estimated from sources)
Map sheet SS74SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 648
  • Devon SMR: SS74SW/14
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20013
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW10
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 35352
  • Scheduled Monument (County Number): 204

Record last edited

Dec 5 2018 11:08AM


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