MDE1303 - Prehistoric stone setting of five stones on Furzehill Common (Monument)


An L shaped stone setting of five stones was recorded on the west facing slope of Furzehill Common in 1906. Only two stones were located during survey work undertaken in 2012.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

(SS 7333 4453) Stones (NAT) [1] A group of five stones, two of which are shown on the Ordnance Survey. [2,6] There are three or perhaps four easily identifiable stones in this setting which is centred at SS 7333 4450 on a west slope. A, B, C and D (see plan) seem artificially placed. The remaining "stones", 'E', 'F', and 'G' are most probably natural; they are revealed because the surface peat layer has been cut away. Probably in error this setting is omitted from Grinsell's list [3]. Surveyed at 1:2500. [4] SS 7332 4450. A standing stone formerly the southwest elements of a large L shaped stone setting located on the moderate west facing slope of Furzehill Common. It is situated at 358 metres Ordnance Datum, in an area of coarse grass which has been deep ploughed. There are panoramic views to the west. The setting was orientated approximately 60 metres east to west by 30 metres north to south. The remaining stones are no longer apparent and have probably been destroyed by recent ploughing. The stone can be equated with the southwest stone on Chanter and Worths plan. It is a leaning slab with a pointed top, 0.59 metres high, 0.22 to 0.53 metres wide and 0.18 metres thick. When vertical it would have been about 0.85 metres high. It is surrounded by an erosion hollow 1.6 metres in diameter and 0.3 metres deep. [5] Two stones, the remains of a stone setting shown as two stones by the Ordnance Survey [6] in 1889 and planned in 1906 by Chanter and Worth [2] who showed five stones. The two stones are about 360 metres above Ordnance Datum, on gentle slopes on the west side of Furzehill Common. The area which was open moorland in 1889, has since been ploughed and turned to rough grazing land but is gradually reverting to heather. Only one of the stones remains in situ. A - SS 73318 44509. A leaning earthfast slab oriented northwest to southeast. Its top is about 0.7 metres above ground level. It is surrounded by an erosion hollow 1.5 metres diameter 0.3m deep. B - SS 73331 44536. Some 30 metres to the northnortheast laid in a hollow about 1.5 metres diameter and 0.3 metres deep is a sandstone slab, 0.7 metres long. 0.45 metres wide and 0.15 metres thick. There are a few small stones in the hollow, probably trigger stones. Although about 4 metres east of the position of a stone plotted on the 1889 Ordnance Survey [6] this is almost certainly that fallen stone. These two stones equate with the southwest and north stones on Chanter and Worth's [2] survey. No trace of the others were seen but a large grey sandstone slab, 1 metre long, 0.5 metres wide and 0.2 metres thick with a broken base, laid in the northwest quadrant of a cairn (MDE1294) about 100 metres due east may well have come from this setting. Surveyed at 1:2500. [7] During the 2012 condition survey two stones were located, with only one (A) still standing. Both stones are considered to have low vunerability and are fair condition. They are however slowly deteriorating. [9] English Heritage had recorded a further stone setting at SS 732 444, with a comment saying "a group of four stones located and surveyed on field document. 'A' at SS 7339 4449 is the most prominent and is the most likely to have been a standing stone" [10]. However, it was then confirmed that the group of stones described was a duplication of this record. [11-12] A stone setting aligned on a cairn on the western side of Furzehill Common in an area with many outcroppings of smaller stones. Originally described as ‘L Shaped’ setting consisting of 5 stones, only 2 stones were visible in the last survey, and 3 in 2006. This survey located 3 stones, though stone C is not the stone located in 2006 and is a tentative suggestion. The three stones located create a line running roughly north-south over a significant distance of around 70m. C is only a tentative suggestion, as it changes the lines orientation to the south-east. All the stones vary in size and shape, with Stone A as the only large upright stone. Overall the setting is in a good condition despite the missing stones which may still be present under the thick heather. Stone A is situated in a large erosion hollow, suggesting that significant rubbing is occurring on this stone. While not it is not currently causing damage the stones, a bridleway which runs through the setting between stones A and C, increases the threat of damage from vehicles, as noted in 2006. [13]

Sources/Archives (13)

  • <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. 544 and plan, plate 7 figure 2.
  • <3> Monograph: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Archaeology of Exmoor: Bideford Bay to Bridgewater. David and Charles Limited.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Fletcher, M.J.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, 17 September 1974.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Field Investigators Comment. SA Probert, 9 December 1988.
  • <6> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889, Devon 7(6).
  • <7> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 12 September 1994.
  • <8> 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. 23-24.
  • <9> Report: Pearce, G.. 2012. A Condition Survey of Selected Standing Stone Settings on Exmoor National Park Authority Owned Land. p23-25.
  • <10> Map: Large Scale / Small Scale Map Revisers Comment (OS Archaeology Division pre-1983, RCHME post-1983) . SS Reviser, 15 November 1957.
  • <11> Unpublished document: Fletcher, M.J.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, 17 September 1974.
  • <12> Archive: English Heritage. National Monuments Record / AMIE / Monarch entry - viewable via Pastscape. 35346.
  • <13>XY Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. MDE1303. [Mapped features: #38640 MDE1303., MDE1303; #45341 Stone A., MDE1303; #45342 Stone B., MDE1303; #45343 Stone C., ]



Grid reference Centred SS 7330 4450 (76m by 93m) (Estimated from sources)
Map sheet SS74SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (5)

External Links (2)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS74SW/109
  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS74SW/70
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 29099
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 29100
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE1279
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE21019
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE21020
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW33
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW8
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 35346
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 35421

Record last edited

Dec 5 2018 11:39AM


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