MDE1304 - Prehistoric stone setting northwest of Hoaroak Cottage (Monument)


A pentagonal stone setting of prehistoric date comprises eight stones. Three are upright while the other five are recumbent.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

(SS 7398 4379) Stones (NAT). [1] Remains of a possible stone circle near Hoaroak on Furzehill Common. Two stones standing, three others have fallen (see plan). Shown on the Ordnance Survey map. (Siting information suggests published entry applies; geographical coordinates appear to be in error). [2,5] SS 736 440. Stone setting in parallelogram with triangle; Bronze Age. [3] SS 7397 4378. A stone setting comprising two standing stones 0.5 metres high and 0.3 metres high and five almost completely buried stones which cannot be reconciled with Worth's plan [2]. There are no other surface indications to suggest the remains of a stone circle. Erroneous grid reference by Grinsell [3] evidently refers to this site. Published survey 1:2500 revised. [4] SS 7379 4378 a pentagonal setting of stones (not a stone circle) situated on a slight east facing slope in an improved pasture field about 385 metres above sea level at the south end of Furzehill Common, to the northwest of Hoaroak Cottage. The setting is much as planned by Chanter and Worth [2], though it appears that one of the stones has broken into two pieces (D and E). C is a small stone just protruding through the turf, perhaps a dislodged trigger stone(?) not evident on his visit. [5,6] The setting consists of 3 standing stones, 5 recumbent stones and the archaeologically sensitive area between and around them. The stones are set randomly over 0.02 hectares. Standing stones are between 100 milimetres and 450 milimetres high, 100 milimetres to 400 milimetres wide and 100 milimetres thick. The recumbent stones are 500 milimetres to 700 milimetres long and circa 200 milimetres wide. The standing stone on south edge of site is loose in its socket and has a shattered top. The site is scheduled. [7] It should be noted that authorities [2] and [7] conflict over the number of standing stones and it could well be that the third standing stone noted by [7] has been replaced in an upright position recently. [8] Three stones are shown on the 1880 1st Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch map but only two are shown on the 1905 2nd Edition map. [10-11] During field survey in 2001 the eight stones were located with two erosion holes and an animal track running through the stone setting. [12] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 8. [13] This site is mentioned in the 2013 report by Hazel Riley, a field survey and synthesis of previous projects in the Hoaroak Valley, funded by the Exmoor Moorland Landscape Partnership Scheme. [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] A setting of 8 stones orientated east-west in a row, with a cluster of stones on the eastern side, is situated north of Hoaroak Cottage on the southern edge of Furzehill. Most of the stones at this site are recumbent and almost buried by turf and molinia. Only 3 stones are still standing, 2 of which (Stone C and F) are just stubs. It appears that the site has undergone historic damage prior to the 1989-1991 survey, for example Stone D and E are piled together and Stone I is loose on the surface. The area is littered with natural stone, some of which is on the alignment, and it is possible that the identification of Stone H by previous surveys is dubious. The sites condition is considered “Good,” and has remained largely unchanged since the last survey in 2015. While the erosion hollow around Stone G is stable, many of the recumbent stones are slowly being buried (Stone A, B, D, E, H) by turf and vegetation, and Stone I has apparently been moved since 1992. Currently this is manageable as it is possible to locate the others via Stone F and G, but the molinia and stone tumble has already confused previous surveys with identification. There is no record of vehicle damage here but, a track is present very close to the site towards the south. [16-17] The site was surveyed as part of an academic research project by Dr Sandy Gerrard in 2019. Surveys were conducted using a prismatic compass and electronic distance device with the plan being generated in the field. [18] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. N.B. A duplication record appears to have been made of this site in error on the NRHE database (see also MDE1245). [19,20]

Sources/Archives (20)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560.
  • <2> 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. 393-394, figure 2, plate 4.
  • <3> Monograph: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Archaeology of Exmoor: Bideford Bay to Bridgewater. David and Charles Limited. 189.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Fletcher, M.J.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 17 September 1974.
  • <5> Technical drawing: Sainsbury, I.. 1989. Hoaroak/ink survey . 1:100. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 12 January 1989.
  • <7> Unpublished document: English Heritage. 1995. English Heritage Record Form. 24 November 1995.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Field Investigators Comment. HMW Borrill, 19 April 1996.
  • <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. SS 74 SW 34.
  • <10> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1880.
  • <11> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-1907. County Series, 2nd Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1905.
  • <12> Report: Blackmore, O.. 2002. A Condition Survey of Standing Stones on Exmoor National Park Authority Owned Land.
  • <13> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
  • <14> Report: Riley, H.. 2013. Hoaroak Valley: Historic landscape survey and analysis. 29.
  • <15> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015. Archaedia.
  • <16> Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018 - Scheduled Standing Stones. MDE1304.
  • <17>XY Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. MDE1304. [Mapped features: #45344 Stone A., MDE1304; #45345 Stone B., MDE1304; #45346 Stone C., MDE1304; #45347 Stone D and E., MDE1304; #45348 Stone F., MDE1304; #45349 Stone G., MDE1304; #45350 Stone H., MDE1304; #45351 Stone I., MDE1304]
  • <18> Website: Gerrard, S.. 2020. The Stone Rows of Great Britain.
  • <19> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35424, Extant 12 January 2022.
  • <20> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 872306, Extant 13 January 2022.



Grid reference Centred SS 7393 4380 (125m by 23m) (9 map features)
Map sheet SS74SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (6)

External Links (2)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 651
  • Devon SMR: SS74SW/12
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20016
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW34
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW98
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35424
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 872306

Record last edited

Jan 13 2022 12:07PM


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