MDE1305 - Prehistoric stone setting on Furzehill Common (Monument)


A stone setting comprises 9 or 10 stones and three hollows. It may originally have been a rectangular setting comprising about 15 stones in three parallel rows.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

(SS 73904470) Stones (NAT) [1] A parallelogram of stones, associated with a stone triangle at Furzehill Common, situated at Longitude 30 48' 16 1/2" and Latitude 510 11' 13 1/2" (see plan). [2] SS 7391 4471 This stone setting now comprises seven upright stones (which are from 0.4 metres high to 0.6 metres high) and three stumps. Two shallow depressions on the north side of the setting probably indicate the sites of stones. Resurveyed at 1:2500. [3] 1983 FMW visit. Ten stones, which could be read as 3 by 3 north to south with two missing on the north side; plus a triangle to the south. Visits 1981-3. [4] Furzehill Common 5: SS 7389 4470. An impressive setting comprising seven upright stones and stumps and four(?) stone sites, situated on an east facing slope at 349 metres above sea level. It lies on a wide gently sloping shelf overlooking the broad valley of Hoaroak Water to rising ground beyond. The geology is Hangman Grits and the area, covered by heather, bracken and rough pasture is relatively stone free. The three parallel rows of stones and(?) stone sites oriented almost due north to south, form a large parallelogram, with only two stones of the small triangle to the south still evident. Stone `I' may have been broken by frost action. All the surviving stones are of sedimentary rock. Large scale survey at 1:100. [5,6] A further table of information on the stones is held in the archive. [7] SS 7389 4471. A stone setting of 9, possibly 10 stones. This Scheduled stone setting is basically as described and planned by the RCHME in 1989 [6]. Two further stubs, or tops of stones, are at present visible just protruding through the turf; hollow B contains a small rhomboidal stub, 0.13 metres by 0.2 metres and 0.1 metres high, and there is another L, 0.15 metres by 0.10 metres and 0.1 metres high, 5.3 metres west of stone J and 7.3 metres north of K. These two stones are so low that they disappear and reappear according to the wetness or dryness of the turf. The Ordnance Survey in 1888 surveyed 10 stones [9] and Chanter and Worth [2] in 1905 showed 11 with a pit containing triggers. Today there are 9 (possibly 10) stones visible, ranging from broken stubs 0.1 metres high to pristine stones 0.6 metres high, and 3 hollows. It seems probable that this was originally a rectangular setting, about 37.6 metres north to south by 15.4 metres, possibly containing a total of 15 stones set in 3 parallel rows each about 7.7 metres apart with 5 stones in each row spaced about 9.4 metres apart. There is no trace (and does not appear to have been any) of 3 possible stones which could have occupied the southwest corner of the rectangle. Surveyed at 1:2500 (for Ordnance Survey Antiquity Model). [8-11] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 10. [12] 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. [13] The site was surveyed in [MONTH] 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. It was given a survival score of 10. [14] A stone setting aligned north-south in a 3x3 grid with an additional stone in line with the central row on the south side (Stone J), and an another stone (Stone K) off the alignment to the south. The entire site sits on a flat plateau overlooking the eastern edge of Furzehill Common and may have once been 3 rows of 4 stones. This survey identified 6 stones and four hollows which are separated roughly equidistant from one another, and consist of a variety of shapes, however, all slab-type stones are aligned with their axis north-south. All stones were located with the exception of Stone L. The condition of MDE1305 is “poor” but stable since the 2015 survey, which identified damage to many of the stones. Bracken is still a significant issue, obscuring much of the site. For example, the top of Stone J was not visible in winter. Animals continue to visit the area and are rubbing up against the remaining uprights, apart from Stone K. The incidence of vandalism in 2015 has not reoccurred, and it is the opinion of the surveyor that it was more likely vehicles that suddenly damaged Stones I and K. Stone J’s breakage may have also been frost damage. [15-16] The site was surveyed as part of an academic research project by Dr Sandy Gerrard in 2018. Surveys were conducted using a prismatic compass and electronic distance device with the plan being generated in the field. [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]

Sources/Archives (18)

  • <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, plate 5.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Fletcher, M.J.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 17 September 1974.
  • <4> Monograph: Eardley-Wilmot, H. 1983. Thirty Exmoor stone-settings. II.2.
  • <5> Technical drawing: Fletcher, M.. 1989. Furzehill Common V/ink survey . 1:100. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Fletcher, M.J.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 4 January 1989.
  • <7> 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 35.
  • <8> Index: English Heritage. 1987. County List of Scheduled Ancient Monuments.
  • <9> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. Devon 7(6).
  • <10> Technical drawing: Sainsbury, I.. 1994. Furzehill Common V, 1994 revision/ink survey . 1:20. Paper. Pen and Ink.
  • <11> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 12 September 1994.
  • <12> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
  • <13> Report: Riley, H.. 2013. Hoaroak Valley: Historic landscape survey and analysis. 28.
  • <14> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015. Archaedia.
  • <15>XY Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. MDE1305. [Mapped features: #45353 Stone A., MDE1305; #45354 Stone B., MDE1305; #45355 Stone C., MDE1305; #45356 Stone D., MDE1305; #45357 Stone E., MDE1305; #45358 Stone F., MDE1305; #45359 Stone G., MDE1305; #45360 Stone H., MDE1305; #45361 Stone I., MDE1305; #45362 Stone J., MDE1305; #45363 Stone K., MDE1305]
  • <16> Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018 - Scheduled Standing Stones. MDE1305.
  • <17> Website: Gerrard, S.. 2020. The Stone Rows of Great Britain.
  • <18> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35427, Extant 12 January 2022.



Grid reference Centred SS 7389 4462 (38m by 215m) (12 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: 655
  • Devon SMR: SS74SW/7
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20020
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW35
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35427

Record last edited

Jan 12 2022 9:03AM


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