MDE1310 - Prehistoric stone setting on east side of Cheriton Ridge (Monument)


A possible prehistoric stone setting or the remains of a double stone row comprises up to ten stones, five upright and five recumbent. Originally there may have been three rows 6 metres apart, each of four stones.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

(SS 7491 4431) Stones (NAT). [1] Cheriton Ridge, Longitude 3 degs. 47' 24": Latitude 51 degs. 1 3/4". A possible double stone row with a triple head, of which three stones remain standing and one fallen (see plan). [2] SS 749 443. Stone setting in rhomboid?; Bronze Age. [3] Of the eight stones in this setting in 1905 [4] only five are identifiable. Four are standing and are between 0.4 metres and 0.6 metres high; and the fifth has fallen. Published survey 1:2500 revised. [5] Cheriton Ridge II. SS 7489 4428. A setting of ten stones, situated on the gently sloping east flank of Cheriton Ridge. At 371 metres ordnance datum, it is in an area of coarse grass and bracken, with extensive views to the east over Clannon Ball and Brendon Common. With an underlying strata of Hangman Grits the monument consists of sandstone slabs and post stones. In plan the setting is an east to west rectangle with sides of 22.5 metres by 14.5 metres. Five stones remain standing and five are recumbent. Originally there may have been three rows 6 metres apart, each of four stones at intervals of about 7 metres, but there is now no trace of the sites of the two inner stones of the centre row. Fallen stones G and K are adjacent to embedded trig stones; it is assumed that E, F and J are near their original positions. Uprights A and B are the only stones set in alignment with the main axis. Differing numbers of stones have been attributed to the setting over the years. Chanter and Worth [2] depict only the west half of the site (stones A to E) and state that F,J and K, surveyed by the Ordnance Survey when presumably upright, were missing. They make no mention of G or H. The account was endorsed in 1974 [5] while six stones are noted in 1978 (Griffiths?). Only in 1983 are the ten stones mentioned [10]. The anomolies may be explained by variable bracken growth and it is possible that some stones have been retrieved, eg Griffiths stone in the track, 8 metres from the setting, is no longer visible. Stone H, however, must always have been in position. [6,7] A further table of information on the stones is held in the archive. [8] Site surveyed at large scale by RCHME 1988. [9] The site was surveyed in 2003. Stone H has fallen since the Royal Comission 1988 survey. Stone C is loose and situated in an active erosion hollow. Stones B and D are situated in active erosion hollows. Stone A is stable. Stones E, F, G, J and K are recumbent as they were in 1988. [11] The site was subject to further survey in 2012. All ten stones were again seen. Several were loose but already recumbent; stone E was noted in particular to be very loose and stones K1 and K2 had recently been moved. Some evidence of animal rubbing was also noted. [12] The site is a rectangular stone setting situated on the eastern side of Cheriton Ridge, above Farley water. The setting may have once had a 4x3 grid layout, but it now forms a rectangle. Only the western row (B-D) and Stone A on the south side of the setting stand upright. All the other stones are recumbent, with Stone H falling sometime after the 1989 survey. However, all stones have remained in their recorded locations, allowing the setting to be clearly interpreted. The overall condition of this site is considered “Good,” with very little change since 2012. Recent damage was noted to Stone C, which has likely be struck by a vehicle. The stone now leans towards the north, which a cavity in the turf on its southern side. Fortunately, the stone is still well-set. Only Stone D is clearly being significantly affected by active animal rubbing, as it presents a exhibits an active erosion hollow. The hollows around Stones A-C appear to be stabilising and all stones are firmly set in their sockets. Stone J is nearly completely buried by the turf. [13] 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. [15] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [16]

Sources/Archives (16)

  • <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. P. 395-96.
  • <3> Monograph: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Archaeology of Exmoor: Bideford Bay to Bridgewater. David and Charles Limited. P. 189.
  • <4> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-1907. County Series, 2nd Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1905.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Fletcher, M.J.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 17 September 1974.
  • <6> Technical drawing: Probert, S.. 1988. Cheriton Ridge II/ink survey . 1:100. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <7> Unpublished document: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Field Investigators Comment. SAJ Probert, 9 December 1988.
  • <8> 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.
  • <9> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 13 September 1994.
  • <10> Monograph: Eardley-Wilmot, H. 1983. Thirty Exmoor stone-settings.
  • <11> Report: Dray, K.. 2003. A Condition Survey of Standing Stones on Badgworthy Land Company Owned Land, Exmoor. P. 30-31.
  • <12> Report: Slater, E.. 2012. A condition survey of standing stones on Badgworthy Land Company owned land, Exmoor National Park. p34-37.
  • <13>XY Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. MDE1310. [Mapped features: #45364 Stone A., MDE1310; #45365 Stone B., MDE1310; #45366 Stone C., MDE1310; #45367 Stone D., MDE1310; #45368 Stone F., MDE1310; #45369 Stone G., MDE1310; #45370 Stone H., MDE1310; #45371 Stone J., MDE1310; #45372 Stone K., MDE1310]
  • <14> Report: Davies, W.. 2017. A Paleofluvial and Paleoecological Investigation of the Farley Water River Valley, Exmoor.
  • <15> Website: Gerrard, S.. 2020. The Stone Rows of Great Britain.
  • <16> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35442, Extant 12 January 2022.



Grid reference Centred SS 7492 4432 (44m by 41m) (11 map features)
Map sheet SS74SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (5)

External Links (2)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS74SW/11
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 652
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20017
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW40
  • National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35442

Record last edited

Jan 12 2022 2:42PM


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