MDE1312 - Post-medieval standing stone with benchmark on eastern edge of Furzehill Common (Monument)


An upright stone on the east edge of Furzehill Common stands 0.7 metres high, and has an Ordnance Survey benchmark engraved into it. It may have been moved from its original position in a nearby hedgebank to be used as a rubbing stone.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

(SS 73744498) Stone (NAT). [1] A thin slab of stone 0.7 metres high and 0.2 metres wide. Not listed by Grinsell. Its date and purpose are obscure but it is quite possibly of prehistoric origin; cross reference to MDE1288. Published survey 1:2500 correct. [2,3] SS 73734493. An upright stone on the eastern edge of Furzehill Common, situated in the corner of an abandoned field on the lip of a steep slope above Hoaroak Water. This thin slatey slab stands 0.7 metres high and is 0.3 metres wide at base tapering to 0.2 metres at the top. Its rectangular section is uniformly 0.07 metres thick. The southern face is smoothed and polished and engraved into it is an Ordnance Survey benchmark. This is inclined at an angle too sharp to be functional therefore, the stone has obviously been reset. Two benchmarks are depicted close by on the 1889 Ordnance Survey map [4], both in field boundaries; one to the westnorthwest at circa SS 7366 4496 and another at circa SS 7377 4495, 40 metres to the northeast. The field boundary in which the latter was positioned is now defunct; it is likely that the stone originates from here and was set upright in the present century for some unknown purpose. [4,5] SS 73744 44934. An upright earthfast stone, probably reused as a rubbing post. This stone, still in situ, is as descried by the RCHME [5]. Note: The benchmark engraved on this stone appears to be genuine except that it is at an acute angle. The stone does not appear on the 1889 Ordnance Survey map [4], so it could not have been in its present position at that time otherwise it would have been shown. However, the stone is shown on the 1904 revision of that sheet but without a bench mark symbol [6]. Of the two benchmarks referred to by [3], BM 1130.0 at SS 7377 4495, 40 metres to the northeast, is still visible on an earthfast natural boulder at ground level. The other, BM 1185.4 in a field bank at SS 7364 4497, 110 metres to the northwest, has disappeared so there is a strong probability that this stone has come from that site, moved here as a rubbing stone sometime between 1887 and 1903, the actual dates of the survey. Surveyed at 1:2500 (for the NMR only). [7] Stone is now recumbent with benchmark on upper side and grafitti 'DAP 1961' and FL 1941' on the same side. [10] A dubious prehistoric standing stone situated near the gate on the north edge of Furzehill Common. It is a straight sided recumbent slab measuring 0.7 x 0.25 x 0.1m. On the stones surface is an ordnance survey benchmark and carving of ‘DAP 1961' and ‘FL 1941', showing that it has been used as a bench mark for some time. Its form is more regular when compared with other prehistoric stones. The condition of the stone is good, however, it is at risk from vehicles and livestock accessing the gate. [11] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [12]

Sources/Archives (12)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560.
  • <2> Monograph: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Archaeology of Exmoor: Bideford Bay to Bridgewater. David and Charles Limited.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Field Investigators Comments. MJ Fowler, 17 September 1974.
  • <4> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889, Devon 7(6).
  • <5> Unpublished document: Pattison, P. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 18 January 1990.
  • <6> Map: Ordnance Survey. c.1904. 1:2500 map, second edition. 1904, Devon 7(6).
  • <7> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 13 September 1994.
  • <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. P. 26.
  • <9> Article in serial: Fowler, M. J. F.. 1993. The Standing Stones of Exmoor: A provisional catalogue of 86 North Devon sites. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 125. 155-178.
  • <10> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. J Henderson, June 2012.
  • <11>XY Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. MDE1312. [Mapped feature: #45375 Recumbent Stone with Benchmark, MDE1312]
  • <12> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35448, Extant 12 January 2022.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 12237
  • Devon SMR: SS74SW/29
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20290
  • Local List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW42
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35448



Grid reference SS 7374 4493 (point)
Map sheet SS74SW

Finds (0)

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Related Events/Activities (4)

Record last edited

Jan 12 2022 3:01PM


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