MDE1317 - Prehistoric stone setting southwest of Longstone Barrow (Monument)


A prehistoric stone setting, on a south facing slope southwest of Longstone Barrow, comprises two stones. A possible third stone is now no longer visible. Two small peat mounds 6 metres to the south may be associated.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

SS 7077 4252. Three stones, two upright and one fallen, each about 18 inches long, form a line 9.0 metres long from northwest to southeast and may represent part of a stone setting. Located by North Devon Archaeological Society. [1] SS 7077 4252. The two upright stones of this setting are 0.4 metres high and the fallen stone is 0.7 metres long. [2] Surveyed at 1:2500. [3] The third fallen slab was still extant in 1979. [4] Row of three: two standing, 1 fallen. Spaces 12 feet and 16 feet. Alignment 108 degrees. [5] Longstone Barrow, SS 7077 4252. This setting, now comprising only two stones, is located on a south facing hillslope well below the crest at 469 metres Ordnance Datum. The site has extensive views to the east, south and west with rising ground to the north. The enclosed semi improved ground on Kentisbury Slates, is under rough pasture and heather cover; little surface stone is evident. There are two surviving upright slabs of sedimentary rock, 4.8 metres apart and orientated northwest to southeast along the contour. A third slab, fallen in 1973 [2], is missing although the amorphous stone pit is still identifiable. Six metres to the south are two very small contiguous mounds apparently composed of peat as no stone or kerbing was detected by probing. Both mounds are about 2.0 metres in diameter and up to 0.5 metres in height (see MDE1316). Their relationship to the setting is not clear however a number of other settings have similar mounds in their immediate vicinity (cross reference to MSO6835 and MDE1319). [6,7] A further table of information on the stones is held in the archive. [8] SS 7077 4253 (Centre of group). The remains of a stone setting now consisting of two stones A and B. A - SS 70778 42523. A pointed slab, 0.33 metres high, 0.27 metres wide and 0.08 metres thick, within an erosion hollow 1.2 metres in diameter and 0.15 metres deep. B - SS 70772 42525. A thin and tapering rounded top slab, 0.32 metres high, 0.3 metres wide and 0.05 metres thick, within an erosion hollow 1.5 metres in diameter and 0.10 metres deep. A survey at 1:100 scale (by [7] in 1989) is held in the Historic England Archive. There is no trace of the erosion hollow 'C' shown on that survey. Surveyed at 1:2500. [9] Stone B is broken into two fragments, since 2006. Fragment one is still standing to a height of 17 centimetres, fragement two is in sheets due to freeze thaw damage. Stones A and fragment one of stone B are considered to have low vunerability but are slowly deteriorating. Fragment 2 of stone B is rapidly deteriorating and high risk. [10] A stone row made up of 2 stones and a possible hollow where a stone once stood, is present on a gentle south facing slope south of the field boundary on Challacombe Common . The two upright stones are very low and hard to find in the high rushes that cover the site, the hollow (Stone C) is often obscured by vegetation as well. It is not clear whether this was part of a larger setting, but it appears that the stones were once slightly taller on this site by the rough appearance of their tips, suggesting that they were broken. The site is considered to be in a “moderate” condition, and while it is “stable” when compared with the last survey, it is still at a “significant” risk from further damage. Both stones exhibit erosion hollows, but these are likely not active as thick moss covers both the stones suggesting little rubbing is occurring. The presence of vehicle tracks nearby is suggestive of a potential threat, especially due to the concealment of the site within a large area of rushes. [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> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. Mrs JE Thorpe, Bratton Fleming, 1973.
  • <2> Unpublished document: BUCKLEY, MHB. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 17 July 1973.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Fletcher, M.J.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F2, 1 October 1974.
  • <4> Monograph: Eardley-Wilmot, H. 1983. Thirty Exmoor stone-settings.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Eardley-Wilmot, H.. 20/02/1979. Letter and Plan.
  • <6> Technical drawing: Fletcher, M.. 1989. Longstone Barrow/ink survey . 1:100. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <7> Unpublished document: Fletcher, M.J.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 5 January 1989.
  • <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. 17 (Plan).
  • <9> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 30 March 1995.
  • <10> Report: Pearce, G.. 2012. A Condition Survey of Selected Standing Stone Settings on Exmoor National Park Authority Owned Land. p15-18.
  • <11>XY Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. MDE1317. [Mapped features: #45376 Stone A., MDE1317; #45377 Stone B., MDE1317; #45378 Stone C., MDE1317]
  • <12> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35465, Extant 12 January 2022.



Grid reference Centred SS 7077 4253 (25m by 15m) (3 map features)
Map sheet SS74SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (5)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS74SW/25
  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS74SW/28
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 12236
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20289
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW47
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35465

Record last edited

Jan 12 2022 3:27PM


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