MDE1319 - Prehistoric rectangular stone setting on North Regis Common (Monument)


A rectangular stone setting, on a south-facing slope of North Regis Common, comprises two parallel rows with a total of eight stones.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

SS 714 423. A stone row on North Regis Common. [1] (SS 71484233). A stone setting, originally probably eight stones but now seven, forming a rectangle 22.0 metres north to south, by 9.0 metres. The stones are from 18 inches to 3 feet long, two erect and five fallen. Located by North Devon Archaeological Society [2]. [3] SS 7148 4232. A stone setting forming two roughly parallel rows with two upright stones, four fallen ones and a single stump. A limited excavation in 1974 by the North Devon Archaeological Society, to locate the missing stone was unsuccessful [2]. Surveyed at 1:2500. [4] SS 7148 4233. A rectangular setting, now of six stones in two approximately parallel rows, lies on a south facing hillslope, well below the crest, at 468 metres ordnance datum. The site has extensive views to the east, south and west but there is rising ground to the north. The enclosed and partially improved ground has reverted to rough pasture with little surface stone. The sub surface is of Morte Slates. The setting is orientated northnortheast to southsouthwest and overall is 22.5 metres long and about 10 metres wide. The four sandstone slabs of the east row have fallen and the two slabs (one of sandstone the other slate) in the west row are both leaning. The seventh stone, a stump [4] and the `missing' stone were not located by probing. To the northwest and south there are a number of small turf mounds (MDE1315). No stone or kerbing was detected in the moss covered mounds which are on average 1.5 metres in diameter and 0.3 metres high. Their relationship to the setting is not clear but some other settings have similar mounds in their immediate vicinity (cross reference to MSO6835, MDE1317 and MSO6960). [5,6] A further table of information on the stones is held in the archive.[7] SS 7148 4232 (centre of group). A stone setting basically as described by [6] although two more stones (G and H) have come to light since the 1989 survey now making a total of eight (as initially perceived by [1]). A - SS 71483 42308. A fallen post slab of sub triangular section, 0.74 metres long, 0.24 metres wide and about 0.3 metres thick. It has a broken tip and lies in an erosion hollow, 2 metres in diameter and 0.1 metres deep. B - SS 71475 42310. A rounded top, sub triangular, slab 0.5 metres high, 0.39 metres wide and 0.14 metres maximum thickness. It is leaning 20 degrees from the vertical. Three trigger stones are evident in an erosion hollow, 1.8 metres in diameter and 0.15 metres deep. C - SS 71484 42314. An earthfast fallen slab, sub oval in section, 1.06 metres long, 0.32 metres wide and 0.2 metres thick. D - SS 71489 42322. A partly concealed fallen slab 0.72 metres long, 0.38 metres maximum width and about 0.40 metres thick. E - SS 71478 42324. A flat topped post slab with sub rectangular section, 0.5 metres high, 0.46 metres wide and 0.17 metres thick. It leans to the northwest. A possible trigger stone is evident in an erosion hollow, 1.5 metres in diameter and 0.25 metres deep. F - SS 71490 42329. A partly concealed earthfast fallen slab, 1 metre long, 0.35 metres wide and 0.1 metres thick. G - SS 71481 42330. The top of a rectangular earthfast sandstone stump, 0.25 metres north to south by 0.15 metres, just protruding through the turf. There is the point of a smaller stone, possibly a displaced trigger stone, 0.5 metres to the westsouthwest. H - SS 71477 42304. A rhombus shaped grey sandstone slab, 0.6 metres north to south by 0.3 metres just protruding through the turf. 1:100 survey revised. [8,9] Stone setting at head of Yarbury Combe. Two upright and four recumbent stones. Apparently two parallel rows of four stones each originally. Simple excavation July 1974 to locate missing stone was unsuccessful. [10] In 1983 only four apparent - two standing, two fallen. [11] 7 stones plus a possible stub, forming double row. The stub is quartz (the others shale), and its size, shape and position make it highly dubious. [12] The site sometimes referred to as North Regis Common. [13] Of the original 8 stones, two still stand (B and E) and one (D) is now an erosion hollow only. Stone G was not located. All of the located stones are considered to be at low risk. All the stones are in fair condition, except for B which is in poor condition. Stones A and H are stable but stones B, C and E are slowly deteriorating. [14] The remains of a rectangular stone setting or double stone row is situated on the gentle south facing slopes of Challacombe Common, orientated on a north-south axis, southwest of Wood Barrow. A total of 8 stones are now recorded here, with most lying recumbent with the exception of Stone B and Stone E. All of the stones vary in size and form. Several stones are buried (Stone F and H), and some are mostly covered (Stone G) by vegetation. Previous surveys have located different examples of “Stone H”. The one located in 2006 could not be found, however, the example from 2012 was possibly located by probing. The condition of the site is considered to be “good” as the stones were all located with little actual damage to their fabric and setting, and no change has been recognised since the last survey in 2012. Vegetation is low at the site allowing for it to be easily located, however, this has encouraged some minor animal rubbing. As most of the stones are recumbent here, they are no longer at risk from rubbing, but Stones B and E are leaning with active erosion hollows. Both these stones are well set, but due to their visibility, they could be considered vulnerable. [15] 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. [16] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [17]

Sources/Archives (17)

  • <1> Monograph: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Archaeology of Exmoor: Bideford Bay to Bridgewater. David and Charles Limited. P. 189.
  • <2> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. Mrs JE Thorpe, Bratton Fleming.
  • <3> Unpublished document: BUCKLEY, MHB. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 1 October 1974.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Fletcher, M.J.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F2, 1 October 1974.
  • <5> Technical drawing: Fletcher, M.. 1989. Wood Barrow/ink survey . 1:100. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Fletcher, M.J.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 5 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.
  • <8> Technical drawing: Sainsbury, I.. 1995. Wood Barrow stone setting/ink survey . 1:100. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <9> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 30 March 1995.
  • <10> Unpublished document: Eardley-Wilmot, H.. 20/02/1979. Letter and Plan.
  • <11> Monograph: Eardley-Wilmot, H. 1983. Thirty Exmoor stone-settings.
  • <12> Unpublished document: Walker, M.. 1992. Letter.
  • <13> Article in serial: Fowler, M.J.F.. 1993. Standing Stones of Exmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 125.
  • <14> Report: Pearce, G.. 2012. A Condition Survey of Selected Standing Stone Settings on Exmoor National Park Authority Owned Land. p19-22.
  • <15>XY Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. MDE1319. [Mapped features: #45380 Stone A., MDE1319; #45381 Stone B., MDE1319; #45382 Stone C., MDE1319; #45383 Stone D., MDE1319; #45384 Stone E., MDE1319; #45385 Stone G., MDE1319; #45386 Stone H., MDE1319]
  • <16> Website: Gerrard, S.. 2020. The Stone Rows of Great Britain.
  • <17> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35473, Extant 12 January 2022.

External Links (2)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS74SW/24
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 7354
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20193
  • Local List Status (Candidate)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW49
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35473



Grid reference Centred SS 7148 4232 (32m by 47m) (7 map features)
Map sheet SS74SW

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Related Events/Activities (6)

Record last edited

Jan 12 2022 3:40PM


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