MDE20394 - Possible rubbing stone on Kentisbury Down (Monument)


This is "Stone A" of four standing stones on Kentisbury Down. It is possible the stone may date to the prehistoric period but is more likely to be a rubbing stone.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A - SS 6376 4404. One of four standing stones on Kentisbury Down. [1] Published stone number 11 ("A") and additional stones in this field. SS 6376 4404 - A. Erect stone aligned westnorthwest to eastsoutheast. Height four feet four inches, width two feet, thickness nineteen inches at base tapering to ten inches at top. It stands in a slight hollow one foot deep and ten feet in diameter, probably caused by sheep rubbing against the stone. It is situated on the spur of a hill where pits, earthworks, trenches and ancient walls abound. Stone number 11 is of brown grit 4 feet two inches in height, two feet wide and two feet thick. [2-5] A (Number 11) - SS 6376 4404. The measurements given by [3] are correct in so far as measurements can be given of objects of irregular shape. The geological descriptions by [4] are correct. The description of the field contained in [4] is romantic. The walls are as ancient as the Enclosure Act and the pits are disused quarries. The earthworks are probably the result of the upcast from these diggings. The trenches may be light cultivation drains. Apart from this there is a certain "unevenness" about the field which is not so readily explained but it forms no pattern. Some of the stones may have come from the quarries but as no rock face is now exposed no definite decision on this point could be reached. [6,15] SS 6375 4404 - Stone (NAT). [7] A - SS 6376 4405. As described. Surveyed at 1:2500. There are signs that the fields were formerly subdivided. The stone is more likely to be a rubbing stone than a prehistoric standing stone. [8] A - SS 6376 4406. Stone (NAT). [9] SS 639440. Listed as a stone setting of four stones and also as four standing stones. [10] As described. It remains uncertain whether the stone is a prehistoric standing stone or a rubbing post. If prehistoric, it does not appear to be a setting in the accepted Exmoor pattern, as the group are far too dispersed. [11] One of four widely spaced stones located within enclosed fields of rough moorland pasture. This one may be a bubbly [sic - rubbing?] stone. [12] The stone is marked on modern MasterMap data at SS 6376 4406. [13] The stone is a large leaning orthostat measuring 1.4 x 0.5 x 0.4m set in the northwest corner of the Kentisbury down, overlooking Down Lane. The stone may well be a rubbing stone, however, its form is convincing and Kentisbury is home to a number of prehistoric sites. Its relationship with the other nearby stones is unknown as these are more likely to be rubbing stones or the remnants of quarrying at Kentisbury Down. The stone is well set and stable since the last survey in 1992 and could be considered to be in a “Good” condition. The only significant threat is the heavy livestock rubbing which has created a very deep hollow at the base of the stone. The stone may have also received some very small losses from frost damage. [14] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [15]

Sources/Archives (16)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1892-1906. County Series, 2nd Edition 6 Inch Map. 1:10560. 1905, 6SW.
  • <2> Map: Palmer, M.G.. 1936. Annotated record map. 6 inch.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Willy, S. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 1 July 1952.
  • <4> Serial: Devonshire Association. 1862 -. Devonshire Association reports and transactions. Volume 69 (1937), 488, plate 65 figure 2 (MG Palmer).
  • <5> Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: North Devon. Penguin Books. 110.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Rigg, J.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F2, 20 November 1953.
  • <7> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1963. 6 Inch Map: 1963.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Fletcher, M.J.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F3, 23 August 1972.
  • <9> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1978. 1:10,000 Map, 1978. 1:10,000.
  • <10> Monograph: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Archaeology of Exmoor: Bideford Bay to Bridgewater. David and Charles Limited. pp 189-190.
  • <11> Unpublished document: Pattison, P. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 6 January 1989.
  • <12> 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. 21.
  • <13> Map: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap.
  • <14>XY Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. MDE20394. [Mapped feature: #45471 Standing Stone., MDE20394]
  • <15> Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1953. Stone 'A' (Ss 6376 4405) Prob.Rubbing Stone,From South West. Unknown. Negative.
  • <16> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 34763, Extant 15 November 2021.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 14256
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 2045
  • Devon SMR: SS64SW/7
  • Devon SMR: SS64SW/7/1
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE1078
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20121
  • Local List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 SW3
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 34763



Grid reference SS 6377 4406 (point)
Map sheet SS64SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

Record last edited

Nov 15 2021 5:06PM


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