MDE20396 - Possible rubbing stone on Kentisbury Down (Monument)


This is "Stone C" 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.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Published stone number 13 ("C") and additional stones in this field. SS 6386 4400 - C. Erect stone aligned northwest to southeast. Height 1 foot 7 inches, width 1 foot 10 inches, breadth at base 1 foot. tapering to 7 inches. It is situated on the spur of a hill where pits, earthworks, trenches and ancient walls abound. Stone number 13 is of quartz and grit, 2 feet 1 inch high, 3 feet 2 inches wide and 1 foot 11 inches thick and irregular shaped. [1-4] C (Number 13) - SS 63984401. The measurements given by [2] are correct in so far as measurements can be given of objects of irregular shape. The geological descriptions by [3] are correct. The description of the field contained in [3] 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. [5] One of three standing stones located and surveyed on field document. [6] SS 6396 4400- Stone (NAT). [7] SS SS 6396 4400. 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] C - SS 6397 4401. Stone (NAT). [9] SS 639 440. 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 6397 4401. [13] The site is a small recumbent sandstone post measuring 0.8 x 0.4 x 0.2m, 3.5m north of the lateral east-west field bank running through Kentisbury Down. It is the first time it has been recorded as recumbent and must have collapsed in the last twenty years. There is no visible indication of the original socket for the stone. Due to the apparently shallowness of the stone’s setting and location, it is more likely to a rubbing stone for grazing livestock or related to nearby stone and mineral extraction rather than a prehistoric standing stone. Despite the stones fabric remaining intact, it is now recumbent without any indication of a socket. [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. [16]

Sources/Archives (16)

  • <1> Map: Palmer, M.G.. 1936. Annotated record map. 6 inch.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Willy, S. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 1 July 1952.
  • <3> Serial: Devonshire Association. 1862 -. Devonshire Association reports and transactions. Volume 69 (1937), 483-495 (MG Palmer).
  • <4> Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: North Devon. Penguin Books. 110.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Rigg, J.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 20 November 1953.
  • <6> Map: Large Scale / Small Scale Map Revisers Comment (OS Archaeology Division pre-1983, RCHME post-1983) . SS 6 inch, C Atherton, Reviser, 16 December 1967.
  • <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> Unpublished document: Pattison, P. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 6 January 1989.
  • <11> Monograph: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Archaeology of Exmoor: Bideford Bay to Bridgewater. David and Charles Limited. 189-190.
  • <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. MDE20396. [Mapped feature: #45474 Rubbing Stone., ]
  • <15> Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1953. Stone 'C' (Ss 6396 4400) 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.



Grid reference SS 6397 4401 (point)
Map sheet SS64SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (5)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 14258
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 2045
  • Devon SMR: SS64SW/7
  • Devon SMR: SS64SW/7/3
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE1078
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20121
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 SW3
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 34763

Record last edited

Nov 15 2021 5:16PM


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