MDE20397 - Possible rubbing stone on Kentisbury Down (Monument)


This is "Stone D" 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 14 ("D") and additional stones in this field. SS 6390 4402- D. Erect stone, 3 feet high, width 2 feet 7 inches at base tapering to a point, 12 inches broad at base tapering to 7 inches. It is situated on the spur of a hill where pits, earthworks, trenches and ancient walls abound. Stone number 14 is of known grit 2 feet 11 inches high, 2 feet 3 inches wide and 2 feet thick, triangular in form. [1-4] D (Number 14) - SS 6398 4407. 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. [5,16] Stone located and surveyed on field document. [6] SS 6398 4406 - Stone (NAT). [7] D - SS 6396 4407. 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] D - SS 6398 4407. 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] Reported to be sharply pointed and have a triangular plan. [12] One of four widely spaced stones located within enclosed fields of rough moorland pasture. This one may be a bubbly [sic - rubbing?] stone. [13] The stone is marked on modern MasterMap data at SS 6397 4407. [14] The site is a recumbent triangular stone measuring 0.75 x 0.72 x 0.33m situated on the northern edge of Kentisbury Down, roughly 5m from a slight ditch in the ground, and approximately 45m south of the road. 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, location, and un-weathered surface, it is more likely to be a rubbing stone for grazing livestock or related to the nearby stone and mineral extraction, rather than a prehistoric standing stone. [15] 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> 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, F2, 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> Monograph: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Archaeology of Exmoor: Bideford Bay to Bridgewater. David and Charles Limited. 189-190.
  • <11> Unpublished document: Pattison, P. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 6 January 1989.
  • <12> 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. 168.
  • <13> 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.
  • <14> Map: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap.
  • <15> Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1953. Stone 'D' (Ss 6396 4407) Prob. Rubbing Stone, From North East. Unknown. Negative.
  • <15>XY Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. MDE20397. [Mapped feature: #45475 Rubbing Stone., ]
  • <17> Map: Ordnance Survey. 2021. MasterMap data. 1:2,500.



Grid reference SS 6398 4407 (point)
Map sheet SS64SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (5)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 14259
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 2045
  • Devon SMR: SS64SW/7
  • Devon SMR: SS64SW/7/4
  • 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 5:21PM


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