MDE8985 - Prehistoric standing stones on Furzehill Common (Monument)


Two prehistoric standing stones, one upright and one fallen on a northeast facing slope of Furzehill Common. They may have once been part of a larger setting, with other possible stone stubs noted in the vicinity.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

SS 739 442 Furzehill Common. A standing stone 0.42 metres high and a fallen stone 0.9 metres long, about 9 metres apart and orientated east to west (plan at 1:50). [1] SS 7395 4421. A standing stone, possibly once part of a setting of two [1] is situated on a slight northeast slope on Furzehill Common. It is 0.4 metres high, 0.44 metres wide and 0.15 metres thick and comprises a slab of local sandstone of roughly diamond section. This is certainly the stone referred to by McDonnell [1] but its fallen partner 9 metres to the east is no longer evident. The surrounding area appears to have been cleaved, but some surface stone is visible. [2] SS 73974 44214. An earthfast upright stone, about 365 metres above Ordnance Datum, on a gentle, heather and rough grass, northeast facing slope of Furzehill Common. This area is naturally stony and several other stones are scattered round the area, some loose, some with tips just protruding through the turf. Some have been planned though this is for clarity and should not be seen as implying that they form a definite setting. Extreme caution should be applied to this site not to enhance what may have been, at best, no more than two standing stones, or a simple row or setting into a more complex feature. Details of stones (letters apply to [4]): A. The sole true upright stone, 0.45 metres high, 0.45 metres wide and 0.15 metres thick, is set in a slight hollow 1.4 metres in diameter and 0.1 metres deep. B. The tip of a stone just protruding through the turf for 0.05 metres is 0.4 metres east to west and 0.05 metres thick. It appears to have a slight lean to the north. There is no trace of a hollow. It may possibly be part of a setting but is doubtful. C. The tip of a stone 0.04 metres diameter protruding only 0.02 metres through the turf. No hollow. Again a possible but doubtful part of a setting. D. The tip of a stone 0.3 metres east to west by 0.03 metres protruding 0.02 metres through the turf. There is a surrounding hollow 1 metre in diameter and 0.1 metres deep. Possibly part of a setting. E. A thin pointed slab, 0.9 metres long, 0.2 metres wide and 0.15 metres thick. There is a slight hollow about 1 metre in diameter and 0.1 metres deep to its immediate east and a low mound to the west. This stone is some 9 metres due east of the sole upright A and appears to be the fallen stone referred to by [1] which was probably once set upright. Surveyed at 1:100 and 1:2500. [3,4] 2 stones and 2 stubs. Possibly the remnant of a double row of 6 stones, approximately 23 metres long with 11 metres between stones and 9 metres between rows. The sole upright is 0.40 metres high; the fallen stone 0.84 metres high and the stubs (one in a pit) are less than 10 centimetres in height. [5] During field survey in 2001 the two stones were located and found to be stable. [6] This site is mentioned in the 2013 report by Hazel Riley, a field survey and synthesis of previous projects in the Hoaroak Valley, funded by the Exmoor Moorland Landscape Partnership Scheme. [8] A setting of two stones and a hollow forming a triangle is situated on the eastern side of Furzehill. Both stones are recumbent in an area of thick rushes which can make them difficult to locate, Stone B is particularly unusual due to its sharp tapering shape. On the south side of the site is a hollow where a stone may have once stood. These three features are almost equally separated by 9m. To the north is a small stone, just over 9m away, which is likely natural. The site is currently considered to be in a “Bad” condition and deteriorating slowly. Since the last survey in 2009, Stone A has fallen recumbent, and has been down for some time as suggested by the lichen growth. The socket is present beneath it, however, waterlogging has obscured the edges of the hole. It is unknown what caused the stone to fall, but it is most likely livestock due to the erosion hollow around the stone. Stone B was last noted as recumbent, but is not currently being covered by turf and rush growth, only 0.2m of the 0.82m stone was initially visible. Hollow C, is not currently under threat but could be easily covered by molinia. [9]

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <1> Unpublished document: McDonell, R.. 20/04/1989. Letter.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Pattison, P. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 18 January 1990.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 28 June 1995.
  • <4> Survey: Lynton and Lynmouth, standing stone at SS 74 SW 96/ink survey . 1:100. General: Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Walker, M.. 1993. Lithic Monuments Input Form.
  • <6> Report: Blackmore, O.. 2002. A Condition Survey of Standing Stones on Exmoor National Park Authority Owned Land.
  • <7> Monograph: Quinnell, N.V. + 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. 25.
  • <8> Report: Riley, H.. 2013. Hoaroak Valley: Historic landscape survey and analysis. 29.
  • <9>XY Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. MDE8985. [Mapped features: #45409 Stone A., MDE8985; #45410 Stone B., MDE8985; #45411 Stone C., MDE8985]



Grid reference Centred SS 7397 4421 (20m by 22m) (Surveyed)
Map sheet SS74SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 43493
  • Devon SMR: SS74SW/121
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE21388
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW96
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 872244

Record last edited

Apr 26 2020 8:07PM


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