MDE8987 - Possible prehistoric standing stone north of Ruckham Combe (Monument)


A possible prehistoric standing stone, 0.6 metres high on a northeast slope, may otherwise be a rubbing stone. A nearby collection of part buried boulders has been suggested as a cist, but is more likely to be a natural feature.

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Type and Period (3)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

?Dr E Mold [1] reported the discovery of a possible cist and a standing stone, approximately 100 metres south of a stone setting (MDE1278). Identified on the ground at SS 7239 4360 the suggested cist consists of a close packed group of four part buried boulders, 1 metre to 1.5 metres long and about 0.4 metres wide and a single loose slab 0.4 metres across lying on top of the group. The boulders appear to be natural outcrop and a number of smaller stones, loose and earthfast, occur randomly in the immediate vicinity. Most obvious is that 12 metres from the boulders noted as a standing stone. It is of triangular section with sides 0.3 metres long at the base, tapering to a point 0.6 metres high with a lean towards the north-north-west. A slight sheep hollow surrounds the stone. Both items are on a northeast slope, but while a prehistoric context for the stone cannot be entirely discounted its situation is unusual and it seems more likely to be a natural feature. [1] This alleged possible cist is a natural group of stones as described by Quinnell [1]. The possible prehistoric standing stone is as described by Quinnell [1]. It could be natural, though it has apparently been set upright which implies it is not. It may simply be a rubbing post however it is rather typical of isolated standing stones and those found in local settings although its situation is not typical, and as stated by Quinnell it should not be entirely discounted. [3] The standing stone was dismissed as a natural feature in a 2003 survey of standing stones. [5] The standing stone was surveyed in 2012. Mention was made that the stone had decreased in height due to a rise in peat levels since 2003 but no mention of height was made in the 2003 [5] report. The stone was measured as being 0.42 metres high and 0.38 metres wide. [6] A triangular stone with a significant northwards lean sits on the curve of the hillside on Ilkerton Ridge above Ruckham Combe. The stone is thickly covered in lichen below the tip and measures 0.52 x 0.33 x 0.19m. Loose surface stone is present nearby, but the relationship to the monument suggests this may be natural or a destroyed feature from upslope. The stone appears to be in a “very good” condition despite the lean, and it is stable since the last survey in 2012. The only damage visible is from animal rubbing, which has not increased the lean of the stone nor significantly increased the size of the erosion hollow. [7] The stone is depicted and labelled on the 2021 MasterMap data. [8] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [9]

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <1> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. Personal Communication, Dr E Mold, Lynton..
  • <2> Unpublished document: Quinnell, N.V.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 27 November 1989.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 4 May 1995.
  • <4> 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. P. 27.
  • <5> Report: Dray, K.. 2003. A Condition Survey of Standing Stones on Badgworthy Land Company Owned Land, Exmoor. p53, 70.
  • <6> Report: Slater, E.. 2012. A condition survey of standing stones on Badgworthy Land Company owned land, Exmoor National Park. p40.
  • <7> Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. MDE8987.
  • <8>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 2021. MasterMap data. 1:2,500. [Mapped feature: #45413 Single Standing Stone., MDE8987]
  • <9> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 872279, Extant 13 January 2022.



Grid reference SS 7239 4360 (point)
Map sheet SS74SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 51137
  • Devon SMR: SS74SW/122
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE21493
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW97
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 872279

Record last edited

Jan 13 2022 11:58AM


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