MDE9885 - Prehistoric stone setting on Pig Hill (Monument)


A stone setting comprising 16 to 18 stones, arranged into four rows 42 metres long, on the slight west facing slope of Pig Hill. Eleven are upright, five are recumbent and there are two empty erosion hollows.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

SS 7562 4443 Stone setting. Setting of 14 stones on Pig Hill. [1] SS 7562 4443 A setting of sixteen stones plus two erosion holes situated on the slight west facing slope of Pig Hill at 390 metres ordnance datum. Lying in a grassy patch it is surrounded by heather and bracken and possesses good views over Cheriton Ridge to the west. The underlying strata is of the Hangman Grits series and the monument is composed of sandstone slabs and posts. Eleven upright and five fallen stones, along with two empty erosion hollows appear to have formed four east to west rows, 3.5 to 4.5 metres apart, each initially six or seven stones, at intervals of between 6 and 9 metres. The present overall length of the site is 42 metres with a north to south measurement of 13.5 metres. The setting survives as two distinct groups of stones. The stones at the more complete west end of the rows seem to be an echelon, ie staggered in regard to each adjacent row. The continuation of this arrangement is not so apparent at the more disturbed east end of the site. The few remaining stones suggest a more regular north to south alignment across the rows. A further table of information on the stones is held in the archive. [2] The site was surveyed in 2003. Stone L has been broken clearly into two pieces, seemingly by a vehicle since the 1988 RCHME survey. Stone E is loose. Animal tracks have created a small, shallow erosion hollow (1 metre across). Stone N is stable but in an active erosion hollow, 1.4 metres in diameter and 0.3 metres deep. Stone P is in a stabilized erosion hollow (1.6 metres in diametre and 0.3 metres deep. Stone R is in a stabilized erosion hollow 1.4 metres in diameter and 0.3 metres deep. The stone is recumbent. Stone A is stable but obscured. It is situated in the same erosion hollow as stone R. Stone Q is recumbent. It is situated in a stabilized erosion hole (1.9 metres across and 0.3 metres deep). Stone D is staable but animal tracks are causing a small erosion hollow. Stone C is stable but has suffered some frost damage. Stones K, F, G, S, T, J, M and H are stable. Stone K shows some frost damage and stones M and H have small stabilized erosion hollows next to them. Stone B could not be found, it is presumably obscured. [4] The site was subject to further survey in 2012. Seventeen of the eighteen stones were again located, with stone B again not seen. Some stones were partially or mostly hidden by vegetation; others showed signs of animal rubbing. Stone L has lost its top, which lies loose adjacent to it. Stone Q has also been broken; the stump is buried by several inches of peat, the remainder is partially buried but very loose. [5] The setting is an irregular linear setting orientated east-west, on the slopes of Pig Hill, overlooking Farley Water. The site is recorded to consist of 17 stones, although Stone B has been lost for many years. However, 17 stones were still identified, due to the discovery of a potential buried stone in the middle of the alignment labelled as Stone U. Some of these stones may have once been a metre high, but now most are between 0.3-0.6m in height. Stones R, S, and T may once have been standing stones, or in the case of R and T especially, they may have once been the tops of the stones that they are next to, split by frost, rubbing, or vehicles. The corresponding shapes of the top of Stone N and the bottom of Stone T are especially convincing of this. Most of the stones at MDE9885 are “very good”, however, the site has received significant damage to several specific stones, especially recent frost or vehicle damage to Stone J. This damage is severe and has occurred either this year, or in 2016/2017 due to the freshness of the fracture, lack of lichen, and the limited grass growth around the broken off section. The loss of this fragment, along with the loose top of Stone L is also a concern. Bracken completely obscures the site in summer, which may have led to the vehicle damage to Stone L and the bracken rhizomes could also damage the sites stratigraphy. Livestock is regularly visiting the area, as evidenced by rubbing on the stones, numerous tracks across the site, and some of the erosion hollows. However, all stones are well set and there is no poaching on the surrounding ground. [6] The site was surveyed as part of an academic research project by Dr Sandy Gerrard in 2017. Surveys were conducted using a prismatic compass and electronic distance device with the plan being generated in the field. [7] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [8]

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Unpublished document: Pearse, F. B.. Unknown. Worksheet & Plan. Worksheet, plan, FB Pearse..
  • <2> Unpublished document: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Field Investigators Comment. SAJ Probert, 7 December 1988.
  • <3> 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.
  • <4> Report: Dray, K.. 2003. A Condition Survey of Standing Stones on Badgworthy Land Company Owned Land, Exmoor. P. 35-6.
  • <5> Report: Slater, E.. 2012. A condition survey of standing stones on Badgworthy Land Company owned land, Exmoor National Park. p44-48.
  • <6>XY Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. MDE9885. [Mapped features: #45416 Stone A and R., MDE9885; #45417 Stone C., MDE9885; #45418 Stone D., MDE9885; #45419 Stone E., MDE9885; #45420 Stone F., MDE9885; #45421 Stone G., MDE9885; #45422 Stone H., MDE9885; #45423 Stone J and S., MDE9885; #45424 Stone K., MDE9885; #45425 Stone L., MDE9885; #45426 Stone M., MDE9885; #45427 Stone N and T., MDE9885; #45428 Stone Q., MDE9885; #45429 Stone P., MDE9885; #45430 Stone U., MDE9885]
  • <7> Website: Gerrard, S.. 2020. The Stone Rows of Great Britain.
  • <8> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 890145, Extant 16 June 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 7566 4445 (72m by 36m) (15 map features)
Map sheet SS74SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

External Links (2)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS74SE/36
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 20708
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20586
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SE85
  • National Park
  • NBR Index Number: 99/01396
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 890145

Record last edited

Jun 16 2021 12:38PM


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