MDE9886 - Prehistoric stone setting on Hoccombe Hill (Monument)


A stone setting at the foot of Hoccombe Hill comprises four stones in an irregular kite shape arrangment, 13 metres by 9 metres.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

SS 7809 4344 Stone setting. SS 781434: Brendon Common (Foot of Hoccombe Hill). Four stones; 3 upright, 1 fallen in irregular quadrilateral (in plan, like a half opened fan). Longest side 13 paces. New. Found by E Hold 1981, shown to Hazel Eardley-Wilmot in 1982. [1] SS 7809 4344. A setting of four stones in an irregular kite-shape. Its longer axis, (A)-(B) is 13 metres and the shorter axis (C)-(D) is 9 metres. The site occupies a small but pronounced, gently sloping shelf on an otherwise steep, south facing hillside low down in the valley of Hoccombe Water in an extremely secluded position only 30 metres above Hoccombe Water. Visibility is restricted to short views along the valley. Stones B, C and D are on the shelf, stone A is on the steep slope above. The immediate area is under rough grass with bracken, heather and rush. Soil cover is thin resulting in some rock outcrop and a medium scatter of surface stone. All stones are of local, sedimentary sandstones of the Hangman Grits series. Two other settings occupy the southern slope of Hoccombe Hill; MDE1270 and MDE1257 lie 1050 metres and 1510 metres to the west respectively. A further table of information on the stones is held in the archive. [2] The site was surveyed in 2003. Stone D is very loose and eroded, with the packing stones exposed. It is situated in an active erosion hollow, 1.3 metres in diameter and 0.3 metres deep. The stone is used as a rubbing post. Stone B is also loose and in an active erosion hollow. Stone C is stable. Stone A is stable but an erosion hollow is beginning to form around it. [4] Further survey of the site was undertaken in 2012. All four stones were seen; stone B was loose and was also being covered by an ant hill and stone D was still loose, possibly as a result of animal rubbing. An animal track runs through the site and it appears to be very vulnerable. [5] The setting is a quadrilateral stone setting of four small stones, with a possible fifth out of situ, on a slight southern-facing plateau on Hoccombe Hill. All four of the stones are upright and form a fan shape. Stones B to D, all stand around 0.4/0.45m high, whereas A is larger at 0.65m. Stone E was noticed by a volunteer when the surveyor was walking past the northern edge of the site. The stone is loose on the surface and could possible be natural. The condition of this site is “very good,” as the stones and site exhibit little damage. Furthermore, due to the disappearance of the ant hill around B, and the stabilisation of the stones in their sockets, this site should be considered as “improving,” since the last survey. Stones A and D are visited by animals as evidenced by the erosion hollows, but both are stable in their settings. In summer, bracken growth may cover the site. [6] The site was surveyed as part of an academic research project by Dr Sandy Gerrard. 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> Monograph: Eardley-Wilmot, H. 1983. Thirty Exmoor stone-settings.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Pattison, P. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 6 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. 37-38.
  • <5> Report: Slater, E.. 2012. A condition survey of standing stones on Badgworthy Land Company owned land, Exmoor National Park. p49-50.
  • <6>XY Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. MDE9886. [Mapped features: #45432 Stone A., MDE9886; #45433 Stone B., MDE9886; #45434 Stone C., MDE9886; #45435 Stone D., MDE9886; #45436 Possible Stone E., MDE9886]
  • <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. 890156, Extant 16 June 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 7809 4341 (33m by 37m) (6 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/39
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 22877
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20952
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SE86
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 890156

Record last edited

Jun 16 2021 12:34PM


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