MDE9887 - Prehistoric stone setting on Middle Hill (Monument)


A stone setting forming a diamond plan of possibly 6 stones, 12 metres by 14 metres. Two are upright, two are overgrown and the others are recumbent.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Three stones, at SS 7584 4488, are described on the Ordnance Survey 1981 map. First surveyed in 1967 on an unpublished revision of the Ordnance Survey 25 inch map, no complementary written record has survived. [1] Stone setting on the top of Middle Hill, SS 758 450. There is one upright stone abut 16 inches high and 10 inches wide, aligned at 340 degrees. The other two stones, each about 30 inches long, are prone beside the upright. [2] At SS 7584 4488 are the remains of a setting. It is now of diamond plan, with sides of 12 metres and 14 metres, formed by two upright stones (D and F) and two partly or fully overgrown stones (A and B). Two further recumbent stones (C and E) lie beside upright D. All are of the local sandstone or gritstone. The setting is on a gentle north-west slope to the south side of an east to west coombe which develops a tributary stream to Farley Water. The stones are now in deep heather, with views restricted to the west-north-west. With four of the six stones fallen or displaced, and no obvious post holes, the original form is uncertain. It is clearly that recorded in 1981 and 1983 by Mold and Eardley Wilmot [2] but with an erroneous grid reference. Resulting in a siting on SS 74 NE at Middle Hill instead of Pig Hill. Stones A, B, and D are those depicted in 1967: C, D , E and F appear to be those described by Mold (?), while A is the additional one noted by Eardley-Wilmot who also records a possible barrow nearby. This, 5 metres northeast of stone A, is an irregular rise, about 9 metres across east to west and 7.5 metres north to south, and 0.1 metres high. It seems more likely to be a natural peat formation than a barrow. A further table of information on the stone setting is held in the archive. [3] Survey in 2003 showed that stone D has been split into three pieces which appear to have broken off at different times. This was likely caused by vehicle damage but may have been exacerbated by frost damage. Stones C and F are recumbent. Stones A and B could not be found but were drawn as concealed on the RCHME 1988 survey so this is not a surprise. [5] The site was subject to further survey in 2012. Only four of the stones were located; stones A and B were again not seen. Stone E was completely concealed and the two pieces that had broken from stone D by 2003 still lie adjacent to this stone. F showed evidence for animal rubbing. [6] A stone setting c.25m west from the B3223 road at the top of Middle hill. The site is recorded to consist of 6 stones in an irregular arrangement, however, Stone A and B could not be located during this survey and they are most likely covered by the thick molinia grass present across the site, as the previous two surveys have not located them either. Although, there are fears that they may be destroyed due to the threat from vehicles. It seems likely this site was tampered with historically as the cluster of stones recorded at C and D, appear deliberate, and not likely trigger stones. Stone D is in several fragments. [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> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1981. 1:10,000, 1981.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Eardley-Wilmot, H. & Mold, E.. Unknown. Field Notes 22/06/??.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Quinnell, N.V.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 7 December 1988.
  • <4>XY 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. [Mapped feature: #38781 ]
  • <5> Report: Dray, K.. 2003. A Condition Survey of Standing Stones on Badgworthy Land Company Owned Land, Exmoor. P. 39-40.
  • <6> Report: Slater, E.. 2012. A condition survey of standing stones on Badgworthy Land Company owned land, Exmoor National Park. p51-53.
  • <7>XY Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. MDE9887. [Mapped features: #45438 Stones C, D, E., MDE9887; #45439 Stone F., MDE9887]
  • <8> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 890167, Extant 16 June 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 7582 4488 (38m by 42m) (3 map features)
Map sheet SS74SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS74NE/526
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 14130
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20386
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SE87
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 890167

Record last edited

Jun 16 2021 12:25PM


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