MEM15179 - Prehistoric stone setting on Shoulsbury Common (Monument)


A stone setting comprising 6 stones in two rows was found in May 2005 during field reconnaissance by English Heritage and Exmoor National Park Authority.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

A stone setting is located at SS 7034 3943 on level unimproved grassland, on generally westnorthwest facing slopes on Shoulsbury Common. The stone setting comprises six stones, in two rows, and measures 10 metres by 6 metres. The rows are aligned northeast to southwest. The northeasterly pair of stones are standing but leaning towards each other, whilst all the others are recumbent and several are partly buried. All are surrounded by erosion hollows caused by livestock rubbing against the stones. The stones appear to be local slatey material and are not worked in any way. They are mostly around 1 metre in length. These were surveyed at 1:100 scale. The original survey plans and report are stored in the National Monuments Record. The site was found in May 2005 during field reconnaissance by English Heritage and Exmoor National Park Authority, during a large scale survey of Shoulsbury hillfort. [1, 2] A stone setting of 6 stones similar to the Pinford Stone Setting (MSO6820) is visible on Shoulsbarrow Common, downslope towards the north of Shoulsbarrow Castle. All 6 stones were located, but most are buried now beneath turf a vegetation, masking their true size when compared with the plans. The site is considered to be in a “Bad” condition and deteriorating. When the site was discovered in 2005, only two stones were upright, this has now been reduced to a single Stone (Stone B). This appears to have happened some time ago, due to the level of turf and vegetation growth that was present above Stone A. Stone C, D, and F are also buried beneath the turf, whereas Stone E is still on the surface. While livestock have created some historic erosion hollows around the now recumbent stones, as well as an active one around Stone B, it is also possible that vehicles caused a number of the recumbencies due to the late discovery of the site. Furthermore, during the second site visit, an extensive area of intensive mowing had occurred. [3] The site was surveyed as part of an academic research project by Dr Sandy Gerrard in 2019. Surveys were conducted using a prismatic compass and electronic distance device with the plan being generated in the field. [4]

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Verbal communication: Various. Various. ENPA archaeologist field visit. May 2005.
  • <2> Report: Jamieson, E.. 2005. Shoulsbury Castle, Exmoor, Devon: An Iron Age Hillfort and a Stone Setting on Shoulsbarrow Common. 15-6, figs 2, 10-11.
  • <3>XY Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. MEM15179. [Mapped features: #45479 Stone A., MEM15179; #45480 Stone B., MEM15179; #45481 Stone C., MEM15179; #45482 Stone D., MEM15179; #45483 Stone E., MEM15179; #45484 Stone F., MEM15179]
  • <4> Website: Gerrard, S.. 2020. The Stone Rows of Great Britain.



Grid reference Centred SS 7034 3943 (35m by 32m) (Surveyed)
Map sheet SS73NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 71568
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE21849

Record last edited

Jul 13 2020 10:02PM


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