MSO11156 - Stone structure at Dunkery Beacon (Monument)


A squarish enclosure has been constructed on the northwest side of one of the cairns at Dunkery Beacon. Its date and purpose is not known but is has been included within the scheduling for the site.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

This monument has been confused in the HER records in the past with MEM22811. [1] Close against MEM22811 and towards the Beacon (MEM22803) is a curious little mound 22 feet north to south by 27 feet east to west, with rounded corners with a deep oblong depression in the middle. [2] Mound now ringed with loose stones which have been placed on top of the mound edge. Dimensions: circa 7 metres x 8 metres and 0.75 metres high. [3] No major disturbance. Subject to movement of stones by visitors but generally unchanged. [4] SS 8917 4185. A squarish enclosure has been constructed on the north west side of MEM22811. It has sides of 5 metres with 0.4 metres of coursed walling at the base, topped by another 0.4 metres of turf covered earth bank. The whole is 2 metres wide at the bottom, tapering to a narrow top. It is surrounded on all sides but the north west with a ditch 1 to 1.5 metres wide and up to 0.2 metres deep. On the southeast the ditch impinges upon the cairn with the consequent destruction of the rim bank. There is no entrance and the turf covered interior seems raised about 0.1 metres above the general ground level. It is not of recent date but its purpose is obscure. If originally a beacon hearth there is now no sign of burning, and an ancillary building such as a store or watchman's hut would necessitate an entrance. The scheduling map suggests that this is Somerset 49c and this is confirmed by the field warden's description and measurements. Whether or not the structure was intended to be classified as a Scheduled Monument it is certainly not a cairn. [5] The Exmoor National Mapping Programme survey noted that on aerial photographs of 1973 the scheduled sub-rectangular feature at SS 8917 4157, immediately to the northwest of MEM22811 appears to be subdivided into two small enclosures. The function of this feature is unclear. [6-7] To the north a rectangular ditched mound has been constructed. The date and function of this are unclear. [8]

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information or Staff Comments. Chris Webster, Somerset HER, 25 November 2005.
  • <2> Index: English Heritage Record of Scheduled Monuments: Somerset 49c.
  • <3> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information or Staff Comments. SM Weston, Field Monument Warden, 18 August 1982.
  • <4> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information or Staff Comments. SM Weston, Field Monument Warden, 12 May 1986.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Quinnell, N.V.. Field Investigators Comments. Site visit, 5 August 1987.
  • <6> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73109 956-7 (29 April 1973).
  • <7> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 84 SE. MD002185.
  • <8> Report: Cutler, G.. 2001. Dunkery Beacon: Survey of Prehistoric Burial Mounds.



Grid reference SS 8917 4158 (point) (Approximate)
Map sheet SS84SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SE14
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 35990
  • Site of Special Scientific Interest
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 33486

Record last edited

Feb 16 2016 8:54AM


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