MSO11260 - Prehistoric standing stone above Orchard Bottom (Monument)


The stone is 1.5 metres high, with a hollow around its base. It has been used by cattle as a rubbing post but is believed to be of prehistoric date.

Please read the .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Standing stone about four feet in height. [1] Stone 1.3 metres high and of considerable size. Its position in a modern field and its slight weathering suggests it is a cattle rubbing stone. (See G.P. AO/65/139/6). Surveyed at 1:2500. [2] Leaning to the southeast. Grinsell believes it to be of an earlier date. [4] "Standing stone" printed on Ordnance Survey 1:10,000 map. [6] The stone had fallen after cattle had eroded the soil at its base. [7] In recent years the soil at the base of the large standing stone at Westermill Farm had been badly eroded and the stone was subsquently pushed over by cattle. The landowners asked the Exmoor National Park Authority to help with its reerection and consolidation. Before this was done, a small 1.5 metres square area was excavated. The original setting for the stone measured 0.5 metres square and was 0.4 metres deep at its lowest point. Several small wedge shaped stones had been used to support the main stone in position and these were recorded and replaced. No dating evidence was discovered but the stone is generally regarded as being prehistoric in origin. A shallow concrete base was used to support the stone and prevent further cattle erosion. Thanks are due to the landowners and the National Park Authority for their help with the consolidation of this monument. [8] Standing stone 1.5 metres high, 0.6 metres wide and 0.4 metres thick, on cement base within erosion hollow. [9] Situated at about 405 metres Ordnance Datum in a pasture field. It is a gritstone pillar measuring 1.5 metres high, 0.6 metres wide and 0.4 metres thick which tapers slightly to a flat top. There is a hollow 2 metres diameter and 0.2 metres deep around its base. Although obviously used by cattle as a rubbing post before its fall it is most probably a prehistoric standing stone. [11] In private ownership. [3] The feature is marked as a 'standing stone' on modern MasterMap data at SS 8207 4116. [12] A thick well-set upright post of significant size overlooks the valley to the southwest, within a field of pasture. The stone is larger than most of Exmoor’s standing stones measuring 1.6 x 0.5 x 0.3m, leading to the suggestion it may be a rubbing stone. It had already been consolidated in 1987 following a recumbencey from livestock rubbing and the use cement during its resetting is visible at the base of the stone. Despite not being revisited since 1992, the stone has received very little damage aside from continued livestock rubbing. Whilst there is an erosion hollow, this has no destabilised the stone. [13] [SS 8208 4116] Standing Stone (NR). [14] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [15]

Sources/Archives (15)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. Various. Annotated corrections on Ordnance Survey map. As specified. Six inch, AL Wedlake, 1 March 1955.
  • <2> Unpublished document: PITCHER, GHP. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 28 June 1965.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Somerset County Council. Various. Somerset HER parish files - Exmoor records. PRN 33601.
  • <4> Monograph: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Archaeology of Exmoor: Bideford Bay to Bridgewater. David and Charles Limited. 48 and 190.
  • <5> Article in serial: Fowler, MJ. 1988. The Standing Stones of Exmoor. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 132. 1-13 (Exford 2).
  • <6> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1978. 1:10,000 Map, 1978. 1:10,000. SS84SW.
  • <7> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. E Dennison, Somerset County Council, 12 December 87.
  • <8> Article in serial: Croft, R.A. 1987. "Exford, Westermill Farm" in Dennison, E "Somerset Archaeology 1987". SANHS. 131. 210.
  • <9> Monograph: RCHME . 1992. Lithic Monuments within the Exmoor National Park. SS84SW p38.
  • <10> Unassigned: 1987. Newspaper reports.
  • <11> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 29 November 1989.
  • <12> Map: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap.
  • <13>XY Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. MSO11260. [Mapped feature: #45610 Standing Stone, MSO11260]
  • <14> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560.
  • <15> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 36243, Extant 13 July 2021.



Grid reference SS 8208 4116 (point)
Map sheet SS84SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO6733
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SW15
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 36243
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 33601

Record last edited

Jul 13 2021 1:22PM


Your feedback is welcome. If you can provide any new information about this record, please contact us.