MSO11490 - Prehistoric standing stones on Yenworthy Common (Monument)


Two prehistoric standing stones have been associated with an outer facing scarp. Some sources have also stated that a cairn, circular platform and two further stones are sited here but they have not been located in recent site investigation.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (5)

Protected Status

Full Description

Four stones, a possible cairn and a circular platform lie in this area. [1] No further detailed information. [2] Two standing stones are located east of Oare Post at SS 799 484. [3] Two upright standing stones at SS 7987 4837 and SS 7987 4836 are 0.8 metres high and stand 19 metres apart. The northernmost has a small packing stone. Surveyed at 1:2500 on PFD. [4] A further stone 20 metres to the south. [5] (SS 7986 4837 & SS 7987 4836). "Standing stones" marked on Ordnance Survey 1:10,000 map. [6] Two upright stone slabs 0.9 metres high with erosion hollows. Beyond the southern on the south and west is an outward facing scarp up to 0.6 metres high, which may be original. [7] SS 7987 4837. Two standing stones on Yenworthy Common at about 355 metres Ordnance Datum. They are situated on a gentle south facing slope, under heather and gorse cover, at the northwestern end of a ridge. Sited just to the south of the ridge summit they can be seen from the valley of the East Lyn river to the west; however, the view to the north is hidden by the summit. Both are of local sandstone and are aligned northnorthwest to southsoutheast. (A) SS 7987 4838. The northernmost is a chisel topped earthfast slab of wedge shape section 0.9 metres high, 0.75 metres wide east to west and 0.15 metres to 0.3 metres thick. There is a small packing stone embedded in the turf to the south of its base and a shallow erosion hollow 0.3 metres deep and about 1.8 metres diameter on the southern side. (B) SS 7988 4836. Some 19 metres southsoutheast is a pointed top earthfast block 0.95 metres high, 0.5 metres wide east to west and 0.25 metres thick, which has a slight lean to the north. No packing stones are visible but there is an oval erosion hollow 0.4 metres maximum depth and 2 metres east to west in diameter. Around the west, south to southeast side is an outer facing scarp a maximum 0.6 metres high which may be part of the original feature. N.B. Although Grinsell's National Grid Reference [3] is correct his location `east of Oare Post' is erroneous. [8,9] The cairn referred to may be the scarp referred to in [7] around the southern side of the southern stone. The circular platform could not be located, nor could the additional two stones. [10] A setting of two large upright stones on a roughly north-south alignment, on a gentle south facing slope in the centre of Yenworthy Common. Both stones are substantial thick tapering slabs who’s axis align west and east. Both stand at a height just under a metre. Vehicles have been driving along the well-established track between the two stones. Whilst unlikely, as the stones are very visible, there is a possibility that larger vehicles or equipment could damage them. A surface stone (or a potential packing stone) has apparently been moved from the base of Stone A. Livestock are rubbing against both stones creating erosion hollows, however, the stones remain well set. [11] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [12]

Sources/Archives (12)

  • <1> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. R McDonnell, Western Archaeological Trust, 31 October 1975.
  • <2> Verbal communication: Various. 1900-. Somerset County Council / South West Heritage Trust staff comments. E Dennison, Somerset County Council, 17 April 1984.
  • <3> Monograph: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Archaeology of Exmoor: Bideford Bay to Bridgewater. David and Charles Limited. 191.
  • <4> Index: Ordnance Survey. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Record Card. Site SS74NE14, PA Stevens, 30 January 1975.
  • <5> Article in serial: Fowler, MJ. 1988. The Standing Stones of Exmoor. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 132. 1-13 (Oare 2a and 2b).
  • <6> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1980. 1:10,000 SS74NE.
  • <7> Monograph: RCHME . 1992. Lithic Monuments within the Exmoor National Park. SS74NE14, 58.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 4 January 1989.
  • <9> Technical drawing: Sainsbury, I.. 1989. Yenworthy Common Standing Stones/ink survey. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <10>XY Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 12 April 1994. [Mapped features: #44247 Stone A, ; #44248 Stone B, ]
  • <11> Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. MSo11490.
  • <12> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35142, Extant 6 December 2021.

External Links (2)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO7731
  • Local List Status (Candidate)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 NE14
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35142
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 33867



Grid reference Centred SS 7987 4837 (16m by 28m) (2 map features)
Map sheet SS74NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Dec 6 2021 2:02PM


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