MSO11739 - Bronze Age cairn on Withypool Common (Monument)


A low flat topped subcircular mound has been virtually destroyed around the northeastern side. It has three slate slabs within its perimetre. Originally interpreted as a stone circle, it is now thought to represent a cairn.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

SS 8077 3693. Possible stone circle reported here, made up of six stones 3 feet by 3 feet and c.30 feet in diameter. [1] When visited in July 1985, only 3 stones were visible, the tallest being 0.9 metres high, arranged so that the faces form the perimeter of a circle c.10 metres in diameter. There are several large quartz outcrops to the east. It is uncertain whether the stones form a true stone circle or are the remains of a cairn revetment kerb. [2] The remains of a cairn situated some 700 metres due east of Pickedstones Farm, about 390 metres Ordnance Datum on the southern flanks of a hill overlooking the valley of the River Barle. The immediate area of the cairn is predominantly bracken in an otherwise heather moor. Cairn A - SS 8072 3704: possibly more accurately described as a cairn circle, this is visible as a low flat topped subcircular mound of 0.2 metres maximum height. It has been almost completely destroyed around the northeast quadrant where its perimeter is only just discernible. Elsewhere, apart from a short break in the southwest, it is evident as a slight outward facing scarp. Precise measurement is not possible, but it is about 17.5 metres north to south by 18.5 metres. Although turf and bracken covered, a content of small stones was detected by probing. Some 2.5 metres to 3 metres within the perimeter are three slatey slabs, all upright with a slight outward lean suggesting pressure from within the body of the cairn. Two hollows are probably the sites of two other stones. The stones and hollows are not contiguous but definitely spaced and appear to have formed a peristalith more than a true kerb. No other circuit stones are evident but four stones within the cairn may have come from it. Some 80 metres east-southeast of the site is an area of naturally outcropping quartz rock and boulders. Cairn B is recorded as MSO12343. Further details of both cairns may be found in the project archive. [3] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [5]

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Map: Gray, H.St.G. 1904. 6" map sheet 45SW.
  • <2> Article in serial: Fowler, MJ. 1988. The Standing Stones of Exmoor. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 132. 1-13 (Withypool 3).
  • <3>XY Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 9 January 1994. [Mapped feature: #34093 ]
  • <4> Monograph: RCHME . 1992. Lithic Monuments within the Exmoor National Park. SS83NW14 p69.
  • <5> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 974408, Extant 27 July 2021.

External Links (0)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO8708
  • Local List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 NW14
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 974408
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 34307



Grid reference SS 8072 3704 (point)
Map sheet SS83NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Aug 10 2021 2:25PM


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