MSO12023 - Possible prehistoric cairn and barrow at Monkham Hill (Monument)


A possible cairn or stone circle and two barrows reported on Monkham Hill. It is difficult to ascertain whether these features exist due to afforestation.

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Type and Period (3)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Page notes that Savage's map shows two barrows and a "circle" below the brow of Monkham Hill and that Savage refers to the features as "an extensive circle of large stones, and two barrows close to it". They are mentioned earlier in Gough's "Camden" which says that "on the summit of Monkham Hill are several barrows, and a circular enclosure of loose stones piled up forty feet in diameter… (that) commands the whole line of coast from Porlock Bay to Quantock's Head Point". Page says the barrows remain but he could find no-one who remembered it, but it was apparently on the top of the hill. [1] Savage's map places the barrows and circle at c. SS 989 389. Nothing can be found in this area nor could the channel be observed from it. Page says the two barrows remained and it seems likely from Gough's description that the circle was simply a cairn. It is now virtually impossible to identify the features. [2,3] The barrows and cairn could be those on Withycombe Common (MMO195) or those on Rodhuish Common (MSO7442, MMO194). Alternatively they could be completely destroyed or obscured by afforestation. [4,5] The area of the National Grid Reference is now occupied by a young commercial forestry plantation (trees 3 to 4 metres high) and is therefore inaccessible. [6] No stones could be located in this area of forestry plantation with mature trees. Ground cover is thick, and it is likely if anything in the subsurface has been disturbed. It is possible that this record is confused with the prehistoric cairns on Withycombe Common (MMO195) or Rodhuish Common (MSO7442). [7]

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Monograph: Page, J.L.W.. 1890. An Exploration of Exmoor and the Hill Country of West Somerset: With Notes on its Archaeology. 212.
  • <2> Monograph: Savage, J.. 1830. A History of the Hundred of Carhampton. 249.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Eardley-Wilmot, H.. 1981. Worksheet in Devon HER. Gough's Camden 1806.
  • <4> Map: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1965. SS93NE. 15.
  • <5> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information or Staff Comments. E Dennison, Somerset County Council, 20 July 1988.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME field Investigation, 19 May 1998.
  • <7> Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018.



Grid reference SS 98932 38932 (point) (Estimated from sources)
Map sheet SS93NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO7452
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO8693
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 93 NE15
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 36636
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 34827

Record last edited

Dec 7 2018 3:32PM


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