MSO12234 - Possible stone row on Honeycombe Hill (Monument)


A row of three stones extend for around 50 metres in a northwest to southeast direction. They may represent a prehistoric stone row or, alternatively, represent a natural feature.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

At SS 8600 4206 are three stones, probably natural, forming a fortuitous northwest to southeast line over 47.5 metres. [1] There are many stones on the hill, some forming elements of a prehistoric field system MSO7337, others probably natural or randomly placed. [2] Within earthworks MSO7337, suggesting that the stones may be associated with some aspect of land division rather than being an actual stone row. [3] Possible row of at least five stones extending south from nearby barrow (MSO7334) over c. 180 metres. [4] No evidence of a wide spaced row was found to the west or immediately southwards of the cairn. There is an alignment of three stones, centred at SS 8600 4206, 180 metres south of the cairn, on a heather covered, gentle north west slope. They extend in a north west to south east direction over 47.5 metres. The group comprises an aligned slab at the south east end, 0.7 metres long, 0.5 metres high and 0.2 metres thick; 3.5 metres to the north west is a transverse stone 0.4 metres long, 0.1 metres high and 0.1 metres thick. After a gap of 44 metres the third stone is an angled block 0.4 metres long, 0.1 metres high and 0.1 metres thick. Although the stones occur in isolation they are not convincing as a stone row or as boundary markers, though it would be unwise to dismiss entirely the stone at the south east as a natural feature. It is unlikely that these are the stones seen by Burrow and his reference to nearby earthworks (possibly MSO7337) is obtuse. Field boundaries found on Wilmersham Common have been represented by low earth and rubble banks not by alignments of unencumbered stones. A retraction by WJ Corney on the Wilmersham stone row (MSO7336) is not really convincing. (For another row see MSO7360). [6,7] NB ADDENDUM - `stone row of 5 stones extending over 180 metres south from barrow.' This was taken to be between barrow and 180 metres south of it when investigated - but, reference to Somerset Proceedings [?] suggests that Burrow meant that the row started 180 metres south of the barrow and then went on southwards; i.e. we looked in the wrong place. [8] A row of three stones extend in a northwest to southeast direction, on the north facing slope of Honeycombe Hill, south of the barrow. Only two stones were located on this site visit, one upright edge set slab (Stone A - SS 86049 42070) and another recumbent stone (Stone B - SS 86047 42071) roughly 3.4m apart on a SE/NW alignment. The location of these two stones are c. 40m east of the previously recorded point and may represent a new/different site. Stone C was not identified but was likely covered by thick vegetation and is reportedly 44m away from B towards the NW. The most active threat is from animal rubbing, and Stone A has been worn smooth and has an erosion hollow. Vegetation could also be considered damaging as bracken is present across the site and Stone C is completely concealed. [9] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [10]

Sources/Archives (10)

  • <1> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. R McDonnell, Western Archaeological Trust, 3 December 1976.
  • <2> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. I Burrow, Somerset County Council, 15 April 1980.
  • <3> Article in serial: Burrow, I et al. 1980. Somerset Archaeology 1979. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society. 124. 116.
  • <4> Article in serial: Fowler, MJ. 1988. The Standing Stones of Exmoor. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 132. 1-13 (Luccombe 2).
  • <5> Monograph: RCHME . 1992. Lithic Monuments within the Exmoor National Park. 56, SS 84 SE 93.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Quinnell, N.V.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 17 March 1987.
  • <7> Collection: Pattison, P., Quinnell, N.V., Fletcher, M. and Sainsbury, I.. 1987-1988. RCHME: Exmoor Pilot Survey, SS 84 SE, Somerset.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Quinnell, N.V.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F2, 22 January 1990.
  • <9>XY Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. MSO12234. [Mapped features: #45592 Stone A., MSO12234; #45593 Stone B., MSO12234]
  • <10> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 36196, Extant 16 March 2022.



Grid reference Centred SS 8602 4206 (49m by 11m) (3 map features)
Map sheet SS84SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO7385
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SE93
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 36196
  • Site of Special Scientific Interest
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 35299

Record last edited

Mar 16 2022 10:24AM


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