MSO6809 - Prehistoric double stone row on Squallacombe (Monument)


A Bronze Age stone setting comprising a double row with at least seven stones. Four are upright and form the west row, with three fallen stones in the east row. There may be further stones but their origins within the setting are inconclusive.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

SS 7390 3815. A setting of six stones in Squallacombe form roughly a rectangle of 45 feet northeast to southwest by 12 feet. The stones are between 21 inches and 28 inches long, and two, one at the east corner and the one in the centre of the southeast side are now prostrate. The setting was discovered by members of the North Devon Archaeological Society. [1-2] In 1973 this stone setting comprised 6 stones in two parallel rows of 3, 4 of the stones standing and 2 fallen. It was aligned more or less north to south. [3] In September 1982 Eardley-Wilmot noted that only the 3 western stones were standing. The southeast corner stone was broken and fallen but the stub was still upright. [4] Four photographs of the stone setting supplied to the NAR. [5] Squallacombe I, SS 7381 3822A stone setting comprising a double row of at least seven stones. It is orientated north-north-east to south-south-west along a contour, with four upright stones forming the west row 19.2 metres long, individual stones spaced 5.8 metres (F-E) 8.9 metres (E-C) and 4.6 metres (C-A) apart. The row is not quite straight, F being slightly out of alignment. Three fallen stones forming the east row are probably close to their original positions (B,D and G). The stump of G is visible giving a distance here between the rows of 4.7 metres. Another two subsurface stones were located along the east row. Their nature and antiquity are uncertain. They are deposited as crosses on the plan. All the in situ stones except C are aligned across the major axis of the setting. The original layout may have been an elongated rectangle but with stones not necessarily exactly paired, stones F and G for instance.The setting lies in rush and coarse grass on a moderate east slope with clear views from the north-east through east to south. Like many others, this setting is situated close to a steep valley side. The remains of two other stone settings lie close by (see MSO6944 and MSO6951). The identification of four upright stones in the west row is problematic due to the fact that previous fieldworkers have noted only three (in 1973 and 1982 [3-4]). From an existing sketch plan [6?] it seems that stone A is the new arrival, possibly a recent insertion. The erosion hole is deep and its edges quite sharp, which suggests the possibility that it may be a hole caused by the extraction of a buried stone which was subsequently re-erected. Its different alignment in comparison to the other stones is noted above and may be significant in this context. [6,7] At least seven stones, four upright 0.24 to 0.8 metres high in a west row and three fallen 0.7 metres long in a parallel east row. [8] A line of white quartz stones was found near the bottom of the small valley close to the recorded grid reference (SS 7930 3815). A single stone not previously recorded was found at c.SS 7365 3810. [10] The 'missing' fourth stone located in the eastern row. [11] Only three stones standing (northeast corner, west central and southwest corner), one further fallen stone at southeast corner, no other stones observed. [12] In private ownership. [13] The stones were surveyed in 2012 to record their condition. Four stones were located (all in the west row); of these, three were in fair condition but slowly deteriorating but one was in very bad condition and deteriorating rapidly. [14] A double stone row of 8 stones orientated northeast to southwest, follow the contour of the hill of the eastern-most spur of Squallacombe, overlooking the valley. The rows are very regular with 4 stones on each side with the western row possessing 4 upright stones, and the eastern row possessing 4 recumbent stones. Stone H was located during the 2018 survey, within the line of the eastern row. It is possible that all stones on this site stood at a similar height to Stones C, E, and F, but they were damaged historically (i.e. Stone G). The condition of the site is considered to be “good” and it remains relatively stable since it was surveyed in 2012. Whilst rubbing has continued on the uprights, and has lead to a clear wobble on Stone E, it has not caused any recumbences or significant turf damage. Bracken is present across the site, and its height obscures the stones. [15] The site was surveyed as part of an academic research project by Dr Sandy Gerrard in 2019. Surveys were conducted using a prismatic compass and electronic distance device with the plan being generated in the field. [16] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [18]

Sources/Archives (18)

  • <1> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. Mrs J E Thorpe, Bratton Fleming.
  • <2> Unpublished document: BUCKLEY, MHB. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, 18 July 1967.
  • <3> Monograph: Ingall, R. 1974. A Stone Row at Squallacombe. 15. P.22.
  • <4> Monograph: Eardley-Wilmot, H. 1983. Thirty Exmoor stone-settings.
  • <5> Archive: Historic England. Historic England Archive. Photograph, M Walker, 23 May 1989.
  • <6> Technical drawing: Pattison, P.. 1990. Squallacombe I/ink survey . 1:100. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <7> Unpublished document: Pattison, P. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 17 January 1990.
  • <8> Report: Quinnell, N.V. and Dunn, C.J.. 1992. Lithic monuments within the Exmoor National Park: A new survey for management purposes by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England.. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. SS73NW18, 39.
  • <9> Article in serial: Fowler, MJ. 1988. The Standing Stones of Exmoor. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 132. 1-13 (Exmoor 12).
  • <10> Unpublished document: Setterington, R.A.. 1990. ms in HER files file.
  • <11> Unassigned: Walker M. record form.
  • <12> Report: Broomhead, R. 1991. ENPA FCS report.
  • <13> Unpublished document: Somerset County Council. Various. Somerset HER parish files - Exmoor records.
  • <14> Report: Pearce, G.. 2012. A Condition Survey of Selected Standing Stone Settings on Exmoor National Park Authority Owned Land. p38-41.
  • <15>XY Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. MSO6809. [Mapped features: #45242 Stone A., MSO6809; #45243 Stone B., MSO6809; #45244 Stone C., MSO6809; #45245 Stone D., MSO6809; #45246 Stone E., MSO6809; #45247 Stone F., MSO6809; #45248 Stone G., MSO6809; #45249 Stone H., MSO6809]
  • <16> Website: Gerrard, S.. 2020. The Stone Rows of Great Britain.
  • <17> Serial: Exmoor Society. 1959-present. Exmoor Review. (1974), p22 (R Ingall).
  • <18> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35059, Extant 24 November 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 7382 3821 (27m by 27m) (8 map features)
Map sheet SS73NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (5)

External Links (2)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10877
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 NW18
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35059
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33015

Record last edited

Nov 24 2021 2:34PM


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