MSO6815 - Trout Hill I: Prehistoric stone setting on the northeast end of Trout Hill (Monument)


A prehistoric stone setting on Trout Hill, possibly forming an irregular quadrilateral with a central stone.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

[SS 7940 4321] Stones (NR) [1] There is a quadrilatural of stones on Trout Hill, near the fence. Lat. 51 deg 10' 29.75" Long. 3 deg 43' 31.25". The Ordnance Survey 25 inch map of 1887-8 [1] shows five stones but Chanter and Hansford Worth found only three and their survey does not agree with the Ordnance Survey map. [2] Only three stones of this group survive. The tallest is 0.8m. Surveyed at 1/2500; see GP AO/65/127/7 (23-24?). See MSO7903 for type site. [3] Bronze Age. [4] No change: surveyed at 1/2500 on PFD. [5-7] SS 795432. Standing stones on Trout Hill. Scheduled. (Scheduled stones include this setting and also MSO6819). [8,9] SS 794432. Stone setting on Trout Hill formerly comprised 4 stones, 3 upright and 1 fallen. In 1982 there were only 3 uprights. [10] Trout Hill 1 SS 79414322 A setting of upright stones in a triangular arrangement with two other stones to the east and north. They possibly indicate an irregular quadrilateral with stone C as a central stone. The sides of the triangle are 6 metres, 7 metres and 10 metres. All the stones appear to be of local sedimentary rocks of the Hangman Grits series. It is sited in coarse grass with rushy patches above a shelf on a north-north-east-facing slope at the north end of Trout Hill. It commands views down the Badgworthy Water Valley to the north. Two other stone settings lie close at hand, MSO6819 is 185 metres to the south-east and MSO6966 is 340 metres to the south. All three settings occupy the same contour just below the crest of the hill. A further table of information on the stones is held in the archive. [11] Source [12] states that stone D (surveyed by RCHME in 1988 as a recumbant slab) could not be found, but that a previously unrecorded upright exists close by. Field investigation shows that the stone surveyed by RCHME in 1988 [11], as a recumbent slab has now been set upright in almost the same place. The stone can be easily withdrawn from its hole; its siting must now be treated as dubious. [13] Stone Setting Scheduled. [14] Quincunx shown in 1888. Now three uprights 0.5 to 0.7 metres high, and one displaced stone to north. [15] All pretty well upright and firm in the ground. Fourth stone (recumbent) to the north and is partly covered by turf, making quadrilateral. Also two mounds, one to the north-east and one to the south-east. [17] The highest stone is about 2 feet. The stones are some 3 metres, 6 metres and 9 metres apart from one another. The setting is situated 139 metres north-west of another setting (MSO6819). [18] Displaced stone not found; instead there is an upright in situ 33 by 38 by 10 centimetres. There is a small and a long mound near this, and a hollow at the south of the setting on the fourth corner. [21] Scheduled area revised with new national number (22 March 1996), was part of Somerset 375. [22] Site reported as in the same condition (1.9.1995). [23] Site recorded as stable. [24] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 12. [25] Due to the results of the 2009 condition survey, the site was visited in April 2011 to assess the level of damage and feasibility of any restoration or consolidation work. The weather conditions for the visit were poor with compromised visibility. The site had been recorded as having three upright (A-C) and two recumbent (D-E) stones, the latter with some doubt as to whether they were part of the setting. Stones A-D were clearly visible and in situ; stone E had been described as a 'stump' by Quinnell and Dunn in 1992 and could not be located in the thick clumps of moor grass present. It was surmised that the site had not deteriorated significantly since the 1992 survey and it is likely that stone E would be located in different weather and vegetation conditions. No further work was therefore carried out at the setting. [26] The site was surveyed in April 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. It was given a survival score of 0. [27] A setting situated towards the north of Trout Hill, just east of the central field boundary. The site consists of 5 stones, and a potentially new hollow at the south of the site. Stones A-C are likely in situ, however, Stone D is recumbent and loose, situated away from the setting. Stone E is possibly a trigger stone where an upright stone has been removed (possibly Stone D). A hollow was noted during this survey, labelled “F”, parallel with stones A and C. The condition of the site is very good as most the stones remainundamaged and all were located. Animal rubbing is occuring on the three remaining uprights (A-C) creating erosion hollows, but all stones are firmly set. The site is significantly vulnerable from vehicles, as a quadbike track runs 5m away from the western edge of the setting, very close to Stone D. [28-29] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [30] The site is included in a 2023 Condition Survey [31]

Sources/Archives (31)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1888-1914. County Series; 2nd Edition (1st Revision) 6 Inch Map. 1:10560. 1905.
  • <2> Article in serial: Chanter, J.F. and Worth, R.H.. 1906. The Rude Stone Monuments of Exmoor and its Borders. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 38. II, pp 538-552. P. 542 pl. 3.
  • <3> Unpublished document: PALMER, JP. Mid 1960s. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 7 July 1965.
  • <4> Monograph: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Archaeology of Exmoor: Bideford Bay to Bridgwater. David and Charles Limited. p47, 190.
  • <5> Photograph: Fletcher, M.. 1975. STONE SETTING - 3 STONES AT EXMOOR. 207/J/4. B/W.
  • <6> Photograph: Fletcher, M.. 1975. STONE SETTING - 3 STONES AT EXMOOR. 207/J/5. B/W.
  • <7> Unpublished document: Fletcher, M.J.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F2, 3 February 1975.
  • <8> Index: Department of the Environment (IAM). 1978. List of Ancient Monuments of England and Wales 1978. P. 117.
  • <9> Unpublished document: Department of Environment. Record Form. September 1968.
  • <10> Unpublished document: Eardley-Wilmot, H.. 1983. Catalogue of Thirty Exmoor Stone Settings. III 12. 2.
  • <11> Unpublished document: Pattison, P. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, F3, 9 December 1988.
  • <12> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. Martin Walker, RCHME Exeter.
  • <13> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 9 August 1994.
  • <14> Unpublished document: English Heritage. 1995. English Heritage Record Form. 24 November 1995.
  • <15> 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. SS74SE1 P. 43.
  • <16> Technical drawing: Pattison, P. + Wilson-North, R.. 1988. Trout Hill I/ink survey . 1:100. General: Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <17> Unpublished document: Somerset County Council. Various. Somerset HER parish files - Exmoor records. PRN 33038.
  • <18> Report: Various. Various. Field Monument Warden Report. Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission.
  • <19> Article in serial: Fowler, MJ. 1988. The Standing Stones of Exmoor. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 132. P. 1-13 (Exmoor 2).
  • <20> Report: McDonnell, R. 1985. Recommendations for the Management…. P. 48 (site 26).
  • <21> Unpublished document: Somerset County Council. Various. Somerset HER parish files - Exmoor records. PRN 33038.
  • <22> Unpublished document: English Heritage. 28.3.1996. English Heritage to Somerset County Council.
  • <23> Unpublished document: Somerset County Council. Various. Somerset HER parish files - Exmoor records. PRN 33038.
  • <24> Survey: Blackmore O A. 2002. Condition Survey of Standing Stones on Exmoor National Park Authority Owned Land.
  • <25> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park. Exmoor National Park Authority.
  • <26> Report: Gillings, M & Taylor, J. 2011. The Miniliths of Exmoor Project: Fieldwork at Furzehill Common & Porlock Stone Circle, April 2011. 7-8.
  • <27> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015. Archaedia.
  • <28>XY Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. Exmoor National Park Authority. MSO6815. [Mapped features: #45545 Stone A., MSO6815; #45546 Stone B., MSO6815; #45547 Stone C., MSO6815; #45548 Stone D., MSO6815; #45549 Stone E., MSO6815; #45551 Stone F., MSO6815]
  • <29> Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018 - Scheduled Standing Stones. MSO6815.
  • <30> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35196, Extant 11 May 2021.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10899
  • Local Heritage List Status (Rejected)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SE1
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35196
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33038



Grid reference Centred SS 2794e 1432e (41m by 45m) (7 map features)
Map sheet SS21SE

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Related Events/Activities (5)

Record last edited

Feb 15 2024 2:09PM


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