MSO6819 - Trout Hill II: Prehistoric stone setting at the north end of Trout Hill (Monument)


A stone setting originally comprising five stones with four in an irregular quadrilateral and a fifth in the centre (known as a "quincunx"). Only four stones now survive as uprights; a large hole marks the void where the fifth once stood.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

SS 7956 4312. Stones (NR). [1] A group of five standing stones at Trout Hill, Lat 51 deg 10' 26.75": Long 3 deg 43' 23.5", resembling a deformed quadrilateral. (See Illustrations Card). [2] This group of five stones forms no regular pattern. The tallest stone is 0.8 metres. Surveyed at 1/2500. See MSO7903 for type site. [3] No change. [4,21] SS 795 432. Standing stones on Trout Hill. Scheduled. (Scheduled stones include this setting and also MSO6819). [5,6] SS 7956 4312. During fieldwork in June 1982 it was noticed that the central stone in the cruciform site was missing. The position of the stone is now marked by a small crater and the stone is scattered across the site in small blackened chips suggesting that it was blown up. [7] Prior to 1976 it comprised 5 stones in quincunx. [8] Trout Hill II; SS 7956 4313. A stone setting, originally of 5 stones, 4 in an irregular quadrilateral with a fifth, central stone (known as "quincunx"). Only four stones now survive upright and one fallen. A large hole (C) marks the position of the fifth, central stone. The main axis appears to be approximately north to south, marked by three stones in a straight line (A-C-B). Stone (E) has fallen but is close to its original position; it was upright in 1905. [2] All stones are of local, fine grained or sedimentary rock of the Hangman Grits series. The setting occupies a very slight east facing slope below the crest at the north end of Trout Hill, 150 metres west of the steep fall to the Badgworthy Water. The area is under coarse grass with rushy patches. From the site there are clear views in a wide arc fromnorth through east to south. There are two more settings in the immediate vicinity: MSO6815 lies 180 metres to the northwest and MSO6966 is 300 metres to the southwest. A small stone cairn (MSO6970) exists 30 metres northeast of the setting, an association noted elsewhere in the area (eg Lanacombe I (MSO6948) and cairns MSO6969 and MSO6968). A further table of information on the stones is held in the archive. [9,10] Stone setting Scheduled. [12] Of the quincunx shown in 1888, three upright and one fallen stone survive 0.4 to 0.83 metres high. One has packing stones. A hole denotes the site of the central stone. A further small stone may be natural. An upcast mound may be spoil from a military slit trench. This site is evidently that recorded by Grinsell as lying at SS790422. [12] The entral stone in the north to south row of the five stones, nearly cruciform site, has gone. A.B Ellison reported an unexploded shell against this stone in 1976 and presumably this has exploded, demolishing the central stone and making a crater approximately 1 metre in diameter and 0.5 metres deep. A small part of the stone remains as a subsurface stump on the south side of its original position but the rest of the stone is scattered about the site. [14] Four stones averaging 2.5 feet high forming an irregular rectangle with one in the centre, one further stone has fallen. Only four are marked on the Ordnance Survey map. Loose stone in the centre. Some 139 metres northwest of another setting (MSO6815). [15] Scheduled area revised with new national number (22 March 1996), was part of Somerset 375. [18] Stone F reported to have the beginnings of an erosion hollow (1 September 1995). [19] Survey into the condition of the site records 4 stones of which one, stone A, is in a shallow erosion hole. [20] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 10. [22] 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. [23] A setting situated on the eastern side of Trout Hill that may have once consisted of 5 stones arranged in a quincunx. This survey located only the 3 uprights found in the two most recent condition surveys, namely Stones A, B, and F. Thick molinia and rushes cover the site and they are likely the reason for the missing Stone E, which is possibly concealed close to the site. It is possible that through probing, Stone D was located, but this could not be confirmed. The condition of the site is considered to be good as most of the stones remain largely undamaged, and there has been no significant change since 2015. Stone A is currently being used as a rubbing post by livestock, however, this has caused minimal damage to the turf, and the stone is very well set. Stone F, also displays a large lamination crack and it may be vulnerable to frost damage. [24-25] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [26] The site is included in a 2023 Condition Survey [27]

Sources/Archives (27)

  • <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. 546-7.
  • <3> Unpublished document: PALMER, JP. Mid 1960s. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 7 July 1965.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Fletcher, M.J.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F2, 3 February 1975.
  • <5> Index: Department of the Environment (IAM). 1978. List of Ancient Monuments of England and Wales 1978. P. 117.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Department of Environment. Record Form. September 1968.
  • <7> Article in serial: Burrow, I., Minnitt, S. and Murless, B.. 1982. Somerset Archaeology 1981. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 126. 69-91. P. 63.
  • <8> Index: Eardley-Wilmot, H. list of standing stones. II,3.
  • <9> Technical drawing: Pattison, P.. 1988. Trout Hill II/ink survey . 1:100. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <10> Unpublished document: Pattison, P. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 8 December 1988.
  • <11> Unpublished document: English Heritage. 1995. English Heritage Record Form. 24 November 1995.
  • <12> 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.
  • <13> Unpublished document: Somerset County Council. Various. Somerset HER parish files - Exmoor records. PRN 33039.
  • <14> Report: Various. Various. Field Monument Warden Report. Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission.
  • <15> 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 3).
  • <16> Report: McDonnell, R.. 1985. Recommendations for the Management of Archaeological Sites in the Exmoor National Park at Warren, Pinford, Tom's Hill and Hayes Allotment. P. 49 (site 29).
  • <17> Monograph: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Archaeology of Exmoor: Bideford Bay to Bridgwater. David and Charles Limited. P. 36 & 190.
  • <18> Unpublished document: English Heritage. 28.3.1996. English Heritage to Somerset County Council.
  • <19> Unpublished document: Somerset County Council. Various. Somerset HER parish files - Exmoor records. PRN 33038, M Walker, 1995.
  • <20> Survey: Blackmore O A. 2002. Condition Survey of Standing Stones on Exmoor National Park Authority Owned Land.
  • <21> Photograph: Fletcher, M.J.. 1975. STONE SETTING - 5 STONES AT EXMOOR. 207/J/6. B/W.
  • <22> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park. Exmoor National Park Authority.
  • <23> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015. Archaedia.
  • <24>XY Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. Exmoor National Park Authority. MSO6819. [Mapped features: #45552 Stone A., MSO6819; #45553 Stone B., MSO6819; #45554 Stone C., MSO6819; #45555 Stone D., MSO6819; #45556 Stone F., MSO6819]
  • <25> Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018 - Scheduled Standing Stones. MSO6819.
  • <26> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35212, Extant 11 May 2021.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10900
  • Local Heritage List Status (Rejected)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SE5
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35212
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33039



Grid reference Centred SS 2796 1431 (28m by 25m) (5 map features)
Map sheet SS21SE

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Related Events/Activities (4)

Record last edited

Feb 15 2024 2:10PM


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