MSO6820 - East Pinford Stone Alignment (Monument)


Two prehistoric stone rows, each comprising three stones, forming a parallelogram.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

SS 7966 4273. Stones (NR). [1] These are two stone rows each of 3 stones, arranged in the form of a parallelogram. The stones point only approximately along the rows and the largest, at the northwest angle is 2 feet 6 inches high. (See plan). [2] his group consists of six stones, spaced approximately 5 metres apart, form a rectangle. Other stones in the vicinity are natural outcrops. See GP AO/65/127/8 [21?]. Surveyed at 1/2500. See MSO7903 for type site. [3] No change: surveyed at 1/2500 on PFD. [4] Listed as Bronze Age. [5] SS 797 427. East Pinfold standing stones. Scheduled. [6] SS 796428. Stone setting listed. [7] SS 7966 4273: A setting of six upright stones forming a rectangle on a slight west facing slope, above a short tributary of Badgworth by rushes and coarse moorland grass. Views from the setting are restricted to the valleys to the southwest and north the remaining aspects are obscured by higher ground. It occupies an area characterised by quantities of surface stone from the underlying Hangman Grits series. The monument is composed of sandstone slabs and posts 9.7 metres and 10 metres long, orientated approximately west-north-west to east-south-east. Each row contains three stones at intervals of between 4.4 and 5.2 metres. Their long axis are roughly aligned with the rows. The monument appears more or less complete, with no evidence for a continuation of its rows in either direction. A further table of information on the stones is held in the archive. [8,11] Stone Alignment Scheduled. [9] A rectangle of six stones 0.35 to 0.72 metres high, four with shallow erosion hollows. There is a cairn which may be associated 45 metres to the southwest (MSO6821). [10] The two stones at the west end are orientated north-east to south-west whereas the others are in line with the rows east to west. [12] Possible high astronomical significance. [13] The setting consists of six standing stones about 1 foot high forming a double stone row. The south pair are 12 feet apart, the centre pair are 11 yards from them and 13 feet apart. There are several smaller stones lying in the centre and to the west. Aligned east to west. No disturbance. [14] Scheduling affirmed with new national number (22 March 1996), was Somerset 376. [17] No change in site condition (1 September 1995). [18] A survey into the condition of the site records 4 of the 6 stones in erosion hollows, 3 of these are active (stones A, B and F). The erosion around F is severe enough to reveal the original packing and fill. Stone C is loose. [19] Topographic (gps) , resistivity and magnetometer surveys were undertaken over the area which showed that the stones were aligned along an outcrop of rock (apparent as high resistance and outcropping stones). Some of the outcrop (clitter) may also have been deliberately placed but this could not be confirmed by survey alone. Four additional pairs of stones were identified which may have formed part of a longer setting, or possibly an earlier one. The magnetic survey was dominated by ferrous objects presumed to be shell splinters from the use of area as a range in the Second World War. [20] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 8. [22] This site was subject to geophysical survey in 2014; however, results revealed few potential archaeological features, but have clarified the geological surroundings of the stone setting. [23] The site was surveyed in April 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. It was given a survival score of 3. [24] A stone setting comprising two parallel rows of 3 upright stones on a spur on East Pinford, overlooking the valley below. The individual stones vary in size but all stand upright and are between 0.8m and 0.35m in height. All stones were accounted for, including a large flat slab (‘Stone G’) found in the centre, which may be a natural stone. The surrounding ground is naturally very stony and the area is noted for numerous outcrops. The setting has remained relatively stable since it was first surveyed and is considered to be in a “very good” condition. Animal rubbing is apparent on the three largest Stones: A, D, and F, all of which are still firm in their settings but have erosion hollows. Stone C is the only stone slightly loose in its setting. [25-26] The site was surveyed as part of an academic research project by Dr Sandy Gerrard in 2016. Surveys were conducted using a prismatic compass and electronic distance device with the plan being generated in the field. [27] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [28] The site is included in a 2023 Condition Survey [29]

Sources/Archives (29)

  • <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. 543.
  • <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> Monograph: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Archaeology of Exmoor: Bideford Bay to Bridgwater. David and Charles Limited. P. 46-7 and 180.
  • <6> Index: Department of the Environment (IAM). 1978. List of Ancient Monuments of England and Wales 1978. P. 117.
  • <7> Index: Eardley-Wilmot, H. list of standing stones. II,4.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Field Investigators Comment. S Probert, 14 December 1988.
  • <9> Unpublished document: English Heritage. 1995. English Heritage Record Form. 24 November 1995.
  • <10> 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.
  • <11> Technical drawing: Probert, S.. 1988. East Pinford/ink survey . 1:1000. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <12> Unpublished document: Somerset County Council. Various. Somerset HER parish files - Exmoor records. PRN 33041.
  • <13> Unpublished document: Setterington, R. 24.08.83. Setterington, R to Somerset County Council 24.08.83 with plan.
  • <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 1).
  • <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. 50 (site 34).
  • <17> Unpublished document: English Heritage. 28.3.1996. English Heritage to Somerset County Council.
  • <18> Unpublished document: Somerset County Council. Various. Somerset HER parish files - Exmoor records. PRN 33038.
  • <19> Survey: Blackmore O A. 2002. Condition Survey of Standing Stones on Exmoor National Park Authority Owned Land.
  • <20> Report: Gillings, M., Pollard, J. + Taylor, J.. 2005. Topographic and Geophysical Survey at the Stone Settings of Tom's Hill and East Pinford, Exmoor.
  • <21> Photograph: Fletcher, M.J.. 1975. STONE SETTING - 6 STONES AT EXMOOR. 207/J/7. B/W.
  • <22> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park. Exmoor National Park Authority.
  • <23> Report: Mitcham, Doug. 2014. Geophysical surveys at East Pinford, Swap Hill and Parracombe Common in Exmoor National Park. 11-13.
  • <24> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015. Archaedia.
  • <25> Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. Exmoor National Park Authority. MSO6820.
  • <26> Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018 - Scheduled Standing Stones. MSO6820.
  • <27> Website: Gerrard, S.. 2020. The Stone Rows of Great Britain.
  • <28> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35220, Extant 11 May 2021.

External Links (2)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10902
  • Local Heritage List Status (Rejected)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SE7
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35220
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33041



Grid reference Centred SS 2797 1427 (21m by 13m)
Map sheet SS21SE

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Related Events/Activities (7)

Record last edited

Feb 15 2024 2:11PM


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