MSO6835 - Prehistoric stone setting at Benjamy (Monument)

Summary

A stone setting or double stone row at Benjamy above Ruckham Combe, containing up to eight stones.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

Approx SS 727 434. There is a double stone row at approx Latitude 51 degrees 10' 31": Longitude 3 degrees 49' 13.5" at Benjamy above Ruckham Combe. The west row has five stones and the east row has three. [1] As described, except for the southern stone of the west row which is missing. In his plan Chanter has reversed the measurements between the rows, thus making them converge to the north whereas they diverge. See GP AO/65/129/2 for photo of southern stone of eastern row. Surveyed at 1/2500 (divorced surveys). [2] The upright stones are from 0.2 metres to 0.7 metres high: the two sunken stones noted as doubtful by Worth are just traceable in the heather. [3] SS 7279 4343. A stone setting of probably eight stones on high ground above a steep west valley slope. The upright stones are from 0.2 to 0.7 metres high; the two sunken stones (noted as doubtful by Hansford Worth) are just traceable in heather. Surveyed at 1:2500 on PFD. The entry for Benjamy in Grinsell's list [3] has, apparently, a 1 kilometre error in the national grid reference. Thus, although it almost certainly applies to this site, it is described as at SS 737 433. There is no trace of a stone row or stone setting at the latter grid reference. [4,5] SS 7279 4343 Stones (NR). [6] A setting of five surviving upright stones; a sixth displaced stone probably from the north corner of the arrangement and other uncertain stones, one near east and two to the south-west. It resembles the remains of two rows aligned northeast to southwest and has been described as such [1]. The west row would be at least 16 metres long if Chanter and Worths two `sunken' stones to the southwest are accepted. If these sunken stones are ignored then it looks remarkably like a six post rectangular setting of maximum size 10 metres by 6 metres. The setting lies along the contour on a moderate, northwest facing slope close to the lip of a step fall into Ruckham Combe and is under rough grass with bracken and heather. The area is enclosed but not intensively exploited. From Thorn Hill there are clear views down the West Lyn valley to the northwest, otherwise the position of this setting is a secluded one, with the mass of Winaway and The Chains rising to the south. All stones are of local sandstones probably Hangman Grits. No traces visible of the two sunken and one doubtful stones shown in Chanter and Worths survey: H and J are to close to G to be the same stones, unless displaced. N.B. The grid reference provided by Grinsell at SS 737 433 was also noted by this Authority to be incorrect by 1 kilometer and instead to refer to the above site. [7,8] In May 1991 Mr Setterington reported a further stone 3.35 metres northeast of stone `C' and on the alignment of stones A to C. Said to be small but protruding from the turf. No further visit has been made by the RCHME. [9] Five uprights survive, 0.18 to 0.6 metres high. Two displaced stones. Severe erosion around four stones. [10] SS 7280 4343. A stone setting basically as described and planned at 1:100 by [6]. Stone 'F' has been moved slightly but is still prostrate in its hollow. A further stone 'L' reported but [7], has been surveyed on the revised plan at 1:100. It appears to be the top of a rectangular stone, about 0.25 metres by 0.20 metres, protruding some 0.03 metres out of the turf. It is on the alignment of A, B and C and is most probably the tip of an original stone. Survey action. 1:100 Survey [7] Revised. 1:2500 Survey by GPS. [11,12] May be boundary stones indicating the edge of the forest. [13] The site was surveyed in 2012. Of the 11 recorded stones, two were not located and the site of another was marked by an erosion hollow. All the stones were in good or fair condition but undergoing slow deterioration. [15] The site has been mapped on the HER's GIS mapping using the modern MasterMap data, which depicts seven stones. However, the site may extend further than the mapped area. [16] A stone setting or potential double stone row, situated at the top of the north facing spur of Thorn Hill on the northwest side of Benjamy. The 12 stones are orientated in two rows heading southwest to northeast, and vary significantly in size, it appears that many have been disturbed historically, largely by rubbing. Two stones were newly discovered this year (Stones L and M). There is also a possible cairn abutting Stone H in the row not included on previous surveys, but its identification is tentative. Generally MSO6835 is a in a “good” condition and has remained relatively stable since the last survey. The most active threat affecting the site is livestock, which have been lightly rubbing against all of the upright stones. Stone G has loosened within its socket, but it is not yet unstable. [17] The site was surveyed as part of an academic research project by Dr Sandy Gerrard in 2018. Surveys were conducted using a prismatic compass and electronic distance device with the plan being generated in the field. [18] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [19,20]

Sources/Archives (20)

  • <1> Article in serial: Chanter, J.F. + Worth, R.H.. 1905. The Rude Stone Monuments of Exmoor and its Borders. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 37. I. P. 394.
  • <2> Unpublished document: PALMER, JP. Mid 1960s. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 7 July 1965.
  • <3>XY Monograph: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Archaeology of Exmoor: Bideford Bay to Bridgewater. David and Charles Limited. P. 46 and 189. [Mapped feature: #47779 Erroneous grid reference provided by Grinsell, p46,189]
  • <4> Photograph: Fletcher, M.. 1975. STONE SETTING STANDING STONE AT EXMOOR. 207/J/15. B/W.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Fletcher, M.J.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F3, 4 February 1975.
  • <6> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1980. 1:10000 Map, 1980. 1:10000.
  • <7> Technical drawing: Pattison, P.. 1989. Thorn Hill/ink survey . 1:100. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Pattison, P. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 4 January 1989.
  • <9> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. Mr A Setterington.
  • <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: Sainsbury, I.. 1995. Thorn Hill stone setting/ink survey . 1:100. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <12> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 4 May 1995.
  • <13> Article in serial: Fowler, MJ. 1988. The Standing Stones of Exmoor. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 132. 1-13 (Exmoor 6).
  • <14> Unpublished document: Eardley-Wilmot, H. Eardley-Wilmot, H to Somerset County Council.
  • <15> Report: Pearce, G.. 2012. A Condition Survey of Selected Standing Stone Settings on Exmoor National Park Authority Owned Land. p44-48.
  • <16> Map: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap.
  • <17>XY Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. MSO6835. [Mapped features: #45570 Stone A., MSO6835; #45571 Stone B., MSO6835; #45572 Stone C., MSO6835; #45573 Stone D., MSO6835; #45574 Stone E and F., MSO6835; #45575 Stone G., MSO6835; #45576 Stone H., MSO6835; #45577 Stone J., MSO6835; #45578 Stone K., MSO6835; #45579 Stone L., MSO6835; #45580 Stone M., MSO6835]
  • <18> Website: Gerrard, S.. 2020. The Stone Rows of Great Britain.
  • <19> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35321, Extant 10 January 2022.
  • <20> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35482, Extant 10 January 2022.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7324 4337 (912m by 154m) (13 map features)
Map sheet SS74SW
Civil Parish EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (8)

External Links (3)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10882
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO12237
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO6841
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW3
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW52
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35321
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35482
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33021

Record last edited

Jan 10 2022 5:36PM

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