MSO6840 - Prehistoric stone setting on Exe Plain (Monument)


A stone setting comprising two or three stones which may be the remains of a larger group. The stones lie in an area of scattered natural surface stone, making it difficult to identify other stones which may belong to the setting.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

(SS 7498 4262) On Exe Plain opposite Old Cot, Lat 51 deg 10' 7.5" Long 3 deg 47' 18.75". Two stones only, probaly the remains of a larger group; there are some indications that a quadrilateral existed here. The larger stone stands 2 feet high (see plan AO/63/194/1). [1] Centred SS 7496 4263. A stone setting of two stones, one 0.6 metres high, the other fallen, situated on a fairly steep west slope. The area immediately to the east is strewn with small rock outcrops and natural earthfast stones and so it is impossible to identify other "erected" stones. Surveyed at 1:2500 on PFD. [2,3] SS 7496 4264. A stone setting located 55 metres to the east of a redundant field bank in a wet, peaty area covered by coarse grass and rush. The stones lie in the midst of an area of scattered natural surface stone and outcrop, on a slight terrace on a moderate western slope just in front of the steep fall to Hoaroak water. The two stones previously identified A in the southeast and B in the northwest remain in place, with a possible third stone C to the southeast. The upright stone A forms the centre of a line of three. Stone C is however of uncertain origin, it could be natural outcrop but is included because of the alignment it makes with A and B. The line lies slightly across the contour. A and B are 10.9 metres apart whilst A and C are 16.9 metres apart. It cannot be stated with any certainty whether this is a row or part of a setting. There are no indications of any other stones in the immediate vicinity which may once have been upright. [3] A further table of information on the stones is held in the archive. [7] SS 74993 42616. The remains of a possible stone setting basically as described by Pattison [3]. Only one stone (the upright A on the 1:100 survey of 1990 [3], measuring 0.55 metres high, 0.15 metres wide and 0.12 metres thick), can be definitely accepted as a true `set' stone. There is so much loose, half-embedded and outcropping rock in the vicinity that the other two stones are extremely doubtful. (Uphill, 50 metres to the east of stone A, [4] notes a "possible cairn, about 5 paces across, with some good retaining upright stones in place". No cairn was found and this is most probably a misinterpretation of some of the natural stones in the area). Survey action: Stone A surveyed at 1:2500 by GPS. [4,5] One of five settings around the upper Hoaroak Valley having the same or perpendicular alignment. [8] Site scheduled on 22 March 1996. [9] Both stones are now recumbent. The RCHME survey in 1992 describes Stone A (0.6 metres long by 0.15 metres wide) as standing but leaning by at least 15 degrees. This stone has now fallen. [10] The site could not be located during the Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009. [12] This site is mentioned in the 2013 report by Hazel Riley, a field survey and synthesis of previous projects in the Hoaroak Valley, funded by the Exmoor Moorland Landscape Partnership Scheme. [13] 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. [14] A setting of 3 stones arranged in a row, with only 2 discovered in recent surveys. Stone A stands upright amongst thick rushes and 10m to the north is Stone B, a recumbent post. The site is situated on a west-facing slope on Exe Plain opposite Old Cot. Stone C could not be located with confidence as there is a general spread of surface stone just 8m to the south.Stone A is the only stone subject to rubbing, although moss growth indicates that this is not frequent. [15-16] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [17] The site is included in a 2023 Condition Survey [18]

Sources/Archives (18)

  • <1> 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. 545.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Fletcher, M.J.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 5 February 1975.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Pattison, P. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 18 January 1990.
  • <4> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. M Walker, 28 May 1992.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 3 May 1995.
  • <6> Article in serial: Fowler, MJ. 1988. The Standing Stones of Exmoor. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 132. 1-13 (Exmoor 8).
  • <7> 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. SS74SW9. P.41.
  • <8> Unassigned: Preece, A.. 1994. [Possible personal communication with Somerset County Council].
  • <9> Unpublished document: English Heritage. 28.3.1996. English Heritage to Somerset County Council.
  • <10> Survey: Blackmore O A. 2002. Condition Survey of Standing Stones on Exmoor National Park Authority Owned Land.
  • <11> Photograph: Fletcher, M.. 1975. STANDING STONE AT EXMOOR - PROBABLY THE REMAINS OF A LARGER GROUP. 207/J/17. B/W.
  • <12> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park. Exmoor National Park Authority.
  • <13> Report: Riley, H.. 2013. Hoaroak Valley: Historic landscape survey and analysis. Hazel Riley. 29.
  • <14> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015. Archaedia.
  • <15>XY Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. Exmoor National Park Authority. MSO6840. [Mapped features: #45582 Stone A., MSO6840; #45583 Stone B., MSO6840]
  • <16> Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018 - Scheduled Standing Stones. MSO6840.
  • <17> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35349, Extant 11 January 2022.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10890
  • Local Heritage List Status (Rejected)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW9
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35349
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33029



Grid reference Centred SS 275e+ 1426e (36m by 36m) (3 map features)
Map sheet SS21SE

Finds (0)

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Related Events/Activities (5)

Record last edited

Feb 15 2024 2:15PM


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