MSO6845 - Saddle Stone (Monument)


A boundary stone that marked the boundary between Devon and Somerset and the edge of the Forest of Exmoor, and is recorded in Domesday. It may be the stone recorded at Saddle Gate in 2021.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

SS 7150 4349. Saddle Stone (Boundary Stone) (NAT) [1] The Saddle Stone was a boundary stone which stood originally at the northwest corner of Exmoor Forest (SS 7148 4353) and was removed thence within living memory. It is shown here on the 'Map of Exmoor' of 1675, name Sadler Stone, and appears to be a natural recumbent stone, somewhat saddle-shaped. Its existence is first recorded in 1651, as Sadley Stone, in a Survey of Exmoor Chase. Variant spellings of Sadlers Stone, Sadlerstone and Saddle Stone appear in lawsuit documents of 1678, but the latter form was accepted by the 18th Century. [2,3] According to MacDermott (ap425) the Saddle Stone, one of the original Devon/Somerset County Boundary marker stones, which was also a marker for the boundary of Exmoor Forest, used to be situated at SS 7149 4355 'the corner of the forest, some eighty yards below and north of the gate known as Saddle Stone Gate. The stone is depicted on a 1675 'Map of Exmore' (a. frontispiece) annotated Sadler Stone, however this sketch map does not locate its position precisely [2]. On the Lynton Tithe Map [4] there is a sketch map 'Saddlers Stone' with the note '12 or 15 stone weight'. It is not clear on the map exactly where the stone is situated however this sketch implies it was still extant in 1840 although MacDermot (p425) states that it disappeared 'more than 90 years ago' (ie about 1820). At SS 7148 4357 a stone is shown on the 1887-88 Ordnance Survey six inch map [1] about 20 metres north of the original site of the Saddle Stone but this appears to have been no more than a minor way marker and not the actual Saddle Stone itself. There is no trace of a stone at, or near, this position now. At SS 71505 43480, to the east of Saddle Gate and 2.5 metres to the north of an enclosure bank lies an earthfast stone. It is basically rectangular (0.6 metres by 0.4 metres and 0.3 metres high) with a peak at either end and a central hollow (or 'saddle'?). The annotation 'Saddle Stone' appears in this area on the 1887-88 Ornance Survey six-inch map [1] but the scale is too small to see the portrayal of the actual stone so its exact position cannot be verified. Though this does not look particularly like the tithe sketch it could perhaps be the Saddle Stone, however MacDermot (p349) says that though always marked as 'Saddle Stone' by the Ornance Survey, this is unlikely to be the original stone. Note: this stone should not be confused with a tall stone gatepost (SS 71502 43476) in the bank at the west side of Saddle Gate which has an Ordnance Survey benchmark engraved on it. [5] The Saddle Stone, or Saddler's Stone, is recorded in Domesday as Estandona. The stone was held by Ralf de Pomeray, the boundary of whose lands it probably marked. Before the Conquest it was held by Algar the Priest. [6] Lies the western boundary of the Forest of Exmoor. [7] "Saddle Stone (B.S.)" is marked on the Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division map. [8] The stone mentioned by [5] at SS 71505 43480 is depicted on the 2021 MasterMap data and labelled "Saddle Stone (BS)". [10] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [11]

Sources/Archives (11)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1896. County Series, First Edition 6 Inch Map. 1:10560. 1891 (Surveyed 1887-88), Devon 7SW.
  • <2>XY Monograph: MacDermot, E.T.. 1973. The History of the Forest of Exmoor. David and Charles Limited. Revised Edition. 301-324 map. [Mapped feature: #46987 Original location of stone, ]
  • <3> Unassigned: Crawford, O. G. S.. 1927. MS Notes. Rec 6".
  • <4> Map: 1840. Lynton and Lynmouth Parish Tithe Map and Apportionment.
  • <5>XY Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 8 March 1995. [Mapped feature: #46988 Current "Saddle Stone", ]
  • <6> Monograph: Reichel, O. J.. 1928-1938. Hundreds of Devon: The Hundred of Shirwell in Early Times. 404, 465, 492.
  • <7> Article in serial: Rawle, E.J.. 1894. Final Perambulation of Exmoor Forest. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 40. 171-178. 175.
  • <8> Map: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1962. 6" SS74SW.
  • <9> Photograph: Hesketh-Roberth, M.. 1999. Exterior view looking south. Negative.
  • <10> Map: Ordnance Survey. 2021. MasterMap data. 1:2,500.
  • <11> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35493, Extant 19 October 2021.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS74SW/56
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 12266
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE1325
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20340
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11047
  • Local List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW57
  • National Park
  • NBR Index Number: 2K/00833
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35493
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33186



Grid reference Centred SS 7149 4351 (15m by 70m) (2 map features)
Map sheet SS74SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (0)

Record last edited

Oct 19 2021 12:22PM


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