MSO6958 - Bronze Age ring cairn with later boundary marker on Benjamy (Monument)

Summary

A Bronze Age ring cairn is visible as a low circular turf covered stony bank 7.5 metres in diameter and up to 0.3m high. A stony mound in the interior supports a round topped slab, which is probably a later boundary marker.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

SS 7398 4354. A ring cairn, 7 metres to 8 metres in diameter, with a possible entrance gap on the southeast. It consists of a bank, about 0.3 metres high of sandstone lumps, with a neatly built inner face on the south and an arc of large boulders on the west. To the southwest of the centre is a cairn, 3 metres across, with a slab 0.5 metres high. This may be a medieval or later lesser meare stone defining the Forest boundary. [1] Largely complete circle of fairly closely packed small stones but with well established turf and grasses between. At the centre of the circle is a small group of stones with a large single stone standing upright 3 metres in diameter. [2] May be one of the boundary stones situated on the Somerset-Devon border marked on the Ordnance Survey 6 inch map. [3-4] The remains of a ring cairn situated at 495 metres Ordnance Datum in improved pastureland, on the gentle northeast facing lower slopes of Benjamy Hill, 230 metres due west of Hoaroak. It survives as a circular turf covered stony bank about 1 metre wide and of 0.3 metres maximum height. Composed of small stones, it has occasional larger spaced stones on the outer face to possibly a form of kerb. Two or three displaced stones lie to the west. The bank encloses a central area about 6.5 metres in diameter, apparently at natural ground level and on a minimal east slope. Around the west and south quadrants the outer scarp of the bank is almost obscured by soilwash, but the inner scarp is clearly evident. In the northeast an isolated 3 metre length is just discernable as an outer facing stony scarp. Two gaps in the bank are unlikely to be entrances. Within the enclosed area is an eccentrically positioned turf covered cairn of small stones, 2.5 metres in diameter and 0.2 metres maximum height. Near the centre is an embedded round topped slab 0.4 metres high, 0.35 metres wide and 0.1 metres thick. This stone is aligned with others along the county boundary and is clearly a boundary marker of medieval or later date. [5] SS 73982 43556. The remains of an apparent prehistoric ring cairn incorporating a boundary stone. The cairn is situated about 393 metres above Ordnance Datum, in improved pasture which is slowly reverting to rough grassland, on the gentle northeast facing lower slopes of Benjamy. It is evident as a low circular turf covered stony bank, 0.9 metres to 1.4 metres wide of 0.3 metres maximum height and some 7.5 metres in diameter between its centres. It has probably been ploughed through as it is reduced mainly to an inner facing scarp around the western side. The outer, uphill facing, scarp is barely discernible, its height reduced by soilwash. The northeast quadrant is visible only as about 3 metres of outer facing scarp. The bank encloses a central area 6.1 metres in diameter. Within this central area is an eccentrically placed turf covered stoney mound, about 2.5 metres diameter and 0.2 metres high, which suggests a round topped slab, 0.4 metres high. 0.35 metres wide and 0.1 metres thick, near its centre. This slab is on the alignment of stones running west to east across the slope which mark the Devon/Somerset County Boundary. It is also on line with two boundary stones of the 1819 allotment enclosures, 45 metres and 80 metres due south (See MSO6963). The slab is obviously a boundary marker, possibly of 19th century origin. It is not clear if the mound in which it stands is contemporary or if it is part of the prehistoric cairn which has been utilised to support the stone. The latter seems more probable. Surveyed at 1:2500. [6-8] The boundary stone is very similar and in line with two others (MSO6963) which form the boundary of a 19th Century enclosure. [9] A ring cairn 8.5 metres in diameter with a central mound 3 metres across containing a slab 0.4 metres high. The stone is aligned with others along the county boundary and is clearly a boundary marker of medieval or later date. [12]

Sources/Archives (12)

  • <1> Article in serial: Burrow, I., Minnitt, S. + Murless, B.. 1981. Somerset Archaeology 1980. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 125. P. 97.
  • <2> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information or Staff Comments. B Williams to ENPA, 10 February 1984.
  • <3> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information or Staff Comments. E Dennison, Somerset County Council, 26 March 1984.
  • <4> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 12 January 1989.
  • <6> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1896. County Series, First Edition 6 Inch Map. 1:10560. 1891, Devon 7(SW).
  • <7> Monograph: MacDermot, E.T.. 1911. The History of the Forest of Exmoor. Barnicott and Pearce, The Wessex Press. Between Pages 432 and 433 (Pages 429-30 in 1973 edition).
  • <8> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 28 June 1995.
  • <9> Unassigned: Unknown origin - original reference omitted from SMR..
  • <10> Article in serial: Fowler, MJ. 1988. The Standing Stones of Exmoor. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 132. 1-13 (Exmoor 22).
  • <11> Survey: Benjamy/ink survey . 1:100 + 1:1000 location map. General: Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <12> Monograph: RCHME . 1992. Lithic Monuments within the Exmoor National Park. SS74SW84 p53.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7397 4355 (10m by 8m) (Centred on)
Map sheet SS74SW
Civil Parish LYNTON AND LYNMOUTH, NORTH DEVON, DEVON
Civil Parish EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS74SW/67
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE8973
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11419
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO6974
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW 84
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 870487
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33792

Record last edited

Mar 24 2015 2:57PM

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