MSO6962 - Two prehistoric standing stones at Long Chains Combe (Monument)


Two prehistoric standing stones on the south side of Long Chains Combe are possibly the remains of a stone row or stone setting.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

SS 7438 4209 Stone Setting. Stone setting at SS 7438 4209 in Long Chain Combe. [1] Two stones situated on a rush covered spur at above 435 metres above sea level lie on the south side of Long Chains Combe where the ground drops steeply to Hoaroak Water. They are both sandstone blocks measuring 0.30 and 0.53 metres high, 0.15 and 0.25 metres wide and 0.09 and 0.20 metres thick respectively. Although there are other stones in the area these two have obviously been set in position and must be considered prehistoric along with SS 74 SW 94 and several other stone settings in the vicinity. [2,10] Two upright stones reported in 1989. The stones are 0.3 metres high and 0.53 metres high and sit in shallow erosion hollows. They are situated 6 metres apart. The stones may be remnants of a larger setting, though there are no signs of this. A further table of information on the stones is held in the archive. [3] Two stones A and B as described and planned at 1:100 [10]. Stone A (SS 7438 4209) is a thin sandstone post, 0.55 metres long, 0.15 metres wide east to west and 0.09 metres thick. It leans to the east and is 0.30 metres high, and has an erosion hollow. The hollow has a 0.5 metre radius and is 0.1 metres deep, around the west arc. Stone B (SS 74389 42096) is a rectangular sectioned sandstone slab, 0.53 metres high, 0.25 metres wide northeast to southwest and 0.20 metres deep. It has an erosion hollow 1.5 metres diameter and 0.2 metres deep. The stones are without doubt prehistoric but being only two stones it is impossible to say whether this is the remains of a short row or a larger setting. No other stones were seen in the vicinity. Surveyed at 1:2500 by GPS. [4] One of five settings around the upper Hoaroak valley aligned on the same pair of axes. [5] Stone B reported as very loose in dry weather. [6] Stone setting on a natural spur in an area of short grass surrounded by rushes. Stone A is a thin reddish ?sandstone pillar about 0.23 by 0.1 metres and 0.25 metres high. The stone is loose in the ground with a slight erosion hollow on the south side about 0.1 metres deep. Stone B is a reddish ?sandstone slab about 0.4 by 0.07 metres and 0.25 metres high. Again this stone is loose in the ground and within a circular erosion hollow about 1 metre in diameter and 0.2 metres deep. [7] Scheduled on 28 March 1996. [8] Stone B is in an active erosion hole. [9] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 0. [11] 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. [12] A pair of stones on an east to west alignment can be found on the second spur of the Chains, on a high plateau overlooking the valley. Both stones are fairly substantial, though they are both leaning to the east. To the north of the site is an area of stone which may have been a cairn, or perhaps a rocky outcrop. Stone B is currently being affected by animal rubbing, likely from cattle who graze the area. Stone A does not appear to be rubbed, but the evidence that livestock have been sleeping less than 1 metre away could cause some damage. [13-14] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [15]

Sources/Archives (15)

  • <1> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. M Walker, Barnstaple, 9 August 1989.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 19 January 1990.
  • <3> 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. SS74SW95. P. 42.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 14 June 1995.
  • <5> Unassigned: Preece A. 1993. [possible personal communication].
  • <6> Unassigned: Walker M. 1995. PRN 33038. 9 August 1995.
  • <7> Survey: Faxon, Keith. 1998. Record card from McDonnell, R. Pinkworthy Estate: An Archaeological Survey for Management Purpose. 21 September 1995.
  • <8> Unpublished document: English Heritage. 24/04/1996. English Heritage to Somerset County Council.
  • <9> Survey: Blackmore O A. 2002. Condition Survey of Standing Stones on Exmoor National Park Authority Owned Land.
  • <10> Technical drawing: Sainsbury, I.. 1990. Long Chains Combe (South)/ink survey . 1:100. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <11> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
  • <12> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015. Archaedia.
  • <13>XY Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. MSO6962. [Mapped features: #45734 Stone A., MSO6962; #45735 Stone B., MSO6962]
  • <14> Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018 - Scheduled Standing Stones. MSO6962.
  • <15> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 872199, Extant 13 January 2022.



Grid reference Centred SS 7438 4209 (8m by 2m) (2 map features)
Map sheet SS74SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO12224
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW95
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 872199
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 35289

Record last edited

Jan 13 2022 11:40AM


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