MSO7120 - Late prehistoric stone setting on Hoaroak Hill (Monument)


A stone setting on the lower northeast slopes of Hoaroak Hill comprises about 11 stones in an irregular form, approximately 40 metres by 15 metres with the long axis downslope.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Stone setting of irregular form 300 metres above the sheepfold at Gammon's Corner. The setting consists of at least ten stones from 0.06 to 0.40 metres high, including two larger stones which may have stood up to 0.7 metres high, though one is leaning onto its edge and the other lies on the ground below a hollow from which it has probably been displaced. Overall dimensions are approximately 40 metres by 15 metres with the long axis downslope. The arrangement, orientation and siting of the stones is interestingly similar to the Exe Head (or The Chains Valley) setting just over 1 kilometre to the south (see MSO7121) The setting has two distinct parts, with a central large stone. The higher part on steeper ground has two arms, one curving with a hook, the other of a single stone. The lower part on gentler ground is more regular with an L-shape of three stones aligned on the central stone and orientated at right angles to the main axis. Site recorded in adverse conditions. [1] There is a number of stone settings nearby around this prominent valley, which seem to share the same orientation. [2] Eleven stones located in 1995 forming a roughly circular area with two outliers. [3] SS 7444 4294. This stone setting of eleven stones (A-K), is situated about 395 metres above ordnance datum in an area of rough grass on the lower north-east slopes of Hoaroak Hill. It is irregular in form, 40 metres northeast to southwest down the slope, by 14 metres and is almost certainly not complete. It has been deliberately set on a fairly steep slope overlooking the flatter plateau below it to the northeast. Tabulated information gives detail of stones. [4] Eleven stones in an area of rough grass on the lower slopes of Hoaroak Hill. It is irregular in form 40 metres northeast to southwest down the slope by 14 metres and is almost certainly not complete. It has been deliberately set on a fairly steep slope overlooking flatter land to the northeast. [5] 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. [6] A stone setting consisting of 10 -14 stones is situated on the north facing slopes of Hoaroak Hill, above the sheepfold. The most noticeable nearby feature is a small mound to the immediate west of the site, in an area of thick rushes. Only 8 stones were located during this survey, several of which were buried or concealed in the thick molinia over the site, including Stones 1, 6, and 8. Stone 10 was completely buried. Stones 3 – 10 are in a cluster towards the south of the site, and Stones 1 and 2 are situated approximately 15m northwards from this group. There is little actual damage to the stones themselves, but the site is incredibly difficult to locate amongst the thick vegetation. Wet weather may swell the peat further obscuring the site. Whilst livestock rubbing is not currently visible at this site, it was likely the cause of Stone 5’s recumbencey. [7]

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Report: Preece, A.. 1992. Archaeological Survey of the Upper Hoaroak Valley/ The Chains Valley Area, Exmoor Forest.
  • <2> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. Verbal Communication: APreece ,1992.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Somerset County Council. Various. Somerset HER parish files - Exmoor records. PRN 33038, M Walker, 1995.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 2 May 1995.
  • <5> Map: RCHME. 1995. 1:100 plan.
  • <6> Report: Riley, H.. 2013. Hoaroak Valley: Historic landscape survey and analysis. 29.
  • <7>XY Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. MSO7120. [Mapped features: #45701 Stone 1., MSO7120; #45702 Stone 3., MSO7120; #45703 Stone 4., MSO7120; #45704 Stone 5., MSO7120; #45705 Stone 6., MSO7120; #45706 Stone 8., MSO7120; #45707 Stone 9., MSO7120; #45708 Stone 10., MSO7120]



Grid reference Centred SS 7444 4294 (41m by 41m) (Surveyed)
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): MSO12239
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW105
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1043815
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 35304

Record last edited

Mar 10 2021 10:05AM


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