MSO7339 - The Mound, Stoke Pero Common (Monument)


A 19th Century circular tree ring enclosure defined by a bank and external ditch and enclosed by a square enclosure with projecting "bastions" at each corner. It was used as a meeting place for the hunt and possibly built for the Acland family.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

[SS 8810 4311] The Mound (NAT). [1] Modern. [2] Scheduled under `Castles and Fortifications'. [3] A circular plantation bank, surrounded by a square bank which was originally surmounted by a hedge. [4] No change. [5] SS 880 431. A low broad bank continues the line of the southwest side of `The Mound' in a northwestern direction (MSO10116). [6] The earthwork known as "The Mound" is situated towards the eastern end of a broad spur, and consists of two distinct components. The first, a circular platform, 15 metres in diameter and 0.2 metres high, is enclosed by a bank 1.6 metres wide and 0.3 metres high, with an outer ditch of similar width and 0.2 metres deep. This circular work is then enclosed by the second component comprising a square work formed by a bank and ditch of similar proportions to the circle. The square has sides of about 28 metres, with a small circular extension, about 2 metres across, at each corner in the form of bastions. These small bastions may have influenced the scheduling of the earthwork as a "fort", a quite untenable classification. Apart from its inherent weakness it has no military potential, locally or in a wider geographical context, and no known historical association. The work is almost certainly an exotic form of tree ring, probably of 19th century date, and it is notable that it enclosed a group of conifers in the early part of this century, depicted on the Ordnance Survey 2nd Edition map [21]. Even so it occupies a prime position and may incorporate or occupy the site of a barrow or cairn. A quarry pit close to the east north east corner may be associated by way of augmenting material for the mound. [7] The Mound was surveyed at 1:500 scale in January 1997. It is clearly a tree ring comprising an exactly circular, embanked area 15.5 metres in diameter defined by a bank with external ditch. The interior of the circular area is uneven, due to disturbance by tree roots. The tree ring is enclosed by a square enclosure 27 metres across defined by a bank with slight external ditch. At each corner of the enclosure is a projecting bastion. The remnants of beech hedging are visible on the south-western arm of the enclosure bank. There is no doubt over the classification of the site as a tree ring, and little doubt that it was built in the 19th century by the Acland family. Its elaborate form is unusual, and this may be accounted for by the fact that it is a traditional meeting place for the hunt and it may have been created as such. The field boundaries nearby have been recorded separately under MSO7435. [8-10] A nineteenth century tree ring, known as `the Mound' on the northeastern tip of Stoke Ridge is clearly visible as an elaborate earthwork on aerial photographs. As described by the above Authorities, the monument comprises a circular plantation bank approximately 3 metres in width surrounded by a square earthwork bank of similar proportions, with unusual bastion style corners. From the evidence of the available aerial photographs, the circular bank appears to enclose an area closer to 17 metres in diameter, the square outer enclosure defining an interior circa 25 metres to a side. The quarry pit possibly associated with the tree ring is centred on circa SS 8811 4313 and is roughly 13 by 6 metres in size. The site has been transcribed as part of the Exmoor National Mapping Programme. [11-13] Circular plantation bank, surrounded by a square bank which was originally surmounted by a hedge. [14] Substantial stone and earth walling forming a rectangular enclosure with no discernible entrance and short buttressed corners, generally broken down. [14] The outer banks are 0.75 metres high and the ditch 0.5 metres deep. The bastions circa 0.25 metres. [16] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 9. [23] The site was surveyed in April 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. It was given a survival score of 7. [24] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [25]

Sources/Archives (25)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560.
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Map Collection Reference . Rec 6 inch (OGS Crawford, undated).
  • <3> Report: Depart of Environment. 1971. Ancient Monuments of England.
  • <4> Unpublished document: PITCHER, GHP. 1960s. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 21 June 1965.
  • <5> Verbal communication: Various. 1900-. Somerset County Council / South West Heritage Trust staff comments. E Dennison, Somerset County Council, 3 March 1986.
  • <6> Serial: Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 1851-. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. Volume 126 (1982), p 85.
  • <7> Unpublished document: Quinnell, N.V.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, 15 July 1987.
  • <8> Technical drawing: Wilson-North, R. and Riley, H.. 1997. The Mound/pencil survey. Unknown. Permatrace. Pencil.
  • <9> Technical drawing: Riley, H. and Wilson-North, R.. 1997. The Mound/ink survey . 1:500. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <10> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 22 January 1997.
  • <11> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. 106UK/1501 4089-90 (F20) (13 May 1946).
  • <12> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 543/2821 F64 153-4 (27 April 1964).
  • <13> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 84 SE. MD002185.
  • <14> Index: Ordnance Survey. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Record Card. 1978, SS84SE. 22.
  • <15> Unpublished document: McDonell, R. 1980. Site Visit Report 31/12/1980.
  • <16> Report: Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission. Field Monument Warden Report.
  • <17> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. 8843.
  • <18> Aerial photograph: 1947. LHL CPE/UK/1980. 3174.
  • <19> Aerial photograph: September 19. HSL.UK.71-177 Run 89. 8668.
  • <20> Aerial photograph: 1989. DAP LD 26.
  • <21> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-1907. County Series, 2nd Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <22> Monograph: Usmar, J.. 1990. Stoke Pero, Exmoor: Church and Parish. 3.
  • <23> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
  • <24> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015. Archaedia.
  • <25> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 36024, Extant 14 March 2022.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11322
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO150
  • Local List Status (Rejected)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SE22
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • National Trust HER Record
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 36024
  • Scheduled Monument (County Number): SOMER 209
  • Site of Special Scientific Interest
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33678



Grid reference Centred SS 8809 4311 (58m by 46m)
Map sheet SS84SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (4)

Related Articles (1)

Record last edited

Mar 14 2022 11:19AM


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