MSO7891 - Culbone Stone, Culbone Hill (Monument)


An inscribed stone of possibly 7th to 9th Century date at Culbone Hill, found and reerected in 1940. It measures 0.65 metres high, and has a wheel cross incised in its southeastern face.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

SS 8315 4732. In 1939-40 a cross-decorated stone of the 7th to 9th Century was found in a wood near the Culbone and Porlock historic parish boundary. It was over 3 foot long, a slab of local Hangman Grit, with an obliquely placed incised ring cross having a projecting stem. It was reerected in 1940 at the spot where it was found with 2 foot showing above ground. [1] The stone, as described by Grinsell, is in dense woodland at SS 8321 4736. It falls in Porlock parish, but is so close to the Culbone/Porlock boundary that this would seem to have been mered to the stone. Surveyed at 1:2500 (not on publication document). [2] SS 8320 4736. It is speculative as to whether the inscribed cross and circle was removed from the stone row 40 metres to the north (MSO7893), as it is very similar in size to the larger stones of that row. [3] ST (should be SS) 832 474. Incised stone west of Stent Hill. [4] A sandstone block, known as the Culbone Stone, found and re-erected in 1940. It is 0.65 metres high, 0.44 metres wide and 0.19 metres thick. A wheel cross is incised on its south-eastern face, 0.11 metres in diameter and cut to a depth of 0.004 metres. The lower right arm of the cross has been extended beyond the circle for 0.07 metres. This extension is wider, shallower and more crudely cut, perhaps it is a later addition. [6,7] An inscribed cross is also visible on one of the stones of the adjacent stone row (MSO7893). [8] The cross is on the east face of the stone, which lies on or near the parish boundary. A rubbing was taken of the cross and location fixed. [9] No sign of disturbance. [10] No change - still in good condition. [11] A standing stone bears an incised cross in a circle; a 'wheeled cross', which is a Christian symbol. The wheeled cross stone may have served as a marker of the direction of the parish boundary. [13] In private ownership. [15] The location of the stone is on or near to the Oare/Porlock parish boundary. Oare incorporates the former parish of Culbone. [16] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 0. [17] The site was surveyed in June 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. It was given a survival score of 0. [18] A tapering rough upright stone measuring 0.7 by 0.42 by 0.18 metres, situated amongst woodland on a permitted path. It has been inscribed with a 7th to 9th Century wheel cross on its southern face, close to the tip of the stone. It may have once come from the nearby stone row (MSO7893). The stone is also very close to the parish boundary between Oare and Porlock. The condition has not changed since the last assessment in 2015. [19] Such simple monuments could be assigned to an early date, to the high Mediaeval, or even post-Mediaeval periods. [20] The stone was photographed in 1996 and 1999 by RCHME. [21,22] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [22]

Sources/Archives (23)

  • <1> Monograph: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Archaeology of Exmoor: Bideford Bay to Bridgewater. David and Charles Limited. P.139, 146. Plate P.126.
  • <2>XY Unpublished document: Quinnell, N.V.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 8 September 1976. [Mapped feature: #37868 ]
  • <3> Article in serial: Fowler, M.J.F.. 1988/1989. The Standing Stones of Exmoor: A Provisional Catalogue of 62 West Somerset Sites. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 132. P.1-13 (Oare 4).
  • <4> Unpublished document: Various. Scheduled Monument Notification . Department of the Environment, England 2 (1978) 122.
  • <5> Monograph: Eardley-Wilmot, H.. 1983. Ancient Exmoor: A Study of the Archaeology and Prehistory of Exmoor. The Exmoor Press. Microstudy C2. P.33-34.
  • <6> 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.
  • <7> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 11 January 1990.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 29 July 1997.
  • <9> Technical drawing: Historic Buildings Council. Plan and Drawing of Stone.
  • <10> Report: Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission. Field Monument Warden Report.
  • <11> Verbal communication: Various. 1900-. Somerset County Council / South West Heritage Trust staff comments. E Dennison, Somerset County Council, 3 October 1986.
  • <12> Article in serial: Vowles, A.. 1940. Discovery of an Early Christian symbol. West Somerset Free Press.
  • <13> Article in serial: Mold, E.T.. 1983. Culbone Hill Stones. Exmoor Review. 24. pp 67-69. P.67-69.
  • <14> Article in serial: Burrow, I., Minnitt, S. + Murless, B.. 1981. Somerset Archaeology 1980. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 125. P.96.
  • <15> Verbal communication: Various. 1900-. Somerset County Council / South West Heritage Trust staff comments. Somerset County Council Planning.
  • <16> Verbal communication: Various. 1993-. Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Team staff comments. F Glover, 18 October 2010.
  • <17> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
  • <18> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015. Archaedia.
  • <19> Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. MSO7891.
  • <20> Monograph: Cramp, R.. 2006. Corpus of Anglo-Saxon stone sculpture. Oxford University Press. Volume VII. p191.
  • <21> Photograph: Hesketh-Roberth, M.. 1996. Job: Culbone Woods/Inscribed Stone. Unknown. Negative.
  • <22> Photograph: Hesketh-Roberth, M.. 1999. Job: Culbone Stone. Negative.
  • <23> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35920, Updated 22 February 2022.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11476
  • Local List Status (No)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 NW15
  • National Park: Exmoor
  • NBR Index Number: 2K/00005
  • NBR Index Number: 96/01628
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35920
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33853



Grid reference SS 8321 4735 (point) Estimated from sources
Map sheet SS84NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Related Articles (1)

Record last edited

Feb 22 2022 12:28PM


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