MSO8694 - Stonecist or Stonchiste, a Bronze Age barrow or cist used as a Royal Forest boundary marker (Monument)

Summary

The name "Stonchiste" and variants, recorded in Exmoor Forest boundary perambulations from 1279 onwards, has been thought to indicate the existence of a Bronze Age barrow or cist later reused as a boundary marker.

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Type and Period (3)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

SS 807 360, Exford 8. What "might or might not" have been a stone lined grave originally enclosed by a round barrow, referred to as `Stonecist' used as a boundary point on the Perambulation of the Forest in 1298 and 1301 known as `Stonechite' or `Stonhunt' in 1279, and `Stonchite' in 1298 as `Stonchute' in 1301, as `Stone Crest' or `Stone Ridge' in 1676 and 1689, as `Stone Christ' in 1678 and `Ridge Stone' in 1815. It was on or near the boundary of the parishes of Exford, Exmoor and Withypool. Another possibility is that it is a corrupt writing of Stanceastel, usually meaning the foundations of a Roman villa, but this seems improbable in a region where Roman remains are exceedingly rare. Site visited by Grinsell 23rd July 1969 when there were several large slabs in the vicinity. N.B. The Somerset HER record mentioned by the NRHE [6] in support of this record as [2] is included on the Exmoor HER as MSO11739. This information does not appear to be included in the latter record, which relates to a Bronze Age barrow and is some distance from either plotted location for this record. The correct PRN for this record was 35529, which has been merged with this record. [1-3] There is no trace of `large slabs' at or near SS 807 360 (the reference given by Grinsell in [1]) and it seems most likely that he is referring to the to the junction of the Exmoor/Exford/Withypool Parish boundaries on White Hill at SS 8068 3752 some 1500 metres due north. This is on the old Forest boundary and some years ago there was `a disturbance of large stones' [4] here on the northern side of the Exford/Withypoole boundary hedge. [5] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [6,7]

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1>XY Article in serial: Grinsell, L.V.. 1969. Somerset Barrows, Part 1: West and South. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Nat. 113. P. 4,13,16,17,32. [Mapped feature: #47439 Original grid reference supplied, ]
  • <2> Unpublished document: Somerset County Council. Various. Somerset HER parish files - Exmoor records. Somerset County SMR 34307 (MSO11739).
  • <3> Verbal communication: Various. 1993-. Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Team staff comments. Catherine Dove, 10 August 2021.
  • <4> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. H Eardley-Wilmot (Pers Comm), 9 July 1990.
  • <5>XY Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 9 January 1990. [Mapped feature: #47440 Possible correct grid reference, ]
  • <6> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 859204, Extant 10 August 2021.
  • <7> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35759, Extant 10 August 2021.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 806 367 (20m by 1520m) (2 map features)
Map sheet SS83NW
Civil Parish WITHYPOOL AND HAWKRIDGE, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET
Civil Parish EXFORD, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET
Civil Parish EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO12341
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO6788
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO6851
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO8672
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 NW11
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 NW49
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35759
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 859204
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 34307
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 35529

Record last edited

Aug 23 2021 3:30PM

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