MSO9189 - Prehistoric stone setting at the north end of Codsend Moor (Monument)


A prehistoric stone setting comprises at least 7 stones all about 0.5 metres high, in two loose groups.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

In an enclosed area of rough pasture, part of Codsend Moors, are two groups of standing stones. SS 88204117. Three post type stones, 0.5 metres high are set upright, each with packing stones at the base. They form a triangular pattern with sides of 40.0 metres to 50.0 metres with no intermediate stones. Although widely spaced they are unlikely to be either boundary or rubbing stones and by analogy with others on Exmoor are probably of prehistoric origin. SS 88364110. A stone setting 100.0 metres long, oriented westnorthwest to eastsoutheast and apparently the remains of a double row, the northern comprising five stones and the southern four stones. They vary from ground level protrusions to 0.5 metres in height, both posts and slabs. Other loose blocks in the vicinity may have been displaced from the rows or may be natural `clitter'. Both groups are set on a slight west slope. Surveyed at 1:2500 onto Field Document. [1] (Centred SS 88204117) Stones (NR) (Centred SS 88364110) Stones (NR). [2] Seven standing stones situated on sloping ground at the north end of Codsend Moor. Six are located within enclosed land on rough pasture which was close-cropped at the time of survey; conditions were ideal for identifying any hidden or fallen stones. The seventh stone stands in open moorland. Five are post-type uprights (A-E), F is a surface block and G is a pyramidal upright. "A" SS 8819 4120. 0.5 metres high, of rough, rectangular transverse section approximately 0.22 by 0.14 metres. This stone is leaning to the south. "B" SS 8822 4119. 0.5 metres high, of diamond-shape transverse section approximately 0.22 by 0.14 metres. "C" SS 8822 4114. 0.51 metres high, of squarish section but extremely eroded. Approximately 0.15 metres thick. "D" SS 8831 4121. 0.7 metres high, of roughly diamond-shape section approximately 0.35 by 0.27 metres. It has a slight lean to the east. "E" SS 8833 4111. 0.56 metres high, of rectangular section approximately 0.23 by 0.14 metres. This stone leans to the south. "F" SS 8835 4111. 0.5 metres high, of irregular section approximately 0.43 by 0.3 metres. A second flat stone lies against it on the north west. "G" SS 8841 4108. 0.55 metres high, of oval section. Approximately 0.42 by 0.24 metres. There are no further stones which can be directly associated with these seven. "I" and "H" are scatters of medium and large size surface stones, apparently natural with no obvious candidates for inclusion in possible alignments and any number of which could be picked to suggest an alignment: there seems little validity in the latter exercise. The seven stones form two loose groups; A, B and C; E, F and G; with D apparently alone. The two groups of three are not intervisible due to a local rise in ground level between them. E, F and G form a rough alignment. D has common visibility between the two groups. These stones are probably the few remnants of prehistoric stone setting(s) though the field evidence is now not sufficient to suggest their original formations and alignments. [3] SS 88284114. First recorded in 1974 as a setting or double row with nine stones extending over 100 metres, together with a triangular setting 100 metres to the northeast. The pattern is now considered uncertain with only three stones of the supposed row acceptable; (see plan) E, F and G lie at SS 88364110. Stones A, B and C at SS 88204117 form the triangle, and another D, stands at SS 88314121 beyond the hedge on the north. All are quite firm and about 0.5m high. With the exception of stone F, they are surrounded by erosion hollows. [4] The stone which lies on open moorland (stone D) was surveyed using differential GPS as part of the RCHME East Exmoor Project, giving a national grid reference of SS 88309 41205. [5] Row of six standing stones, average height 0.6 metres, together with several smaller stones just visible above the ground, extending northwest to southeast over 200 metres. Located on west facing hill side 950 metres southwest of Dunkery Beacon. Sketch plan shows they cannot be classified as an alignment or setting. [6] Not mentioned by Eardley-Wilmot. [7] The site was visited during the 2017-2018 Standing Stone Condition Survey in September 2018. The site has been subjected to “rapid deterioration” since the last survey. 1 stone (Stone A) is now missing, and 2 stones have been damaged and are now recumbent (Stone D and E). The remaining stones (B, C, and G) are appreantly being used as rubbing posts for livestock and are all leaning, with Stone G exhibiting signs of instability. Stone E, which is situated close to a vehicle track, appears to have been knocked recumbent suddenly, leaving a visible socket in the turf. Stone D, which is situated alone in the open access moorland to the north has received extensive damage and is now recumbent in two pieces, with futher material possibly buried under the turf. Stone D was revisited in October the same year alongside the National Trust, to confirm the identification and damage. [11-12]

Sources/Archives (12)

  • <1> Unpublished document: Quinnell, N.V.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, 28 October 1974.
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1978. 1:10,000 Map, 1978. 1:10,000.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Pattison, P. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, 25 February 1988.
  • <4> Monograph: Quinnell, N.V. + 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. 35; site SS84SE20.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Riley, H.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 1997.
  • <6> Article in serial: Fowler, MJ. 1988. The Standing Stones of Exmoor. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 132. 1-13 (Cutcombe 1); Figure 2.
  • <7> Index: Eardley-Wilmot, H. 1983. list of standing stones.
  • <8> Map: RCHME. 1:2500 and 1:100.
  • <9> Monograph: McDonnell, R.. Notes and Sketch Plans on the: Lithic Monuments within the Exmoor National Park: A New Survey for Management Purposes by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England.
  • <10> Survey: Codsend Moor Part 3/ink survey . 1:1250. General: Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <11>XY Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. MSO9189. [Mapped features: #38643 ; #45142 Stone B from the Codsend Stone Setting., Stone B; #45143 Stone C from the Codsend Stone Setting., Stone C; #45144 Stone D from the Codsend Stone Setting., Stone D; #45145 Stone E from the Codsend Stone Setting., Stone E; #45146 Stone F from the Codsend Stone Setting., Stone F; #45147 Stone G from the Codsend Stone Setting., Stone G]
  • <12> Report: Fuller, J. 2018. Codsend Stone D Site Visit 03/10/18.



Grid reference Centred SS 8829 4114 (274m by 168m)
Map sheet SS84SE

Finds (0)

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Related Events/Activities (4)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11966
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SE20
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 36016
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 34580

Record last edited

Dec 17 2018 1:43PM


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