Ancient Monuments

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West Middleton standing stones

A Scheduled Monument in Parracombe, Devon

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Latitude: 51.1962 / 51°11'46"N

Longitude: -3.9353 / 3°56'6"W

OS Eastings: 264873.852313

OS Northings: 145891.710447

OS Grid: SS648458

Mapcode National: GBR KX.4T21

Mapcode Global: VH4MF.Q6Y9

Entry Name: West Middleton standing stones

Scheduled Date: 24 October 1968

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002568

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 638

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Parracombe

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Parracombe Christ Church

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


Staddle stones set on terraces at West Middleton.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 10 November 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument includes staddle stones set on terraces situated immediately beside the farmyard at West Middleton on the upper slopes of a south western facing hill overlooking a valley of a tributary to the River Heddon. The staddle stones survive as two pairs of parallel rows of upright slabs and a further setting of six stones set on two level terraces. In all there are forty eight slate stones which measure approximately 0.5m in height and are of similar size and shape and fairly evenly spaced at approximately 2.5m apart. They are enclosed by field hedges to the north and east and a revetted field bank to the south and west. The uniformity of the stones, their general layout and proximity to the farmyard all indicate an agricultural use.

Further archaeological remains in the vicinity are the subject of separate schedulings.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Staddle stones are found throughout England and are often characteristically ‘mushroom’ shaped. Their purpose was to support an elevated building such as a granary to ensure the threshed grain remained fresh, air could circulate beneath the floor of the building and rising damp from the ground could be prevented. The mushroom shaped top deterred rats and mice from climbing up into the building. Staddle stones were also used to support other stored materials for the same reasons including hayricks and beehives. They are popular as garden features and have often been removed from their original positions. For this reason the staddle stones set on terraces at West Middleton are an unusual survival because they seem to be in their original location adjacent to a large farmyard and as such are worthy of protection. Although not traditionally mushroom shaped, they have great uniformity in layout and height indicating their intended purpose for off ground storage.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:-34664

Source: Historic England

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