Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Standing stone called The Broad Stone

A Scheduled Monument in Winterbourne Abbas, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.7118 / 50°42'42"N

Longitude: -2.5746 / 2°34'28"W

OS Eastings: 359528.232979

OS Northings: 90395.282003

OS Grid: SY595903

Mapcode National: GBR PV.8LRR

Mapcode Global: FRA 57H6.8TY

Entry Name: Standing stone called The Broad Stone

Scheduled Date: 15 October 1924

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002686

English Heritage Legacy ID: DO 34

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Winterbourne Abbas

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: The Winterbournes

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a now recumbent, standing stone, situated in the base of a dry relatively steeply sided valley. The standing stone survives as an earthfast Sarsen stone set into a roadside verge. It measures approximately 2.8m long, 1.5m wide and 0.5m thick. It has been suggested that the stone once formed part of a stone circle, a cairn circle or a possible chambered tomb which was apparently levelled to prevent road accidents from occurring as it lies close to a corner.
Further archaeological remains survive in the vicinity which are scheduled separately.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-451206

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Standing stones are prehistoric ritual or ceremonial monuments with dates ranging from the Late Neolithic to the end of the Bronze Age for the few excavated examples. They comprise single or paired upright orthostatic slabs, ranging from under lm to over 6m high where still erect. They are often conspicuously sited and close to other contemporary monument classes. They can be accompanied by various features: many occur in or on the edge of round barrows, and where excavated, associated subsurface features have included stone cists, stone settings, and various pits and hollows filled in with earth containing human bone, cremations, charcoal, flints, pots and pot sherds. Similar deposits have been found in excavated sockets for standing stones, which range considerably in depth. Several standing stones also bear cup and ring marks. Standing stones may have functioned as markers for routeways, territories, graves, or meeting points, but their accompanying features show they also bore a ritual function and that they form one of several ritual monument classes of their period that often contain a deposit of cremation and domestic debris as an integral component. No national survey of standing stones has been undertaken, and estimates range from 50 to 250 extant examples, widely distributed throughout England but with concentrations in Cornwall, the North Yorkshire Moors, Cumbria, Derbyshire and the Cotswolds. Standing stones are important as nationally rare monuments, with a high longevity and demonstrating the diversity of ritual practices in the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age. Despite being recumbent, the standing stone called The Broad Stone survives comparatively well and will retain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its function, longevity, ritual and funerary significance and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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