Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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A standing stone 110m south of Whitestone Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Ilfracombe, Devon

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Latitude: 51.1945 / 51°11'40"N

Longitude: -4.1544 / 4°9'15"W

OS Eastings: 249561.564824

OS Northings: 146126.990369

OS Grid: SS495461

Mapcode National: GBR KL.55D4

Mapcode Global: VH3PV.Y73M

Entry Name: A standing stone 110m south of Whitestone Farm

Scheduled Date: 24 October 1968

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003188

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 697

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Ilfracombe

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Lee St Matthew

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This monument includes a standing stone situated on the northern valley slopes of an unnamed river leading to Lee Bay. The standing stone survives as a single upstanding earthfast megalith measuring up to 2.8m high and approximately 21m in circumference. It is contains veins of quartz and is deeply embedded in the ground. It is known locally as 'Whitestone'.
Further similar monuments in the area are scheduled separately.

Sources: Devon HER:-216
PastScape Monument No:-33369

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. Consequently all undisturbed standing stones and those which represent the main range of types and locations would normally be considered to be of national importance. The standing stone 110m south of Whitestone Farm remains earthfast and there is no obvious record to indicate it has ever been moved or re-erected. There are at least three other standing stones in the vicinity and these are all located close to the coast. The presence of quartz within the stone appears to have had significance in prehistory and it is often found associated with ritual sites and in domestic settings. Such an impressive stone has been a landmark for a considerable period of time and it has lent its name to the nearby farm. It will be associated with archaeological remains relating to its erection, ritual use and significance, as well as environmental information concerning its landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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