Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Standing stone called the 'Long Stone' in the grounds of Penrice School

A Scheduled Monument in St Austell, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.336 / 50°20'9"N

Longitude: -4.7702 / 4°46'12"W

OS Eastings: 202958.95

OS Northings: 52118.715

OS Grid: SX029521

Mapcode National: GBR N0.XBHH

Mapcode Global: FRA 08W4.Z96

Entry Name: Standing stone called the 'Long Stone' in the grounds of Penrice School

Scheduled Date: 30 September 1957

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003269

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 517

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St Austell

Built-Up Area: St Austell

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Charlestown

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a standing stone, situated on a prominent ridge in an area of St Austell known as Mount Charles. The standing stone survives as an upright, earthfast monolith measuring approximately 3.6m high, 1.2m wide and 0.3m thick which tapers upwards. There were once over twenty barrows recorded in the vicinity and, for 1740 (according to Blight), some very advanced excavations were carried out by Stephen Williams who died a few months after the excavation. The results of these excavations were never fully published. Williams' work revealed the monolith was buried to a depth of at least 2.4m. The stone was first recorded by Norden in 1584 who described it as 'a verie loftie stone erected upon a hill, for some especiall note'. It was also recorded by most antiquarians including Borlase, Lake, Polwhele and Thomas. According to legend the stone was a giant's walking staff and called 'Tregeagle's Walking Stick'
The standing stone is Listed Grade II* (396594).

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-431246

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 partial early excavation, the standing stone called the 'Long Stone' in the grounds of Penrice School survives well and will have archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its erection, longevity, function, social organisation, territorial significance, ritual practices and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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