Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Standing stone 335m west of the Merry Maidens Stone Circle

A Scheduled Monument in St. Buryan, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.0647 / 50°3'52"N

Longitude: -5.5934 / 5°35'36"W

OS Eastings: 142937.917597

OS Northings: 24474.839

OS Grid: SW429244

Mapcode National: GBR DXKH.YJH

Mapcode Global: VH05P.0MCR

Entry Name: Standing stone 335m west of the Merry Maidens Stone Circle

Scheduled Date: 19 March 1970

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004359

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 670

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Buryan

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Buryan

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a standing stone, set into a field boundary, situated on a prominent ridge close to the source of a tributary to the Lamorna River. The standing stone survives as an upright, slightly leaning earthfast monolith measuring approximately 0.6m square at the base and tapering upwards to a height of 3m. Known locally as 'Goon Rith' it derives its name from the surrounding land and means 'The Red Down'. Partially excavated by Borlase in 187, only a single rounded pebble was found beside the stone.
Other archaeological remains in the vicinity are the subject of separate schedulings.

PastScape Monument No:-

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 335m west of the Merry Maidens Stone Circle survives well and will retain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its erection, longevity, ritual and territorial significance, relationship with nearby monuments and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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