Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Standing stone 815m west of St Breock Downs Farm

A Scheduled Monument in St. Wenn, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.4791 / 50°28'44"N

Longitude: -4.8581 / 4°51'29"W

OS Eastings: 197316.174883

OS Northings: 68265.817497

OS Grid: SW973682

Mapcode National: GBR ZS.1Z20

Mapcode Global: FRA 07QS.F6K

Entry Name: Standing stone 815m west of St Breock Downs Farm

Scheduled Date: 4 May 1962

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004653

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 358

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Wenn

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Breoke

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a standing stone, situated close to the summit of the prominent ridge known as St Breock Downs. The standing stone survives as a tall rectangular section upright monolith set into a low circular mound. The standing stone measures approximately 2.4m high, 1.4m wide and 0.6m thick and is set into a mound measuring up to 6m in diameter and 0.1m high.
The standing stone is one of two on St Breock Downs. This other standing stone, and further archaeological remains in the immediate vicinity, are the subject of separate schedulings.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-430297

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. The standing stone 815m west of St Breock Downs Farm has an elevated position and is associated with a second standing stone and other archaeological features such as bowl barrows, it survives well is set into a low mound and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its erection, function, longevity, territorial significance, ritual and funerary practices and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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