Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Wimblestone standing stone

A Scheduled Monument in Shipham, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.3226 / 51°19'21"N

Longitude: -2.8144 / 2°48'51"W

OS Eastings: 343344.755564

OS Northings: 158475.501949

OS Grid: ST433584

Mapcode National: GBR JF.WW7B

Mapcode Global: VH7CV.50HY

Entry Name: Wimblestone standing stone

Scheduled Date: 1 January 1900

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006137

English Heritage Legacy ID: SO 462

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Shipham

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


Standing stone called Wimblestone.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 27 August 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument includes a standing stone situated on a gentle west facing slope in the wide valley of the Towerhead Brook. The standing stone survives as an upright earthfast triangular monolith measuring approximately 1.8m high, 1.6m wide and 0.3m thick. Further stones are once thought to have been located nearby.

Local traditions state there is a treasure hidden beneath the stone and that the stone ‘walks’ when it either hears the clock strike twelve or between the hours of midnight and dawn and it is said that during its nocturnal wanderings a heap of shining gold has been seen glistening in the moonlight. Allegedly a farmer once tried to remove it with chains and two horses but failed.

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 called Wimblestone survives well with a rich local tradition and will retain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its erection, function, longevity, territorial significance, funerary and ritual practices and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:-194539

Source: Historic England

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