Ancient Monuments

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Prehistoric stone setting 62m north-west of the Stannon Stone Circle

A Scheduled Monument in St. Breward, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.5902 / 50°35'24"N

Longitude: -4.6502 / 4°39'0"W

OS Eastings: 212505.816555

OS Northings: 80069.64977

OS Grid: SX125800

Mapcode National: GBR N5.D5BT

Mapcode Global: FRA 174H.XWL

Entry Name: Prehistoric stone setting 62m north-west of the Stannon Stone Circle

Scheduled Date: 21 March 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007765

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15280

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Breward

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Breward

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a prehistoric ritual stone setting situated near the
broadly contemporary Stannon Stone Circle on the north-west edge of a broad
spur between Dinnever Hill and Louden Hill on north-west Bodmin Moor.
The stone setting is visible as a staggered linear arrangement of four small
end-set granite slabs situated on the lower slope of the spur below a flat
shelf on which the stone circle is located. The northern two slabs of the
setting are situated 1.25m apart on a north-south axis; the northern slab
stands 0.75m high and measures 0.5m wide by 0.25m thick; the southern slab
stands 0.8m high and measures 0.45m wide by 0.4m thick. The greater width of
each of these northern slabs is set transversely to the axis of the pair. The
southern two slabs in the setting are situated 2m apart on a NNW-SSE axis,
with their northern slab located 1.8m south-west of the southern slab in the
northern pair. The southern two slabs are smaller, each measuring 0.3m wide by
0.2m thick, with their greatest width roughly in line with the axis of the
pair. The northern slab of this pair stands 0.4m high and the southern stands
0.35m high. All of the slabs have extremely weathered surfaces.
The monument is located within one of several areas on Bodmin Moor that
contain unusually large groupings of prehistoric ritual and funerary
monuments. Beyond this monument, these include the Stannon Stone Circle, 62m
to the south-east, the Louden Stone Circle, 900m to the south-east, and the
Fernacre Stone Circle, 2km to the ESE. This monument is directly on the
alignment between the Louden and Stannon Stone Circles, extended to the
north-west of the latter. Broadly contemporary funerary monuments on this
spur, from 240m to the south-east, include two cairns and a free-standing
burial cist, a slab-built, box-like structure. Other phases of prehistoric
exploitation of the spur produced an irregular field system extending south
and east from the Stannon Stone Circle, and a series of linear boundaries that
cut across the field system. A prehistoric hut circle settlement is located on
the northern slope of the spur, from 185m to the ESE, with another hut circle
situated 142m to the WNW.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Bodmin Moor, the largest of the Cornish granite uplands, has long been
recognised to have exceptional preservation of archaeological remains. The
Moor has been the subject of detailed archaeological survey and is one of the
best recorded upland landscapes in England. The extensive relict landscapes of
prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval date provide direct evidence for human
exploitation of the Moor from the earliest prehistoric period onwards. The
well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, field
systems, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains
provides significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land
use through time.

Ritual stone settings are one of several known types of ceremonial monument
dated to the later Neolithic and Early Bronze Age (c.2500-1600 BC). They are
a diverse group of monuments characterised by their incorporation of several
upright slabs arranged in various patterns over a closely defined area, though
not forming a straight line. The patterns range from staggered lines and arcs
to large end-set slabs surrounded by smaller slabs and blocks. The settings
may also incorporate small mounds and banks of heaped rubble in close
association with the slabs. Stone settings are poorly understood monuments
incorporating elements present in other, better known, forms of prehistoric
ritual and funerary sites, notably standing stones and cairns. Five such
monuments have been identified on Bodmin Moor, of which three are located
close to major groupings of other prehistoric ceremonial monuments.

This stone setting near the Stannon Stone Circle has survived well and has not
been excavated. Its proximity to the various other broadly contemporary ritual
and funerary monuments on this spur demonstrates well the nature and diversity
of ceremonial activity among prehistoric communities. Its proximity to the
Stannon Stone Circle and its linear relationship with that and the Louden
Stone Circle more closely defines its links with that wider grouping of ritual
monuments and provides important and rare information on the nature of stone
settings as a class of monument.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Barnatt, J, Prehistoric Cornwall: The Ceremonial Monuments, (1982)
consulted 1993, Carter, A./CAU/RCHME, 1:2500 AP plots and field traces for SX 1279-80 & SX 1379,
consulted 1993, Johnson, N.D. & Rose, P.G./CAU, Field Survey Record Card: Stannon South; Context 24, & PRN 3352, (1984)
Title: Cornwall Arch. Unit 1:50 survey plan; GRE 25/6
Source Date: 1990

Source: Historic England

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