Ancient Monuments

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Prehistoric standing stone 695m north-west of Showery Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Advent, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.6066 / 50°36'23"N

Longitude: -4.6238 / 4°37'25"W

OS Eastings: 214442.088157

OS Northings: 81824.080324

OS Grid: SX144818

Mapcode National: GBR N7.C054

Mapcode Global: FRA 176G.GHB

Entry Name: Prehistoric standing stone 695m north-west of Showery Tor

Scheduled Date: 8 September 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011460

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15210

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Advent

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Breward

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a prehistoric standing stone situated near broadly
contemporary cairns, settlement sites and field systems on the north-western
slope of the Showery Tor ridge on north-west Bodmin Moor.
The standing stone survives as a slender granite slab, extending for 1.7m from
its ground-fast base, where it measures 0.5m square in section, tapering to
0.25m square at its blunt terminal face. All surfaces and edges of the stone
are considerably eroded, showing no traces of deliberate working or dressing.
The slab has subsided markedly to lean towards the east at an angle of
approximately 30 degrees from the horizontal. The maintenance of this
considerable angle of lean without toppling indicates the substantial depth to
which this stone is embedded in the ground.
This standing stone is situated in an area noticeably lacking in large surface
stones near the northern periphery of a dispersed and varied group containing
at least twelve broadly contemporary funerary cairns superimposed upon an
earlier prehistoric field system.

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 insight into successive changes in the pattern
of land use through time. Standing stones are ceremonial monuments dating
from the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age (c.2400-700 BC). They comprise single
or paired upright slabs, ranging in height from under 1m to over 6m, where
still erect. Standing stones are often conspicuously sited and sometimes are
located in or on the edge of round barrows or cairns. Excavations have
demonstrated sub-surface features adjacent to standing stones, including stone
funerary cists, spreads of small pebbles and various pits and hollows filled
in some cases with human bone, cremations, charcoal and domestic artefacts.
Similar deposits have been found in excavated sockets for standing stones,
which vary considerably in depth. Standing stones may have functioned as
markers for routeways, territorial boundaries, graves and meeting points, but
their adjacent features show that they also bore a ritual function, forming
one of the several known ritual monument classes of their period. Estimates
suggest that about 250 standing stones are known nationally, of which the 16
examples surviving on Bodmin Moor form an important sub-group. They are a
long-lived class of monument, highly representative of their period and all
examples except those which are extensively damaged are considered to be of
national importance.

This standing stone on the north-west slopes of Showery Tor has survived well
despite its marked lean due to sub-surface subsidence; it has not been
excavated, damaged or moved from its original site and it will retain
intact its sub-surface features, which the angle of lean indicates will extend
to a considerable depth. Its proximity to a broadly contemporary sequence of
settlement and funerary sites demonstrates well the developing organisation of
land use and nature of ritual practices during the later Neolithic and Bronze

Source: Historic England


consulted 10/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcription for SX 1481,
consulted 10/1991, Cornwall SMR entries for PRN 3288 & 3293,
consulted 10/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 3303,

Source: Historic England

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