Ancient Monuments

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Standing stones forming a small stone circle on Standing Stones Rigg, 520m west of Ramsdale

A Scheduled Monument in Fylingdales, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.4211 / 54°25'15"N

Longitude: -0.5827 / 0°34'57"W

OS Eastings: 492061.727867

OS Northings: 503772.739341

OS Grid: NZ920037

Mapcode National: GBR SKC9.NY

Mapcode Global: WHGBC.04TK

Entry Name: Standing stones forming a small stone circle on Standing Stones Rigg, 520m west of Ramsdale

Scheduled Date: 15 November 1934

Last Amended: 8 August 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011962

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25678

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Fylingdales

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Fylingdales St Stephen

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a group of three standing stones on Standing Stones
Rigg. The stones stand in open moorland surrounded by rough grass and bracken.
There are two bowl barrows in the immediate vicinity. They are the only
visible remains of a small stone circle at this location, although further
evidence for this circle, including, possibly, holes from which other stones
were robbed, will be preserved beneath the ground surface. The stones are
gritstone boulders, unshaped but selected for a broad slabbed shape. They all
face towards each other with the wide flat sides of the slabs inwards. The
northern stone has fallen backwards towards the north. It was earthfast and
measures 2.07m high, 1.48m wide and 0.62m deep. The stone on the south east
side is earthfast and stands 5.5m from the northern stone. It measures 1.44m
high and 0.94m wide. It is 0.38m deep. The stone on the south west side stands
5.5m from the northern stone and 10.5m from the south eastern stone. It is
earthfast and measures 1.38m high, 1.08m wide and 0.44m deep.

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

Stone circles are prehistoric monuments comprising one or more circles of
upright or recumbent stones. The circle of stones may be surrounded by
earthwork features such as enclosing banks and ditches. Single upright stones
may be found within the circle or outside it and avenues of stones radiating
out from the circle occur at some sites. Burial cairns may also be found close
to and on occasion within the circle. Stone circles are found throughout
England although they are concentrated in western areas, with particular
clusters in upland areas such as Bodmin and Dartmoor in the south-west and the
Lake District and the rest of Cumbria in the north-west. This distribution may
be more a reflection of present survival rather than an original pattern.
Where excavated they have been found to date from the Late Neolithic to the
Middle Bronze Age (c.2400-1000 BC). It is clear that they were carefully
designed and laid out, frequently exhibiting very regularly spaced stones, the
heights of which also appear to have been of some importance. We do not fully
understand the uses for which these monuments were originally constructed but
it is clear that they had considerable ritual importance for the societies
that used them. In many instances excavation has indicated that they provided
a focus for burials and the rituals that accompanied interment of the dead.
Some circles appear to have had a calendrical function, helping mark the
passage of time and seasons, this being indicated by the careful alignment of
stones to mark important solar or lunar events such as sunrise or sunset at
midsummer or midwinter. At other sites the spacing of individual circles
throughout the landscape has led to a suggestion that each one provided some
form of tribal gathering point for a specific social group. A small stone
circle comprises a regular or irregular ring of between 7 and 16 stones with a
diameter of between 4 and 20 metres. They are widespread throughout England
although clusters are found on Dartmoor, the North Yorkshire Moors, in the
Peak District and in the uplands of Cumbria and Northumberland. Of the 250 or
so stone circles identified in England, over 100 are examples of small stone
circles. As a rare monument type which provides an important insight into
prehistoric ritual activity, all surviving examples are worthy of

The standing stones on Standing Stones Rigg represent the remains of a small
stone circle. No trace exists of other stones in the ring, nor is there a sign
of an enclosing bank or ditch. It is clear that there will be traces of both
elements under the turf if they existed originally.
These stones are also of interest since they form part of a large surviving
area of Bronze Age activity, both burials and linear earthworks, covering the
surviving extent of Low Moor.
The monument survives well in spite of the collapse of the northern stone. All
the stones are probably in their original positions and will give a good
indication of the reasons for the orientation of the stones when such
orientations are better understood. The relationship of the stones to the
barrows to the west and south east will also have been preserved by the
original orientation.

Source: Historic England

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