Ancient Monuments

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Exe Plain stone alignment 425m north east of the sheepfold

A Scheduled Monument in Exmoor, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.1692 / 51°10'9"N

Longitude: -3.7897 / 3°47'22"W

OS Eastings: 274969.542068

OS Northings: 142628.586624

OS Grid: SS749426

Mapcode National: GBR L3.6MR6

Mapcode Global: VH5JZ.8WC2

Entry Name: Exe Plain stone alignment 425m north east of the sheepfold

Scheduled Date: 22 March 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014262

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25219

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Exmoor

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument includes a stone alignment orientated north west to south east
and the archaeologically sensitive area between and around the stones. The
monument is situated on the north west facing slopes of Exe Plain, 425m north
east of the sheepfold in an area of naturally outcropping rock. The row is
27.8m long and includes two standing, one fallen stone. The stone at the north
west end has fallen and is 600mm long, 300mm wide and 150mm thick. The middle
stone is 10.9m to the south east of the fallen stone and is 550mm high, 150mm
wide and 120mm thick. This stone, though earthfast, is leaning slightly and
has a stock generated erosion hollow around its base 100mm deep. The third
stone lies 16.9m to the south east on the same alignment and is 200mm high,
500mm wide and 150mm thick.

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

Exmoor is the most easterly of the three main upland areas in the south
western peninsula of England. In contrast to the other two areas, Dartmoor and
Bodmin Moor, there has been no history of antiquarian research and little
excavation of its monuments. However, survey work has confirmed a comparable
richness of archaeological remains with evidence of human exploitation and
occupation from the Mesolithic period to the present day. The well-preserved
and often visible relationships between settlement sites, major land
boundaries, trackways and ceremonial and funerary monuments give insight into
successive changes in the pattern of land-use through time.
Stone alignments or stone rows consist of upright stones set in a single line,
or in two or more parallel lines, up to several hundred metres in length. They
are often sited close to prehistoric burial monuments, such as small cairns
and cists, and to ritual monuments, such as stone circles, and are therefore
considered to have had an important ceremonial function. Stone alignments were
being constructed and used from the Late Neolithic period to the Middle Bronze
Age (c.2500-1000 BC) and provide rare evidence of ceremonial and ritual
practices during these periods. The recorded examples on Exmoor form an
important subgroup of the total population and are considered to be of
national importance.

The Exe Plain stone alignment survives well and will retain archaeological and
environmental evidence relating to its use and development.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Quinnell, N V, Dunn, C J, Lithic Monuments within the Exmoor National Park: A New Survey, (1992), 41
Chanter, , Worth, , 'Rep Trans Dev Assoc' in The Rude Stone Monuments Of Exmoor And Its Borders, Part I., , Vol. 37, (1905), 375-397

Source: Historic England

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