Ancient Monuments

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Porlock Allotment stone alignment and cairn, 450m west of Porlock stone circle

A Scheduled Monument in Porlock, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.1897 / 51°11'23"N

Longitude: -3.6605 / 3°39'37"W

OS Eastings: 284052.498591

OS Northings: 144700.24073

OS Grid: SS840447

Mapcode National: GBR L8.5BGY

Mapcode Global: VH5K1.HCP9

Entry Name: Porlock Allotment stone alignment and cairn, 450m west of Porlock stone circle

Scheduled Date: 27 March 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014268

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25225

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Porlock

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument includes a stone alignment which comprises two standing stones
and a partly buried stone, a large recumbent block, a cairn and the
archaeologically sensitive area between and around these features. The site
is located at the western end of the spur, 450m west of the Porlock stone
circle. The two standing stones and the partly buried stone form an
irregular alignment 8m long with the cairn which lies 18m to the south west. A
large recumbent block lies 10m to the north of the centre of the alignment
formed by the standing and buried stones and the cairn. The two standing
stones are leaning but set firm in the ground and are 1.9m apart. The
westernmost one measures 250mm high, 500mm wide and 120mm thick while the
eastern one is 500mm high, 400mm wide and 100mm thick. A stock generated
erosion hollow 100mm deep surrounds the easternmost stone. The buried stone is
of indeterminated size while the large recumbent block is 2.5m long by 2m wide
and earthfast. The cairn is 7m in diameter and 300mm at its highest point. A
central hollow on the top may mark the site of a previous part excavation
although no details are known.

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.

Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age
(c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds covering single or
multiple burials. These burials may be placed within the mound in stone-lined
compartments called cists. In some cases the cairn was surrounded by a ditch.
Often occupying prominent locations, cairns are a major visual element in the
modern landscape. They are a relatively common feature of the uplands and are
the stone equivalent of the earthen round barrows of the lowlands. Their
considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide
important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation
amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative
of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are
considered worthy of protection.
The Porlock Allotment stone alignment and cairn survive well and will retain
archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the use and development
of the monument. The importance of the Porlock Allotment stone alignment is
increased by its association with the Porlock stone circle to the east and by
the proximity of the Porlock Allotment 2 stone setting which lies to the south

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Quinnell, N V, Dunn, C J, Lithic Monuments within the Exmoor National Park: A New Survey, (1992), 61
Quinnell, N V, Dunn, C J, Lithic Monuments within the Exmoor National Park: A New Survey, (1992), 61

Source: Historic England

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