Ancient Monuments

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Lanacombe 1: a stone setting and two cairns on the east side of Lanacombe

A Scheduled Monument in Exmoor, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.1712 / 51°10'16"N

Longitude: -3.7448 / 3°44'41"W

OS Eastings: 278118.131212

OS Northings: 142771.167015

OS Grid: SS781427

Mapcode National: GBR L5.6F4Z

Mapcode Global: VH5K0.1TNK

Entry Name: Lanacombe 1: a stone setting and two cairns on the east side of Lanacombe

Scheduled Date: 27 March 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014273

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25201

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Exmoor

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument includes a group of 11 standing stones, two recumbent stones, two
cairns and the archaeologically sensitive area between and around these
features. The site is located on the south east facing slopes of Lanacombe.
The stones are set out in a random manner with a cairn on both the east and
north east sides of the site which extends over 0.15ha. The stones are between
300mm and 650mm high, 220mm to 400mm wide and 200mm to 220mm thick. Two of the
standing stones have the letters TD inscribed on them and of these the one
associated with the cairn on the east side of the setting has, in addition,
the number 173 inscribed on its upper surface. These inscriptions post-date
the construction and use of the monument.
The cairn on the east side of the setting is an irregular shaped feature 4.5m
by 2.5m and 200mm high. The second cairn on the north east side of the setting
is 3m in diameter and 200mm high. Both cairns are constructed from small to
medium sized stones.

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 settings consist of a group of standing stones set out in an irregular
or random pattern. There are a number of such sites on Exmoor where they
appear to be a regional variation of the more common stone alignments. Stone
settings 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
settings 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. Due to their rarity and longevity as a
monument type all surviving examples are considered to be of national

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.
Lanacombe 1: a stone setting and two cairns on the east side of Lanacombe
survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence
relating to the development and use of the monument. Its importance is
enhanced by being part of a linear group of five similar sites. In
addition, the two associated cairns will have buried soils which will retain
palaeoenvironmental and dating evidence.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Quinnell, N V, Dunn, C J, Lithic Monuments within the Exmoor National Park: A New Survey, (1992), 44
Quinnell, N V, Dunn, C J, Lithic Monuments within the Exmoor National Park: A New Survey, (1992), 44
Title: Gray`s Ordnance Survey 6" Map sheet 33 SW
Source Date: 1905

Source: Historic England

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