Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Long Chains Combe South: two standing stones 380m south west of the sheepfold

A Scheduled Monument in Exmoor, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.1643 / 51°9'51"N

Longitude: -3.7979 / 3°47'52"W

OS Eastings: 274387.187561

OS Northings: 142093.132976

OS Grid: SS743420

Mapcode National: GBR L2.6ZN6

Mapcode Global: VH5JZ.4Z2V

Entry Name: Long Chains Combe South: two standing stones 380m south west of the sheepfold

Scheduled Date: 28 March 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014279

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25207

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Exmoor

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument includes two standing stones and the archaeologically sensitive
area between and around them, located on a small ledge on the steep, southern
side of Long Chains Combe 380m south west of the sheepfold. The stones are 6m
apart and are orientated WNW/ESE. The north western one measures 300mm high,
150mm wide and 120mm thick while the south eastern one measures 530mm high,
250mm wide and 120mm 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.
Standing stones are prehistoric ritual or ceremonial monuments, with dates
ranging from the Late Neolithic to the end of the Bronze Age for the few
excavated examples. They comprise single or paired upright orthostatic slabs,
ranging from under 1m to over 6m high where still erect. They are often
conspicuously sited and close to prehistoric burial monuments such as small
cairns and cists. Standing stones may have functioned as markers for
routeways, territories, graves or meeting points, but their accompanying
features show they also bore a ritual function and that they form one of
several ritual monument classes of their period. Although standing stones are
widely distributed throughout England, the recorded examples on Exmoor form an
important subgroup of the total population and are considered to be of
national importance.

The Long Chains Combe South standing stones survive well and will retain
archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the development and use
of the monument.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Quinnell, N V, Dunn, C J, Lithic Monuments within the Exmoor National Park: A New Survey, (1992), 42

Source: Historic England

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