Ancient Monuments

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Beckham stone alignment and mound, 450m south east of the Long Combe sheep pen

A Scheduled Monument in Exmoor, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.1682 / 51°10'5"N

Longitude: -3.7087 / 3°42'31"W

OS Eastings: 280633.391627

OS Northings: 142381.846598

OS Grid: SS806423

Mapcode National: GBR L6.6Q9B

Mapcode Global: VH5K0.NWQV

Entry Name: Beckham stone alignment and mound, 450m south east of the Long Combe sheep pen

Scheduled Date: 28 March 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014283

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25211

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Exmoor

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument includes a stone alignment of three standing stones and six
recumbent stones, an earthen mound and the archaeologically sensitive area
between and around these features. The site is located on the north west
facing slopes of Beckham 450m south east of the Long Combe sheep pen. The
stones are arranged in a grid of three parallel rows of three defining a
rectangular area 10m by 12.3m orientated WNW-ESE. The whole site occupies an
area of 0.04ha. The standing stones are between 500mm and 700mm high and are
500mm wide and 100mm thick. One of these stones is in an erosion hollow that
is 200mm deep and is leaning 20 degrees to the south east. The recumbent
stones are between 450mm and 800mm long and 200mm and 300mm wide. The stone on
the south east corner of the setting has the letter W scratched onto it. The
inscription post dates the construction and main period of use of the
A low flat-topped earthen mound lies 10m to the south of the south east corner
of the stone alignment. The mound is 3.5m in diameter and 300mm high.

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 Beckham stone alignment survives well with little evidence of disturbance.
Its importance is enhanced by the proximity of two other lithic monuments in
the immediate vicinity. The monument will retain archaeological and
environment evidence relating to the use and development of the site.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Quinnell, N V, Dunn, C J, Lithic Monuments within the Exmoor National Park: A New Survey, (1992), 46
Quinnell, N V, Dunn, C J, Lithic Monuments within the Exmoor National Park: A New Survey, (1992), 46
McDonnell, R R J, (1993)

Source: Historic England

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