Ancient Monuments

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Almsworthy Common: a stone alignment 560m south west of Chetsford Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Exford, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.1628 / 51°9'46"N

Longitude: -3.6559 / 3°39'21"W

OS Eastings: 284306.512204

OS Northings: 141696.409632

OS Grid: SS843416

Mapcode National: GBR L8.75MV

Mapcode Global: VH5K7.L13F

Entry Name: Almsworthy Common: a stone alignment 560m south west of Chetsford Bridge

Scheduled Date: 4 April 1949

Last Amended: 29 April 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015017

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25229

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Exford

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument includes 14 standing stones, a recumbent stone and the
archaeologically sensitive areas between and around those features. The site
is located on the gentle south east facing slope of Almsworthy Common 560m
south west of Chetsford Bridge. The alignment is made up of four rows, each
with a slightly different orientation but generally aligned north west to
south east. Each row has three or four stones in it with the longest row of
four stones on the north east side extending for 30m. The monument covers
0.09ha. The standing stones are between 100mm and 700mm high, 200mm to 700mm
wide and 100mm to 250mm thick. The recumbent stone lies on the north side of
the setting and is 400mm long, 300mm 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.
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 Almsworthy Common stone slignment survives well with little disturbance
and will retain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the
construction 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), 37
Gray, H St G, 'Proc Som Arch Nat Hist Soc' in Rude Stone Monuments of Exmoor, , Vol. 77, (1931), xv

Source: Historic England

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