Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Holme Head standing stone 260m north west of Kitchenhill Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Penrith, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.7016 / 54°42'5"N

Longitude: -2.7832 / 2°46'59"W

OS Eastings: 349625.371621

OS Northings: 534349.002063

OS Grid: NY496343

Mapcode National: GBR 9G02.7C

Mapcode Global: WH814.62XZ

Entry Name: Holme Head standing stone 260m north west of Kitchenhill Bridge

Scheduled Date: 18 September 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018363

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27821

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Penrith

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Plumpton Wall St John the Evangelist

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes a prehistoric standing stone located on gently sloping
ground a short distance east of the west coast main line railway 260m north
west of Kitchenhill Bridge. The granite stone is roughly rectangular and
measures approximately 1.5m by 1.3m and up to 3m high. A number of packing
stones are visible at the standing stone's base.

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

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 lm to over 6m high where still erect. They are often
conspicuously sited and close to other contemporary monument classes. They can
be accompanied by various features: many occur in or on the edge of round
barrows, and where excavated, associated subsurface features have included
stone cists, stone settings, and various pits and hollows filled in with earth
containing human bone, cremations, charcoal, flints, pots and pot sherds.
Similar deposits have been found in excavated sockets for standing stones,
which range considerably in depth. Several standing stones also bear cup and
ring marks. 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 that often contain a deposit of cremation and
domestic debris as an integral component. No national survey of standing
stones has been undertaken, and estimates range from 50 to 250 extant
examples, widely distributed throughout England but with concentrations in
Cornwall, the North Yorkshire Moors, Cumbria, Derbyshire and the Cotswolds.
Standing stones are important as nationally rare monuments, with a high
longevity and demonstrating the diversity of ritual practices in the Late
Neolithic and Bronze Age. Consequently all undisturbed standing stones and
those which represent the main range of types and locations would normally be
considered to be of national importance.

Holme Head standing stone is a good example of this class of monument. It is
one of a number of prehistoric monuments located in the Penrith area including
henges, stone circles, long cairns, round cairns and other standing stones,
and thus indicates the importance of this area in prehistoric times and the
diversity of monument classes to be found here. It will contribute to any
study of the function of standing stones and to our understanding of the
prehistory of this area.

Source: Historic England


SMR No. 906, Cumbria SMR, Holme Head, (1984)

Source: Historic England

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