Ancient Monuments

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Furzehill Common 3: a stone alignment and associated cairn 585m north west of Hoaroak

A Scheduled Monument in Brendon and Countisbury, Devon

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Latitude: 51.1811 / 51°10'51"N

Longitude: -3.8069 / 3°48'24"W

OS Eastings: 273804.18011

OS Northings: 143981.964102

OS Grid: SS738439

Mapcode National: GBR L2.5WZ5

Mapcode Global: VH4MH.YKTX

Entry Name: Furzehill Common 3: a stone alignment and associated cairn 585m north west of Hoaroak

Scheduled Date: 28 March 1996

Last Amended: 6 October 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021173

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25217

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Brendon and Countisbury

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Lynton St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument includes a stone alignment and terminal cairn running
diagonally across the gently rounded crest of Furzehill Common, lying
between the upper reaches of the Hoaroak Water and Warcombe Water. The
stone alignment, known as Furzehill Common 3, comprises at least ten
standing stones forming a row 66m long running in a slight curve from the
north west to the south east. All of the stones are very low and they vary
between 0.03m to a maximum of 0.2m in height, whilst widths vary between
0.13m to 0.34m. The stones are between 0.08m to 0.15m thick. Four stones
at the south east end of the row are set at an average of 2.5m apart, with
one stone perhaps missing from the centre of the group. There is a gap of
approximately 15m between this group and the other six known stones of the
row; it is possible that further stones lie hidden by peat in this gap.
The six stones of the north western end of the row vary in their spacing
but again hidden stones may account for this. At 7.5m beyond the last
recognised stone at the north west end of the row, and centred at
SS73784401, is a circular mound 5.7m in diameter and 0.4m high with an
offset depression 1.2m in diameter; some stone from the body of the mound
was visible. This feature is believed to be a terminal cairn indicating
the north west end of the stone alignment and is therefore considered to
be part of the monument.

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 others, Dartmoor and
Bodmin Moor, there has been no history of antiquarian research and little
excavation of its monuments. However, detailed survey work by the Royal
Commission on the Historical Monuments of England has confirmed a
comparable richness of archaeological remains, with evidence of human
exploitation and occupation from the Mesolithic period to the present day.
Many of the field monuments surviving on Exmoor date from the later
prehistoric period. Examples include burial mounds (`barrows'), standing
stones, stone settings and stone alignments. Stone alignments (also known
as stone rows) are rare on Exmoor and they can occur as single rows,
double rows, or, extremely rarely, as a combination of the two types. They
can vary in length from 12m to 420m, with the stones usually set at close
Stone alignments were being constructed and used from the Late Neolithic
period to the Middle Bronze Age (c.2500-1000BC) 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
all are considered to be of national importance.

The stone alignment and terminal cairn known jointly as Furzehill
Common 3, survives well and has been the subject of research by The
University of Exeter. It has been shown to be part of a complex of
standing stones, stone settings and burial cairns within an area of 1 sq
km around the upper reaches of the Hoaroak and Warcombe streams and is
indicative of a rich and complex prehistoric ritual landscape. The
monument will retain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to
its erection and the landscape in which it was constructed and there is
the potential for the discovery of further stones forming part of the

Source: Historic England


Condition assessment for Exeter Uni, Blackmore, O, Field Observation, (2001)
Dunn C J and Quinnell, N V, Lithic Monuments within the Exmoor National Park: a new survey, 1992, Unpublished report for RCHME

Source: Historic England

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