Prehistoric stone setting 62m north-west of the Stannon Stone Circle


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
St. Breward
National Grid Reference:
SX 12506 80070

Reasons for Designation

Bodmin Moor, the largest of the Cornish granite uplands, has long been recognised to have exceptional preservation of archaeological remains. The Moor has been the subject of detailed archaeological survey and is one of the best recorded upland landscapes in England. The extensive relict landscapes of prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval date provide direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the earliest prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, field systems, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains provides significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time.

Ritual stone settings are one of several known types of ceremonial monument dated to the later Neolithic and Early Bronze Age (c.2500-1600 BC). They are a diverse group of monuments characterised by their incorporation of several upright slabs arranged in various patterns over a closely defined area, though not forming a straight line. The patterns range from staggered lines and arcs to large end-set slabs surrounded by smaller slabs and blocks. The settings may also incorporate small mounds and banks of heaped rubble in close association with the slabs. Stone settings are poorly understood monuments incorporating elements present in other, better known, forms of prehistoric ritual and funerary sites, notably standing stones and cairns. Five such monuments have been identified on Bodmin Moor, of which three are located close to major groupings of other prehistoric ceremonial monuments.

This stone setting near the Stannon Stone Circle has survived well and has not been excavated. Its proximity to the various other broadly contemporary ritual and funerary monuments on this spur demonstrates well the nature and diversity of ceremonial activity among prehistoric communities. Its proximity to the Stannon Stone Circle and its linear relationship with that and the Louden Stone Circle more closely defines its links with that wider grouping of ritual monuments and provides important and rare information on the nature of stone settings as a class of monument.


The monument includes a prehistoric ritual stone setting situated near the broadly contemporary Stannon Stone Circle on the north-west edge of a broad spur between Dinnever Hill and Louden Hill on north-west Bodmin Moor. The stone setting is visible as a staggered linear arrangement of four small end-set granite slabs situated on the lower slope of the spur below a flat shelf on which the stone circle is located. The northern two slabs of the setting are situated 1.25m apart on a north-south axis; the northern slab stands 0.75m high and measures 0.5m wide by 0.25m thick; the southern slab stands 0.8m high and measures 0.45m wide by 0.4m thick. The greater width of each of these northern slabs is set transversely to the axis of the pair. The southern two slabs in the setting are situated 2m apart on a NNW-SSE axis, with their northern slab located 1.8m south-west of the southern slab in the northern pair. The southern two slabs are smaller, each measuring 0.3m wide by 0.2m thick, with their greatest width roughly in line with the axis of the pair. The northern slab of this pair stands 0.4m high and the southern stands 0.35m high. All of the slabs have extremely weathered surfaces. The monument is located within one of several areas on Bodmin Moor that contain unusually large groupings of prehistoric ritual and funerary monuments. Beyond this monument, these include the Stannon Stone Circle, 62m to the south-east, the Louden Stone Circle, 900m to the south-east, and the Fernacre Stone Circle, 2km to the ESE. This monument is directly on the alignment between the Louden and Stannon Stone Circles, extended to the north-west of the latter. Broadly contemporary funerary monuments on this spur, from 240m to the south-east, include two cairns and a free-standing burial cist, a slab-built, box-like structure. Other phases of prehistoric exploitation of the spur produced an irregular field system extending south and east from the Stannon Stone Circle, and a series of linear boundaries that cut across the field system. A prehistoric hut circle settlement is located on the northern slope of the spur, from 185m to the ESE, with another hut circle situated 142m to the WNW.

MAP EXTRACT 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.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Barnatt, J, Prehistoric Cornwall: The Ceremonial Monuments, (1982)
consulted 1993, Carter, A./CAU/RCHME, 1:2500 AP plots and field traces for SX 1279-80 & SX 1379,
consulted 1993, Johnson, N.D. & Rose, P.G./CAU, Field Survey Record Card: Stannon South; Context 24, & PRN 3352, (1984)
Title: Cornwall Arch. Unit 1:50 survey plan; GRE 25/6 Source Date: 1990 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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