Reasons for Designation
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.
The Taston standing stone appears to have survived undisturbed despite its
location close to the centre of the village. The ground immediately beneath
and around the stone will contain archaeological and environmental evidence
relating to its construction and use.
The stone's location has partially determined the development of the adjacent
land boundary and, in association with the nearby village cross, it forms the
focus of the village green.
The monument includes a prehistoric standing stone situated 12m north of the
village cross in Taston. The stone is located to the north east of the village
green on a roadside verge.
The western broad face of the stone measures 0.8m at its base and tapers to
0.2m at the apex which is 2.1m above the present ground level. It has a depth
of 0.48m and forms an upright wedge-shaped monolith, leaning slightly to the
east. It is free standing although a later north-south boundary wall runs 0.3m
to the east of it. This boundary wall respects the stone and detours around
it. A margin is included in the scheduling for the stone's protection.
Excluded from the scheduling is the boundary wall to the east and the surface
of the road to the west, both of which encroach upon the area of the
protective margin; where they impinge upon it, the ground beneath both these
features is included.
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.