Prehistoric standing stone 695m north-west of Showery Tor

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011460

Date first listed: 08-Sep-1993

Map

Ordnance survey map of Prehistoric standing stone 695m north-west of Showery Tor
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Location

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

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: St. Breward

National Grid Reference: SX 14442 81824

Summary

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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 insight into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time. Standing stones are ceremonial monuments dating from the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age (c.2400-700 BC). They comprise single or paired upright slabs, ranging in height from under 1m to over 6m, where still erect. Standing stones are often conspicuously sited and sometimes are located in or on the edge of round barrows or cairns. Excavations have demonstrated sub-surface features adjacent to standing stones, including stone funerary cists, spreads of small pebbles and various pits and hollows filled in some cases with human bone, cremations, charcoal and domestic artefacts. Similar deposits have been found in excavated sockets for standing stones, which vary considerably in depth. Standing stones may have functioned as markers for routeways, territorial boundaries, graves and meeting points, but their adjacent features show that they also bore a ritual function, forming one of the several known ritual monument classes of their period. Estimates suggest that about 250 standing stones are known nationally, of which the 16 examples surviving on Bodmin Moor form an important sub-group. They are a long-lived class of monument, highly representative of their period and all examples except those which are extensively damaged are considered to be of national importance.

This standing stone on the north-west slopes of Showery Tor has survived well despite its marked lean due to sub-surface subsidence; it has not been excavated, damaged or moved from its original site and it will retain intact its sub-surface features, which the angle of lean indicates will extend to a considerable depth. Its proximity to a broadly contemporary sequence of settlement and funerary sites demonstrates well the developing organisation of land use and nature of ritual practices during the later Neolithic and Bronze Age.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes a prehistoric standing stone situated near broadly contemporary cairns, settlement sites and field systems on the north-western slope of the Showery Tor ridge on north-west Bodmin Moor. The standing stone survives as a slender granite slab, extending for 1.7m from its ground-fast base, where it measures 0.5m square in section, tapering to 0.25m square at its blunt terminal face. All surfaces and edges of the stone are considerably eroded, showing no traces of deliberate working or dressing. The slab has subsided markedly to lean towards the east at an angle of approximately 30 degrees from the horizontal. The maintenance of this considerable angle of lean without toppling indicates the substantial depth to which this stone is embedded in the ground. This standing stone is situated in an area noticeably lacking in large surface stones near the northern periphery of a dispersed and varied group containing at least twelve broadly contemporary funerary cairns superimposed upon an earlier prehistoric field system.

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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 15210

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
consulted 10/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcription for SX 1481,
consulted 10/1991, Cornwall SMR entries for PRN 3288 & 3293,
consulted 10/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 3303,

End of official listing