Standing stones forming a small stone circle on Standing Stones Rigg, 520m west of Ramsdale


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011962

Date first listed: 15-Nov-1934

Date of most recent amendment: 08-Aug-1995


Ordnance survey map of Standing stones forming a small stone circle on Standing Stones Rigg, 520m west of Ramsdale
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Scarborough (District Authority)

Parish: LCPs of Fylingdales and Hawsker-cum-Stainsacre


National Grid Reference: NZ 92062 03773


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

Reasons for Designation

Stone circles are prehistoric monuments comprising one or more circles of upright or recumbent stones. The circle of stones may be surrounded by earthwork features such as enclosing banks and ditches. Single upright stones may be found within the circle or outside it and avenues of stones radiating out from the circle occur at some sites. Burial cairns may also be found close to and on occasion within the circle. Stone circles are found throughout England although they are concentrated in western areas, with particular clusters in upland areas such as Bodmin and Dartmoor in the south-west and the Lake District and the rest of Cumbria in the north-west. This distribution may be more a reflection of present survival rather than an original pattern. Where excavated they have been found to date from the Late Neolithic to the Middle Bronze Age (c.2400-1000 BC). It is clear that they were carefully designed and laid out, frequently exhibiting very regularly spaced stones, the heights of which also appear to have been of some importance. We do not fully understand the uses for which these monuments were originally constructed but it is clear that they had considerable ritual importance for the societies that used them. In many instances excavation has indicated that they provided a focus for burials and the rituals that accompanied interment of the dead. Some circles appear to have had a calendrical function, helping mark the passage of time and seasons, this being indicated by the careful alignment of stones to mark important solar or lunar events such as sunrise or sunset at midsummer or midwinter. At other sites the spacing of individual circles throughout the landscape has led to a suggestion that each one provided some form of tribal gathering point for a specific social group. A small stone circle comprises a regular or irregular ring of between 7 and 16 stones with a diameter of between 4 and 20 metres. They are widespread throughout England although clusters are found on Dartmoor, the North Yorkshire Moors, in the Peak District and in the uplands of Cumbria and Northumberland. Of the 250 or so stone circles identified in England, over 100 are examples of small stone circles. As a rare monument type which provides an important insight into prehistoric ritual activity, all surviving examples are worthy of preservation.

The standing stones on Standing Stones Rigg represent the remains of a small stone circle. No trace exists of other stones in the ring, nor is there a sign of an enclosing bank or ditch. It is clear that there will be traces of both elements under the turf if they existed originally. These stones are also of interest since they form part of a large surviving area of Bronze Age activity, both burials and linear earthworks, covering the surviving extent of Low Moor. The monument survives well in spite of the collapse of the northern stone. All the stones are probably in their original positions and will give a good indication of the reasons for the orientation of the stones when such orientations are better understood. The relationship of the stones to the barrows to the west and south east will also have been preserved by the original orientation.


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


The monument includes a group of three standing stones on Standing Stones Rigg. The stones stand in open moorland surrounded by rough grass and bracken. There are two bowl barrows in the immediate vicinity. They are the only visible remains of a small stone circle at this location, although further evidence for this circle, including, possibly, holes from which other stones were robbed, will be preserved beneath the ground surface. The stones are gritstone boulders, unshaped but selected for a broad slabbed shape. They all face towards each other with the wide flat sides of the slabs inwards. The northern stone has fallen backwards towards the north. It was earthfast and measures 2.07m high, 1.48m wide and 0.62m deep. The stone on the south east side is earthfast and stands 5.5m from the northern stone. It measures 1.44m high and 0.94m wide. It is 0.38m deep. The stone on the south west side stands 5.5m from the northern stone and 10.5m from the south eastern stone. It is earthfast and measures 1.38m high, 1.08m wide and 0.44m deep.

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: 25678

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing