The Whit Stones: two standing stones 230m west of Whitstone Post

Overview

Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
1014269
Date first listed:
01-Nov-1934
Date of most recent amendment:
27-Mar-1996

Map

Ordnance survey map of The Whit Stones: two standing stones 230m west of Whitstone Post
© Crown Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

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

County:
Somerset
District:
West Somerset (District Authority)
Parish:
Porlock
National Park:
EXMOOR
National Grid Reference:
SS 85330 46250

Reasons for Designation

Exmoor is the most easterly of the three main upland areas in the south western peninsula of England. In contrast to the other two areas, Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor, there has been no history of antiquarian research and little excavation of its monuments. However, survey work has confirmed a comparable richness of archaeological remains with evidence of human exploitation and occupation from the Mesolithic period to the present day. The well-preserved and often visible relationships between settlement sites, major land boundaries, trackways and ceremonial and funerary monuments give insight into successive changes in the pattern of land-use through time. Stone alignments or stone rows consist of upright stones set in a single line, or in two or more parallel lines, up to several hundred metres in length. They are often sited close to prehistoric burial monuments, such as small cairns and cists, and to ritual monuments, such as stone circles, and are therefore considered to have had an important ceremonial function. Stone alignments were being constructed and used from the Late Neolithic period to the Middle Bronze Age (c.2500-1000 BC) 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 are considered to be of national importance.

The `Whit Stones' standing stones survive well and will retain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the construction and use of the monument. Their identification as the `Whitestones' mentioned in the 13th century perambulations of the Royal Forest demonstrates their continuing importance as a feature in the landscape.

Details

The monument includes two standing stones, an earthen mound and the archaeologically sensitive areas between and around those features. The site is located on the east facing side of Porlock Common 230m west of Whitstone Post. The stones are 2.5m apart and are set with their long sides on a north-south alignment. Both stones are leaning at an angle of 60 degrees to the east. The northern stone is 850mm high, 900mm wide and 350mm thick. The southern stone is 900mm high, 1.65m wide and 35mm thick. It has an Ordnance Survey bench mark and stud on its west face. The mound lies 7m to the east of the southern stone. It is an irregular shape but is generally 6m in diameter and c.300mm high. A small hollow cut into the top on the north west side may mark the site of a previous part excavation although no details are known.

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:
25226
Legacy System:
RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Quinnell, N V, Dunn, C J, Lithic Monuments within the Exmoor National Park: A New Survey, (1992), 64
Quinnell, N V, Dunn, C J, Lithic Monuments within the Exmoor National Park: A New Survey, (1992), 64

Legal

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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