Lanacombe 1: a stone setting and two cairns on the east side of Lanacombe


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014273

Date first listed: 27-Mar-1996


Ordnance survey map of Lanacombe 1: a stone setting and two cairns on the east side of Lanacombe
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Somerset

District: West Somerset (District Authority)

Parish: Exmoor

National Park: EXMOOR

National Grid Reference: SS 78117 42770


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

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 settings consist of a group of standing stones set out in an irregular or random pattern. There are a number of such sites on Exmoor where they appear to be a regional variation of the more common stone alignments. Stone settings 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 settings 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. Due to their rarity and longevity as a monument type all surviving examples are considered to be of national importance.

Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds covering single or multiple burials. These burials may be placed within the mound in stone-lined compartments called cists. In some cases the cairn was surrounded by a ditch. Often occupying prominent locations, cairns are a major visual element in the modern landscape. They are a relatively common feature of the uplands and are the stone equivalent of the earthen round barrows of the lowlands. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. Lanacombe 1: a stone setting and two cairns on the east side of Lanacombe survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the development and use of the monument. Its importance is enhanced by being part of a linear group of five similar sites. In addition, the two associated cairns will have buried soils which will retain palaeoenvironmental and dating evidence.


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


The monument includes a group of 11 standing stones, two recumbent stones, two cairns and the archaeologically sensitive area between and around these features. The site is located on the south east facing slopes of Lanacombe. The stones are set out in a random manner with a cairn on both the east and north east sides of the site which extends over 0.15ha. The stones are between 300mm and 650mm high, 220mm to 400mm wide and 200mm to 220mm thick. Two of the standing stones have the letters TD inscribed on them and of these the one associated with the cairn on the east side of the setting has, in addition, the number 173 inscribed on its upper surface. These inscriptions post-date the construction and use of the monument. The cairn on the east side of the setting is an irregular shaped feature 4.5m by 2.5m and 200mm high. The second cairn on the north east side of the setting is 3m in diameter and 200mm high. Both cairns are constructed from small to medium sized stones.

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: 25201

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Quinnell, N V, Dunn, C J, Lithic Monuments within the Exmoor National Park: A New Survey, (1992), 44
Quinnell, N V, Dunn, C J, Lithic Monuments within the Exmoor National Park: A New Survey, (1992), 44
Title: Gray`s Ordnance Survey 6" Map sheet 33 SW Source Date: 1905 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing