Beckham stone alignment and mound, 450m south east of the Long Combe sheep pen


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Beckham stone alignment and mound, 450m south east of the Long Combe sheep pen
© Crown Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2020. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1014283.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 22-Feb-2020 at 19:13:29.


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

West Somerset (District Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
SS 80632 42382

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 Beckham stone alignment survives well with little evidence of disturbance. Its importance is enhanced by the proximity of two other lithic monuments in the immediate vicinity. The monument will retain archaeological and environment evidence relating to the use and development of the site.


The monument includes a stone alignment of three standing stones and six recumbent stones, an earthen mound and the archaeologically sensitive area between and around these features. The site is located on the north west facing slopes of Beckham 450m south east of the Long Combe sheep pen. The stones are arranged in a grid of three parallel rows of three defining a rectangular area 10m by 12.3m orientated WNW-ESE. The whole site occupies an area of 0.04ha. The standing stones are between 500mm and 700mm high and are 500mm wide and 100mm thick. One of these stones is in an erosion hollow that is 200mm deep and is leaning 20 degrees to the south east. The recumbent stones are between 450mm and 800mm long and 200mm and 300mm wide. The stone on the south east corner of the setting has the letter W scratched onto it. The inscription post dates the construction and main period of use of the monument. A low flat-topped earthen mound lies 10m to the south of the south east corner of the stone alignment. The mound is 3.5m in diameter and 300mm high.

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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Quinnell, N V, Dunn, C J, Lithic Monuments within the Exmoor National Park: A New Survey, (1992), 46
Quinnell, N V, Dunn, C J, Lithic Monuments within the Exmoor National Park: A New Survey, (1992), 46
McDonnell, R R J, (1993)


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

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].