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

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014283

Date first listed: 28-Mar-1996

Map

Ordnance survey map of Beckham stone alignment and mound, 450m south east of the Long Combe sheep pen
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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: Exmoor

National Park: EXMOOR

National Grid Reference: SS 80632 42382

Summary

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 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.

History

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

Details

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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 25211

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

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
Other
McDonnell, R R J, (1993)

End of official listing