Almsworthy Common: a stone alignment 560m south west of Chetsford Bridge

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015017

Date first listed: 04-Apr-1949

Date of most recent amendment: 29-Apr-1996

Map

Ordnance survey map of Almsworthy Common: a stone alignment 560m south west of Chetsford Bridge
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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: Exford

National Park: EXMOOR

National Grid Reference: SS 84309 41698

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 Almsworthy Common stone slignment survives well with little disturbance and will retain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the construction and use of the monument.

History

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

Details

The monument includes 14 standing stones, a recumbent stone and the archaeologically sensitive areas between and around those features. The site is located on the gentle south east facing slope of Almsworthy Common 560m south west of Chetsford Bridge. The alignment is made up of four rows, each with a slightly different orientation but generally aligned north west to south east. Each row has three or four stones in it with the longest row of four stones on the north east side extending for 30m. The monument covers 0.09ha. The standing stones are between 100mm and 700mm high, 200mm to 700mm wide and 100mm to 250mm thick. The recumbent stone lies on the north side of the setting and is 400mm long, 300mm wide and 120mm thick.

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: 25229

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Quinnell, N V, Dunn, C J, Lithic Monuments within the Exmoor National Park: A New Survey, (1992), 37
Gray, H St G, 'Proc Som Arch Nat Hist Soc' in Rude Stone Monuments of Exmoor, , Vol. 77, (1931), xv

End of official listing