Standing stone immediately west of Higher Mattocks Down


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016972

Date first listed: 07-Jul-1999


Ordnance survey map of Standing stone immediately west of Higher Mattocks Down
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Dec-2018 at 01:10:51.


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

County: Devon

District: North Devon (District Authority)

Parish: East Down

National Grid Reference: SS 60346 43868


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

Reasons for Designation

Standing stones are prehistoric ritual or ceremonial monuments with dates ranging from the Late Neolithic to the end of the Bronze Age for the few excavated examples. They comprise single or paired upright orthostatic slabs, ranging from under lm to over 6m high where still erect. They are often conspicuously sited and close to other contemporary monument classes. They can be accompanied by various features: many occur in or on the edge of round barrows, and where excavated, associated subsurface features have included stone cists, stone settings, and various pits and hollows filled in with earth containing human bone, cremations, charcoal, flints, pots and pot sherds. Similar deposits have been found in excavated sockets for standing stones, which range considerably in depth. Several standing stones also bear cup and ring marks. Standing stones may have functioned as markers for routeways, territories, graves, or meeting points, but their accompanying features show they also bore a ritual function and that they form one of several ritual monument classes of their period that often contain a deposit of cremation and domestic debris as an integral component. No national survey of standing stones has been undertaken, and estimates range from 50 to 250 extant examples, widely distributed throughout England but with concentrations in Cornwall, the North Yorkshire Moors, Cumbria, Derbyshire and the Cotswolds. Standing stones are important as nationally rare monuments, with a high longevity and demonstrating the diversity of ritual practices in the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age. Consequently all undisturbed standing stones and those which represent the main range of types and locations would normally be considered to be of national importance.

Despite the fact that the standing stone immediately west of Higher Mattocks Down is now recumbent, it remains in its original position, is associated with nearby dispersed bowl barrows, and attests to the archaeological significance of this area. Any remaining socket, which, given the size of the stone, is likely to be close by, will retain archaeological and environmental information, as will the depression in which the stone now lies.


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


This monument includes a standing stone situated in an elevated upland location overlooking the valley of a tributary to the River Yeo. It survives as a recumbent standing stone which measures 2.8m long, 1.1m wide and 0.6m high and rests in a slight depression. It is very rough in appearance and a small piece 1.3m long, 0.5m wide and 0.5m high has weathered and fallen to the north.

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: 32217

Legacy System: RSM


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS64SW4, (1989)

End of official listing