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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 35503

Hob Uid: 35503
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Exmoor
Grid Ref : SS7442042360
Summary : Two cairns visible as earthworks are situated on the SE upper slopes of Hoaroak Hill. The first, at SS 74394 42361, comprises a stoney mound measuring c. 7 metres in diameter and 0.5m high.It is well defined on the northern side but appears to have been considerably disturbed on the SW. The second, at SS 74423 42355 is c. 6 metres in diameter and 0.4m high. This mound has also been disturbed. Both mounds lie in an area of scattered natural stone making their profile a little more difficult to discern.
More information : A group of between eight and twelve possible hut circles, with lenghtsof low wall running from them, some along the contour and some uphill,were seen on a south-facing slope in Long Chains Combe (SS 7442) by
Arthur Phillips in 1980. (1)

This site was discovered by Phillips(a) in 1980. Eardley-Wilmot(1) thought that lengths of low walls running along the contour and some uphill, perhaps separated very small holdings of land.
SS7441 4236. The site described is on a natural shelf, thickly covered by rough grass and rushes, on the south-east upper slopes of Hoaroak Hill. It is about 435m above OD and the slopes to the south fall steeply down to the Hoaroak Water as it runs eastwards through Long Chains Combe. Centred about SS7442 4234, and rather untypical of Exmoor, is an area of scattered natural surface stone or scree, about 130m by 70m, running east/west along the shelf.
Within this area, at Ss 74394 42361 is a stony mound built from the scree and measuring about 7.2m in diameter and 0.4m high. It is well-defined around the northern periphery but appears to have been robbed, or mutilated, in the WS quadrant and there is a spread of tumble outside the NE. There is no definite kerb or any evidence of an entrance.
A similar mound of consolidated small stones is situated some 28m to the east at SS74423 42355. It is 6m N/S by 5.7m and 0.2m to 0.4m high. The central area is depressed and may have been robbed. There is no kerb or apparent break or entrance visible.
These stony mounds are obviously two of the features seen by the previous authorities and classified as 'houses'. No trace of the other 'houses', 'walls' or 'small holdings of land' was seen and these appear to be misinterpretations of the many scatterings of scree. The mounds are in a poor condition and it is difficult to be certain as to their exact purpose but it is doubtful if they are the remains of houses (or hut circles as implied) and it seems most probable that they are the remains of two prehistoric round cairns. Surveyed at 1:2500 by GPS.(2)
A subsequent visit to the site confirmed the interpretation given by source 2. The two stony mounds are clearly the remains of two prehistoric cairns, at least one of which may have been robbed. The surface clitter appears to be natural, although it is an unusual occurence on Exmoor. (3)

This site was revisited on 25 March 1997 by various interested parties, including Dr Roger Beck, Veryan Heal, Arthur Phillips, Chris Webster and Robert Wilson-North. The two cairns were identified, but no further archaeological features or structures were seen. However, some doubt remains as to the origin of the extensive areas of surface stone which occur here. (4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ancient Exmoor : a study of the archaeology and prehistory of Exmoor
Source details : 1983
Page(s) : 56
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Sainsbury I S 2-MAY-1995 RCHME Field Investigation
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Source Number : 2a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Phillips A 1980 Warden Pinkery Field Studies Centre
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : R WILSON-NORTH & CJ DUNN 1 AUG 96 RCHME FIELD INVESTIGATION
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Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : R WILSON-NORTH 25 MAR 97 RCHME FIELD INVESTIGATION
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Bronze Age
Display Date : Bronze Age
Monument End Date : -700
Monument Start Date : -2600
Monument Type : Hut Circle, Cairn
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Uncertain
Display Date :
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date :
Monument Type : Field Boundary
Evidence : Structure

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 33169
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 74 SW 65
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :