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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 35802

Hob Uid: 35802
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Withypool and Hawkridge
Grid Ref : SS8382034310
Summary : The remains of a stone circle standing on the south west slope of Withypool Hill. It is alleged that the circle once consisted of about 100 stones, but it now consists of around 25 upright stones and several fallen ones which remain close to their original positions. The stones average 0.5 metres high, 0.4 metres wide and 0.2 metres thick. The overall diameter of the circle is approximately 36 metres with a circumference of about 115 metres.
More information : [SS 83833430] Stone Circle (NR) (1)

A stone circle (diam 40 yds) on the SW slope of Withypoole Hill, 733 yds ESE of Portford Bridge. Remains consist of 37 stones (3) (but formerly there were c.100) 3.5 ft apart. (see plan) (2 & 3)

The remains consist of 29 earthfast stones set as the circumference of a true circle. The largest stone is 0.7m long by 0.2m thick and stands 0.5m above the ground but the majority of the others are considerably smaller. There is no trace of a bank, ditch, or any other feature associated with the stones. Surveyed at 1:2500. (4)

SS 837342. Stone Circle, Withypoole Hill. Scheduled. (5)

Additional Bibliography. (6 - 9)

SS 83833430. The remains of a stone circle, 36m in diameter are located on a moderate SW facing slope at about 385m OD on the SW side of Withypool Hill. The area, predominantly heather, has been recently swaled so the stones were clearly visible. (see plan at 1:100). It was first described by St George Gray in 1906. Thirty-seven stones out of a possible original total of about one hundred, were planned. Twenty-nine were recorded in 1965 and again in 1978. In 1989 twenty-seven earthfast uprights and three fallen stones were identified by RCHME. Stone 20a may simply be a residual packing stone. The majority of the uprights are about 0.1m high, 0.3m wide and 0.1m thick, with some very small exceptions; stone 26, for example, measures only 0.01m high, 0.17m wide and 0.02 m thick. Only four are reasonably large 2,12,15 and 24 and are about 0.5m high, 0.6m wide and 0.2m thick.

The RCHME plan follows the numbering on the 1906 survey, thus indicating former stones, such as 16 and 17, which are now lost.

On the early plan, two unnumbered hollows were shown at 2a and 31a; they are no longer visible (10).

SS 83823431. The remains of a stone circle standing on the south west slope of Withypool Hill. It is alleged that the circle once consisted of about 100 stones, but it now consists of around 25 upright stones and several fallen ones which remain close to their original positions. The stones average 0.5 metres high, 0.4 metres wide and 0.2 metres thick. The overall diameter of the circle is approximately 36 metres with a circumference of about 115 metres. Scheduled. (11)

Considering their dimensions it is perhaps unsurprising that the stones of the Withypool Hill stone circle are not visible on aerial photographs. However, the site can be easily seen on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards due to the footpath encircling the site and hollows around several of the stones, eroded by visitors to the site and livestock using the stone settings as rubbing posts. Hints of shadows within these hollows may be cast by the larger stones or simply the hollows indicating their former locations. The eroded path is up to 40 metres in diameter and over 120 metres in circumference. (12-14)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1962
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Source Number : 2
Source : Somerset archaeology and natural history : the proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society
Source details : H St George Gray - 1906 with plan
Page(s) : 43-50
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Vol(s) : 52
Source Number : 11
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 24-Feb-04
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Source Number : 12
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 160G/UK/1655 (F20) 3295-6 11-JUL-1946
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Source Number : 13
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SS/8334/1 (18009/16) 19-MAR-1998
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Source Number : 14
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SS/8334/5 (15885/30) 19-MAR-1998
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Source : Withypool Hill Stone Circle/ink survey
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Source : Lithic monuments within the Exmoor National Park: a new survey for management purposes
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Source Number : 3
Source : South and west Somerset
Source details : 1958
Page(s) : 350
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Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 GHP 01-SEP-65
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Source Number : 5
Source : List of ancient monuments in England: Volume 1, Northern England; Volume 2, Southern England; Volume 3, East Anglia and the Midlands
Source details : DOE (IAM) AMs Eng 2 1978 119
Page(s) : 119
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Vol(s) : 2
Source Number : 6
Source : The Yorkshire archaeological journal
Source details : 1916-17 Appendix
Page(s) : 5
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Vol(s) : 24
Source Number : 7
Source : The archaeology of Somerset
Source details : Arch of Somer, County Arch Series 1931 60 (D P Dobson)
Page(s) : 60
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Source Number : 8
Source : The Archaeological Journal
Source details : H St George Gray - 1950
Page(s) : 87
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Vol(s) : 107
Source Number : 9
Source : The stone circles of the British Isles
Source details : 1977
Page(s) : 300,347,348
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Source Number : 10
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : RCHME Field Investigation, 06-JAN-1989, IS Sainsbury.
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Late Neolithic
Display Date : Late Neolithic
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date :
Monument Type : Stone Circle
Evidence : Structure
Monument Period Name : Bronze Age
Display Date : Bronze Age
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date :
Monument Type : Stone Circle
Evidence : Structure

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 34299
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : SO 36
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 35720
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : HER Number (Exmoor National Park)
External Cross Reference Number : MSO8682
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 83 SW 1
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SS 83 SW 1
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1965-09-01
End Date : 1965-09-01
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2007-04-01
End Date : 2009-07-01
Associated Activities : Primary, WITHYPOOL STONE CIRCLE
Activity type : MANAGEMENT SURVEY
Start Date : 2008-01-01
End Date : 2008-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT WITHYPOOL HILL
Activity type : MANAGEMENT SURVEY
Start Date : 2017-01-01
End Date : 2017-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT WITHYPOOL HILL
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2017-01-01
End Date : 2017-12-31