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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 36008

Hob Uid: 36008
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Luccombe
Grid Ref : SS8566041970
Summary : A stone row of 50 standing stones, located on the west-facing slopes of Honeycombe Hill. There is no evidence for a barrow or cairn at either end. It was previously alleged to represent the remains of a dilapidated field wall. Scheduled.
More information : A double stone row was reported on Wilmersham Common by Mr Corney who
found it in the winter of 1965.
The stone row is at SS 85654205, orientated SW/NE, on a west facing
slope. It is unique for Exmoor and most closely resembles the
Dartmoor rows. The 29 stones which form the row extend irregularly
over a length of 60.0m, and may be the remains of a double or even a
triple row. At each end there is a large stone 0.5m high, between
these the stones are merely 0.1 - 0.2m high, deeply enclosed in peat.
A curious feature is an apparently triple row extension which curves
from the NE end and again has a large stone at its NE extremity.
Surveyed at 1/2500. (1)

(SS 85604213) Stones (NR). (2)

Corney's row on Wilmersham Common runs uphill for about 60m very
irregularly, single and double, then swerves some 30 degrees and
spreads out into three or four twisting lines. The small stones pointacross as well as along the row, and three taller ones mark the ends
and the turning point. It has no obvious connection with water or anybarrow or mound. At first it seemed an authentic stone row but on
later visits Corney also noticed not far away on Honeycombe Hill, the
remains of old stone and earth banks forming a rectangle and a ring,
and a revetted straight bank of much the same length as the row (SS
84 SE 38). These suggested farming activity and a homestead. Recent
air photographs confirm these features and strengthen the alternative
hypotheses that the row is a dilapidated field wall of the same
period. (3)

A row of 29 stones, most in a fairly straight line, others arranged
in a manner suggesting a parallel row as at Yelland, while at the
higher NE end the row appears to become irregularly triple. The
stones at the NE and SW ends are larger and higher than the rest, a
characteristic of Dartmoor rows. There may or may not be traces of
an almost destroyed barrow at the higher end. The nearest approach
to a Dartmoor row so far found on Exmoor.(The '29' is an error for
the plan shows 47 stones). (4)

The Wilmersham Common row, centred at SS 8567 4195, is situated on a
gently west slope above the deep combe of Embercombe Water. The area
is now covered by deep heather but colour slides of c. 1967 in the
Shybrow collection at Barnstaple Athenaeum depict the row after
swaleing.
The row is set out on two alignments. The longer, of 56 metres, is
oriented south west to north east with terminal slabs 0.6 and 0.5
metres high. The intermediate stones are between one and fifteen
centimetres high; a common interval of 1 metre between stones may be
postulated, but gaps, and the possibility that some of the lower
stones could be natural grounders, makes this uncertain. The row
incorporates both slab and post type stones, the former frequently
angled to the alignment and some deviations result in a slightly
sinuous course, producing the effect of a double row when stones are
up to 1 metre off the alignment.
At the north east end of the longer row there is a re-alignment to thenorth north east with a terminal stone 0.4 metres high set at right
angles to the line. This length, of 12 metres has 17 intermediate
stones, mostly 5 to 15 centimetres high with four groups of 3 stones
set transversely.
There is no evidence of a barrow or cairn at either end of the row
though Grinsell (5) was uncertain whether traces existed at the highernorth north east end.
The number of stones visible will vary with climatic conditions, and
with plan scale when published. The 1:500 survey of 1966 had 48
stones while that simplifed for O.S. 1:2500 (but never published)
depicted 29 larger stones. McDonnell (S.M.R. source 4) and Grinsell'splan (5) note 47, and currently 51 can be seen, of which 7 are at
surface level. The two "Stones" published on the 1978 O.S. 1:10000
(2), are 150 metres to the north of the row and seem to be completely
spurious.
Eardley-Wilmot's view that the row is a dilapidated field wall cannot
be sustained by reference to the nearby Honeycombe field banks which
are straight, about 1.3 metres wide or more, 0.4 metres high, and of
earth and rubble construction with a few larger stones. Further,
there is no field system or surface stone in the vicinity of the row
and there is no doubt that the larger stones, at least, have been
deliberately positioned.
No precise parallel can be proferred since the half dozen Exmoor rows,and even more "stone settings", vary greatly in situation, orientationand construction. (6)

SS 85674197. A stone row of 50 standing stones, located on the west facing slopes of Honeycombe Hill. The row is 68 metres long, 3 metres wide at its widest point and orientated roughly north east to south west. The longest section comprises an irregular single row of stones with terminal stones of 0.5 and 0.6 metres in height. At the north eastern end of this section, the orientation veers slightly northwards. From this point, the row continues for another 12 metres as an irregular double or triple row, and terminates in a stone measuring 0.4 metres high. Scheduled. (7)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 NVQ 04-APR-66
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Source Number : 1a
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : W J Corney Headmaster Wiveliscombe Junior School
Page(s) :
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Source Number :
Source : Wilmersham Commom, Stone Row/ink survey
Source details :
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Source : Lithic monuments within the Exmoor National Park: a new survey for management purposes
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Source Number :
Source : Wilmersham Common Stone Row/ink survey
Source details :
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Source Number : 2
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1:10000 1978
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 3
Source : Ancient Exmoor : a study of the archaeology and prehistory of Exmoor
Source details :
Page(s) : 31-2
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3b
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Exmoor Review 1967
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 3c
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Exmoor Review 1968
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 4
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Somerset C.C. SMR, dated 10/03/86
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 5
Source : The archaeology of Exmoor : Bideford Bay to Bridgwater
Source details :
Page(s) : 43-5
Figs. :
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Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 NVQ 17-MAR-87
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 7
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 28-Mar-96
Page(s) :
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Plates :
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Neolithic
Display Date : Neolithic
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date :
Monument Type : Stone Alignment
Evidence : Structure
Monument Period Name : Bronze Age
Display Date : Bronze Age
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date :
Monument Type : Stone Alignment
Evidence : Structure

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 33689
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 25213
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 84 SE 18
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SS 84 SE 18
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1966-04-04
End Date : 1966-04-04
Associated Activities : Primary, WILMERSHAM COMMON STONE ROW
Activity type : MANAGEMENT SURVEY
Start Date : 2008-01-01
End Date : 2008-12-31