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Historic England Research Records

Porlock Stone Circle

Hob Uid: 36228
Location :
Somerset
West Somerset
Porlock
Grid Ref : SS8453044670
Summary : Stone circle comprising 21 stones, 14 of which remain. Seven are standing and seven have fallen. The majority of the stones are small and the fallen stones lie close to their original positions.
More information : [SS 8451 4466] Stone Circle (NR)

The stone circle on Porlock Allotment, to the west of the road from
Porlock to Exford discovered by Mr. E. T. McDermott, is 80ft.
in diameter. The stones would probably have stood originally about
6 ft. apart, suggesting an approx. number of 43. The remaining
stones consist of 10 standing stones and broken off stumps, and
11 prostrate stones.
[See Illustrations Card.]

Some of the fallen stones illustrated by St. G. Gray have been
removed but all the earthfast stones remain. The tallest upright
stone is 0.8m high, but the largest stone is a recumbent stone
(St. G. Gray's No. 13) which is 1.9m.long and 0.7m. wide.
The mound shown by St. G. Gray at SS 8453 4467 is a robbed and
overgrown cairn. It has a maximum height of 0.4m and is listed
by Grinsell as Porlock No. 3.
Surveyed at 1/2500.

(SS 84514466) Stone Circle (NR)
(SS 84534468) Cairn (NR)

SS 844447. This circle was greatly disturbed during the 1939-45
war. Many of the stones have fallen around a 24.4m circle, one
about 1.9m at the south south east.

SS 84544469. Porlock 3. Mutilated cairn 10 paces diameter and
1 ft high, visited by Grinsell 25th April 1962.

SS 846446. Stone circle, Porlock Common. Scheduled.

Additional Bibliography.

Porlock Stone Circle SS 84514466.
This monument is situated towards the S edge of Porlock Common, on flattish ground just above the gentle SW slope to Colley Water, which rises 300m to the ESE. There are views to the S and W across Porlock Allotment.

Of 21 stones in an earlier survey (2) only 14 remain. Seven are standing, seven are fallen. Three stones have fallen since the earlier survey. Most noticeable is the disappearance of five stones from the SW arc. One stone appears to be modern. All are of local sandstone.

The fallen stones appear to lie close to their original positions; together with the surviving uprights they form a true (though not perfect) circle of c24.5m diameter. The majority of the stones are quite small but typical of Exmoor, only the fallen stone reaching unusually large proportions. The standing stones all have their major axis aligned around the circumference of the circle. The status of the central stone, Grays `central picket' is not at all certain. Central stones do occur elsewhere but are not common (10) and in this case unconvincing.

A cairn formerly recorded with this circle is now recorded separately as SS 84 SW 129. It lies only 20m NE of the circle centre.

`Recumbant stones' NE of the circle (11) could not be identified.
There is a general scatter of stones around the site but none which can be reliably connected. (12)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1962.
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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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 :
Page(s) : 71-77
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 74, 1928
Source Number : 10
Source : The stone circles of the British Isles
Source details :
Page(s) : 205-208
Figs. :
Plates :
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Source Number : 11
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Somerset County SMR, SS 84 SW PRN 33939.
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 12
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : RCHME Field Investigation, 22-JAN-1990, P Pattison.
Page(s) :
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Source : Porlock Stone Circle/pencil survey
Source details :
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Source : Lithic monuments within the Exmoor National Park: a new survey for management purposes
Source details :
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Source : Porlock Stone Circle/ink survey
Source details :
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Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 GHP 08-JUL-65
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3a
Source : Somerset barrows, part 1 : west and south
Source details : West Somer. Barrow, Mss. (L. V. Grinsell)
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Source Number : 4
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1:10000 1978
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 5
Source : The stone circles of the British Isles
Source details :
Page(s) : 300,347
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : Somerset barrows, part 1 : west and south
Source details :
Page(s) : 38
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 113, Pt 1, 1969
Source Number : 7
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : DOE(IAM)AMs Eng 2 1978 117
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 8
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Arch of Somer 1931 59 (D Dobson)
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 9
Source : The Archaeological Journal
Source details :
Page(s) : 87
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 107, 1950

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Later Prehistoric
Display Date : Later Prehistoric
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -4000
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 : 33935
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 33936
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 33939
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : SO 201
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 84 SW 10
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : PORLOCK STONE CIRCLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1928-01-01
End Date : 1928-12-31
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SS 84 SW 10
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1965-07-08
End Date : 1965-07-08