Looking west along the row (Scale 1m).
A probable, combination single, double and triple stone row measuring 68m long, including 50 small and medium-sized stones situated on a gentle west facing slope. The row is orientated north east to south west. It has been suggested that this is the remains of a boundary wall but the largest stones are at either end, many seem set and there is a clear visual link with South Wales. There are cairns, field boundaries and another stone row in the vicinity.
|England||Somerset||Exmoor||SS 85738 41990|
|Lat 51.16565417 Long –3.63562699|
Map showing the location of Wilmersham Common, South stone row
Plan of the Wilmersham Common, South stone row (Source: Grinsell, L.V. 1970, 44).
|Type: Combination||Length: 68m|
|No. of stones: 50||Size of stones: Small and medium|
|Orientation: 45°||Altitude: 392m|
|Upper end: Pillar||Lower end: Pillar|
|Straight (Yes or No) : No||Sea View: No|
|Context: Stone row, cairn and field system|
|Notes: Like a Dartmoor row in form. This is a mixture of single, double and triple type.|
|Public Access: Yes|
|Land Status: National Park|
|Scheduled Ancient Monument: Yes|
Category: Probable. It has been suggested that this site is the dilapidated remains of a field boundary rather than a row. The irregular orientation of the stones combined the significant change in alignment and unusual mixture of single, double and triple elements are all reasons for doubting a prehistoric stone row interpretation. On the other hand the largest stones are at the top and bottom of the row respectively, many of the stones appear to have been set and the visual link with South Wales support the idea that this is a stone row.
This stone row is of Type C10. Information on this form of stone row and other rows of this type is available here.
The row is composed mainly of tiny stones which barely protrudge through the surface. View from north east (Scale 1m).
The ranging rod stands beside one of the larger stones. Tiny stone in foreground is more typical. View from south west (Scale 1m).
This row is certainly not making a grand architectural statement. View from north (Scale 1m).
Tiny stones difficult to spot amongst the vegetation. View from west (Scale 1m).
Dense heather means that many stones are not visible. View from south west (Scale 1m).
Large stone at the south western end of the row. View from south (Scale 1m).
More small stones.
From the lower length of the row South Wales is hidden from view.
As you walk north eastward the mountains of South Wales appear at SS 85721 41972 and continue to sprout from behind the nearby rising ground. This photograph is taken at SS 85730 41981.
At the top stone a substantial swathe of South Wales appears including Pen y Fan, but there is no sign of the sea.
The sea finally appears at SS 85748 41025 some 30m from the top of the row. Usually one would expect the row to terminate at or near to the limit of visibility to the sea in these circumstances. The reasons for this unusual situation may because the row did originally extend as far as the sea view reveal but has been truncated over the years. Alternatively, perhaps the builders were more interested in this instance in the focussed views of the distant mountains. Whatever the reason the result is that the row was built across the line of visibility to South Wales. From the lower end of the row the viewshed is very limited and local whilst at the top a window into “another world” is revealed.
Limited parking is available either at SS 86391 42405 or SS 86107 41919.
Megalithic Portal Modern Antiquarian PastScape Historic Environment Record
Grinsell, L.V., 1970, The Archaeology of Exmoor – Bideford Bay to Bridgewater, David & Charles, pgs. 43-45.
VISITED:- 21st April 2018
FIRST PUBLISHED:- 12th February 2016
LAST UPDATED:- 12th November 2018