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The work, which has been funded by English Heritage as part of its National Mapping Programme, has created a highly detailed map of Exmoor’s archaeology.

One of the most interesting finds was a possible neolithic or Bronze Age enclosure on Little Hangman Hill, Combe Martin. Although impossible to be completely accurate as to its age, it is similar when compared with other sites thought to be around that date on Dartmoor and Bodmin.

The aerial mapping of Exmoor is a useful tool for discovering new sites, and the above prehistoric site at  Little Hangman Hill proves that there is still plenty to discover beneath these ancient moors.

Two more recent finds on Exmoor are of interest and to quote English Heritage….The prehistoric stone monuments on Exmoor are evocative monuments: geometric arrangements of sandstone slabs sited in remote combes; tall standing stones on open moor and stone rows,  they give a tantalising glimpse into a remote past.

In 2006 Celia Haddon discovered a new stone row on Exmoor, at the time only eight stone rows had been found on the moors.  The row was found at Warcombe Water, on the ridge  there were  fifteen small sandstone slabs each carefully set upright in a long line.

The other find  of a small standing stone at Codsend Moor, also reveals a prehistoric relict field system together with huts, cairns and standing stones.

As the prehistoric past of Britain slowly reveals itself in standing stones and burial cairns it is a humbling experience to realise that this small island had a prehistoric existence we know so little of,  when the only materials of the land were stone, timber and flint for tools, neolithic people carved and created not only their livelihoods from the earth but took time to erect stones, whether large or small to symbolise a meaning to them we cannot hope to catch,  and here on Exmoor caught in the tough wild grasses of the moor small stones nestle tracing a mysterious past that is lost forever.

New archaeological sites discovered on Exmoor


September 2009

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