The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Deerleap Stones

Standing Stones


Two large standing stones, known as the Deer Leap Stones, were formerly situated in an old hedge bank, but this was grubbed out in 1967, the old stones being left standing. A further similar stone was built into the corner of a wall 200m north at the summit of a hill (ST 51714893). Presumably it was emplaced before the wall, perhaps as a boundary stone. At ST 51804910, 300m north of the Deer Leap stones is the stump of a roadside outcrop of quartzite blasted away in road widening, which has been confused with the Deer Leap stones. {1}

A legend of a phenomenal leap by a deer, commemorated by these stones, is well known to old Mendippers. The stones are 16m apart. Until 1964 each stood c.2m east of a dry-stone wall, but in that year the wall was dismantled and workmen broke up the southern stone and damaged the other. The lost stone was subsequently replaced by a similar from a nearby quarry, and the northern raised upright. Stones consist of quartzite, probably local. {3}

According to other local sources the stone was broken up by Italian prisoners of war and subsequently replaced with another block. {4}

1 Detailed records - Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division 1970 ST54NW37 SCPD
2 Mention - PUBSS Tratman, E.K 1968 vol 11(3), 243-4
3 Detailed records - Stanton, W.I. Proc University of Bristol Spelaeological Society 16:1 (1981), 63-4
4 Mention - Brown, D Somerset v. Hitler (1999), 206

Record created by:
Ed Dennison in October 1985

© Copyright Somerset County Council 2003

With thanks to the Somerset Museums Service for providing the link to this information.
The previous antiquity of these stones in their former location/s still seems undecided.
jimit Posted by jimit
14th November 2003ce

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