Merrivale Stones, Dartmoor

The most prominent features of Merrivale are the two double stone rows running east to west. Each consists of more than 150 stones, mostly under a metre high.

The northern double row is 182 metres long, with an average width between the rows of 1 metre. The second row runs roughly parallel with the first but is longer, stretching 263 metres across the moor. It has terminal stones blocking each end. Near the middle of this row, a ring of stones marks the kerb of a small cairn. This unusual feature may mark the burial of an important person. We don’t know whether it is earlier or later in date than the stone rows.

A few metres south is a stone-lined burial chamber, or cist, with a massive, though damaged, capstone. Further west and just to the south of the row, a cairn marks the start of a single row of stones, running for about 40 metres at an angle to the double row.

To the west of these rows is a circle of 11 low-lying stones of local granite, about 18 metres in diameter. There is a tall stone, or menhir, nearby, which at more than 3 metres high is the most conspicuous monument in the area.

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All photos © Peter J Morris 2015