Merrivale Stone Rows - Dartmoor

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Published 19 May 2009
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The bronze age prehistoric stone rows of Merrivale,  in Dartmoor, Devon. The main area of archaeological in...
The bronze age prehistoric stone rows of Merrivale,  in Dartmoor, Devon. The main area of archaeological interest is to the south-east of the hamlet at grid reference SX556746. Although it has been diminished over time, the site includes a 3.8m standing stone, a stone circle and a stone row.

Also visible are two stone avenues running parallel to each other on either side of a stream. The southern avenue is 263.5 metres long and has the remains of a barrow in the middle. The northern avenue is slightly shorter. Both avenues are only about 1 metre wide down the centre.

To the south of the avenues is a large cist which contained a flint scraper, a number of flint flakes and a whetstone for polishing metal items. The 'lid' of the cist was broken in two by a farmer sometime in the past who made a gatepost out of it. Numerous tors are visible from the site, including King's Tor and Staple Tor.

The stone row was formerly known in the area as the Potato Market or Plague Market, supposedly since provisions for Tavistock were left here during an outbreak of plague. Crossing remarked on how insignificant the stones appear, given the size of some of the raw materials available.
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