Merrivale 5

Merrivale Row 5 WPP1110461

View from above and west. The ranging rod lies between the two small stones (Scale 1m).

Location

England     Devon     Dartmoor     SX 55353 74594     Lat 50.55305786   Long -4.04339115

 

Merrivale Plan

Simplified plan showing the stone alignments at Merrivale (Source: Butler, Google Earth and fieldwork).

Merrivale Stone rows 4 to 6 plan

Plan showing Row 5 leading towards the tall stone (Source: Survey by Sandy Gerrard)

Merrivale Stone rows 4 to 6 plan1

Interpretative Plan showing Row 5 leading towards the tall stone (Source: Survey by Sandy Gerrard)

Characteristics

Type: Single Length: 5.6m
No. of stones: 3 Size of stones: Small and large
Orientation: 90° Altitude: 330m
Upper end: – Lower end: Pillar
Straight (Yes or No)  : Yes Sea View: Yes
Context:  Stone alignments, cairns, cist, stone circle, standing stone, prehistoric settlement  and reave
Notes: This row may be longer and consist of more than three stones. At the time of the survey only two small stones were visible. Others may come to light after prolonged dry conditions.

Other Information

Public Access:  Yes
Land Status: National Park
Scheduled Ancient Monument: Yes

Identification

Category: Probable. There is a possibility that the stones occur naturally, but on balance because of their relationship to the tall stone this is probably a stone row. It is possible that this row together with Row 6 formed part of a double row.


Photographs

Merrivale Row 5 WPP1070658

View looking along the row from the western end. Hollow Tor on the horizon sits above the tall stone at the end of the row.

Merrivale Row 5 WPP1070657a

As one walks along the row towards the tall stone Hollow Tor moves closer and eventually is framed by the top of the tall stone.

Merrivale Row 5 WPP1070656

A little closer and Hollow Tor is perfectly hidden behind the tall stone.  Many thanks to Chloe Clifford for pointing out this visual phenomenon. As always whilst it is possible to identify and record this type of very precise visual relationship we can never be 100% sure that it was special to the row builders and therefore deliberate. However, as this kind of visual trick is being regularly identified at stone rows and other broadly contemporary sites this powerful circumstantial evidence strongly suggests that the row builders were carefully selecting places which acknowledged and interacted with landmarks at the limit of visibility.

Merrivale Row 5 WPP1110459

View from above and north west. The tall stone dwarfs the tiny stones within this row.  

Access Information

Car parking is available at SX 55313 75017 or SX 56050 74895. The row is a relatively short walk away from either car park. It is worth having a look at the stone circle a short distance to the north of the row. The row is easiest found by walking towards the large standing stone situated close by.


Online Resources 

Historic Environment Record     Prehistoric Monuments of Dartmoor

Other References

Burl, A., 1993, From Carnac to Callanish – The prehistoric rows and avenues of Britain, Ireland and Brittany, Yale University Press, New York and London, pg. 215.

Butler, J., 1994, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities – Vol. 3 – The South-West, Devon Books Exeter, pgs. 28-29.

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