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HER Number:MDV4998
Name:Stone circle, Merrivale

Summary

Slightly ovoid stone circle, comprising eleven remaining stones located between the double stone rows and the standing stone at Merrivale. Within the guardianship area managed by Dartmoor National Park Authority.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 553 746
Map Sheet:SX57SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishWALKHAMPTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57SE/107
  • Old SAM County Ref: 334
  • Old SAM Ref Revised: 12/01/1996
  • Old SAM Ref: 24194

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • STONE CIRCLE (Late Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 701 BC (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, SX57SE8 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV277119.

Site visit 19th August 1950. Stone circle 18.5 metres diameter. Consists of 11 standing stones 0.3 - 0.5 metres high, for the most part evenly spaced. In good condition.
Site visit 10th January 1980. Diameter 20 metres, north-east to south-west. Formed by 11 stones spaced between 2.7 metres and 6.7 metres apart and 0.3 metres and 0.5 metres high. Three are of post type and 8 are upright slabs. An additional stone, 7.5 metres from the north-east side and 0.3 metres high, is angled towards the circle. It may be quite unassociated. The depression excavated in 1895 cannot be identified.


Department of Environment, 09/10/1987, Scheduled Monument Consent Letter (Correspondence). SDV277114.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted 1987 for replacement of stone which had been removed and re-erected nearby by persons unknown.


Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 15/09/2004, Scheduled Monument Consent Letter (Correspondence). SDV319435.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted for works concerning a five year programme of management works including erosion repairs.


Wilkinson, J. G., 1862, On British Remains on Dartmoor, 24 (Article in Serial). SDV277122.


Spence Bate, C., 1871, Prehistoric Antiquities of Dartmoor, 513-4 (Article in Serial). SDV277110.

A trial trench cut from the centre southwards revealed no evidence of previous use.


Baring Gould, S., 1895, Second Report of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee, 86 (Article in Serial). SDV271711.

Examination of some depressions in the surface of the turf found several pits dug to a depth of 12 - 18 inches in one of which was a flint flake. These had apparently been the socket holes for standing stones which had been removed to serve as gate posts or reused in the construction of a new-take wall nearby.


Ordnance Survey, 1906, 106NE (Cartographic). SDV249909.

Stone circle marked on Ordnance Survey 6 inch (1906) map.


Lowe, H. J., 1915-1920, The Dartmoor Antiquities and their Builders, 134-135 (Article in Serial). SDV231169.

Lowe considers the possibility of a connection between the menhir (See PRN 3759) and the stone circle. Mention of astronomical use.


Worth, R. H., 1930, Proceedings at the Annual Meeting, 33-34 (Article in Serial). SDV231168.


The Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England Aerial Photograph Unit, 1985, The Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England Aerial Photograph Project (Interpretation). SDV340940.

Not visible on Royal Air Force or National Monuments Record photographs.


Stephens, F. W., 1990, Merrivale Stone Cirle (Plan - sketch). SDV277125.


Turner, J. R., 1990, Ring Cairns, Stone Circles and Related Monuments on Dartmoor, 58, 81 (Article in Serial). SDV229817.

G14. Diameter of circle 18.9 metres, 11 stones standing. Set in ritual complex but away from main group.


Gerrard, S., 1990-1994, Monument Protection Programme, 133475 (Report - Survey). SDV350743.

Stone circle of the freestanding regular type. Includes an 18.5 metre diameter ring of 11 stones standing between 0.45 metres and 0.6 metres high. A shallow linear hollow aligned approximately north-south, measuring 1.0 metre by 1.0 metre by 0.1 metres deep, probably represents the site of a partial excavation carried out in 1871 by Spencer Bate. This work revealed no evidence of previous use. In 1895 some depressions near to the stone circle were excavated by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee who interpreted them as sockets from which standing stones had been removed. There is now no trace of these features.


Butler, J., 1994, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West, 28-30 (Monograph). SDV137656.

Stone circle located on south-facing slope in a less-prominent position than the double stone rows, consisting of eleven small stones in a rather inconsistent arrangement, with variable positioning between. No obvious depression exists to indicate missing stones; in fact there are more stones now than were recorded in the nineteenth century plans. A small outlying stone 8 meters to the east of the circle was examined, along with several pits concentric to the circle which were found to be socket holes, suggesting this structure may have been more extensive in the past.


Probert, S. A. J., 2000, The Merrivale Guardianship Area, Walkhampton, Devon, 4 (Report - Survey). SDV344969.

Slightly ovoid stone circle, consisting of eleven stones with gaps that suggest a possible seven may have once existed here. Circle measures 18.6 meters north to south by 20.2 meters. The stones were re-erected in 1895 and are spaced at intervals of between 6.2 meters and 2.5 meters and the largest stone stands to a height of 0.55 meters. A series of shallow hollows and gullies can be seen in the interior and adjacent to the circle. No evidence can be found to support Butler’s theory of a possible encircling outer circle, including the single stone positioned 8.0 meter to the east of the visible cirle.


Dartmoor National Park + English Heritage, 2004, Merrivale: An Archaeological Landscape (Leaflet). SDV320201.


Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.

Map object based on this Source.


Department of National Heritage, 24/06/1997, Scheduled Monument Consent Letter (Correspondence). SDV307256.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted for various erosion repairs and visitor damage.

Sources / Further Reading

  • Monograph: Butler, J.. 1994. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West. Three. Paperback Volume. 28-30.
  • Article in Serial: Turner, J. R.. 1990. Ring Cairns, Stone Circles and Related Monuments on Dartmoor. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 48. Paperback Volume. 58, 81.
  • Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1930. Proceedings at the Annual Meeting. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 62. 33-34.
  • Article in Serial: Lowe, H. J.. 1915-1920. The Dartmoor Antiquities and their Builders. Transactions of the Torquay Natural History Society. 2. 134-135.
  • Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1906. 106NE. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 6 inch Map. Map (Paper).
  • Article in Serial: Baring Gould, S.. 1895. Second Report of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 27. Digital. 86.
  • Article in Serial: Spence Bate, C.. 1871. Prehistoric Antiquities of Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 4. 513-4.
  • Correspondence: Department of Environment. 09/10/1987. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter.
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey. SX57SE8. OSA.
  • Article in Serial: Wilkinson, J. G.. 1862. On British Remains on Dartmoor. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 18. Unknown. 24.
  • Plan - sketch: Stephens, F. W.. 1990. Merrivale Stone Cirle. Unknown.
  • Correspondence: Department of National Heritage. 24/06/1997. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter.
  • Correspondence: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 15/09/2004. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter.
  • Leaflet: Dartmoor National Park + English Heritage. 2004. Merrivale: An Archaeological Landscape. A5 Stapled.
  • Interpretation: The Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England Aerial Photograph Unit. 1985. The Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England Aerial Photograph Project. The Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England Aerial Photograph Project. Map (Paper).
  • Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
  • Report - Survey: Probert, S. A. J.. 2000. The Merrivale Guardianship Area, Walkhampton, Devon. English Heritage. 1247982. A4 Comb Bound + Digital. 4.
  • Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-1994. Monument Protection Programme. Monument Protection Programme. Unknown. 133475.

Associated Monuments

MDV53396Related to: Fallen standing stone, Merrivale (Monument)
MDV53398Related to: Possible stone row near standing stone, Merrivale (Monument)
MDV53397Related to: Short stone row south of standing stone, Merrivale (Monument)
MDV3759Related to: Small Cairn near Standing Stone, Merrivale (Monument)
MDV53395Related to: Standing stone, Merrivale (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4830 - Survey of guardianship area, Merrivale
  • EDV4842 - Erosion repairs at Merrivale
  • EDV4843 - Repair work at Merrivale
  • EDV4844 - Repair work at Merrivale
  • EDV4846 - Erosion repairs at Merrivale

Date Last Edited:Jun 6 2017 3:33PM