Ancient Dartmoor No. 2 - Merrivale Stone Circle
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As with all caches on Dartmoor please wear appropriate footwear and remember the weather can change very rapidly.
The stone rows, circle, cists and cairns are all thought to date from the Neolithic period, which dates them as being about 4000 years old. The Neolithic period is a term used to describe the period when prehistoric man started farming and domesticating animals and ended with the beginning of the Iron Age, (2000 years ago). These ancient sites (a thousand years older than Stonehenge) are some of my favourite places on Dartmoor, and are eerie, mythical and magical places that I hope you enjoy as much as I do.
Merrivale is another interesting neolithic site. Within this small area there is a settlement, four stone rows (two of which are made up of pairs of stones), several cairns, one off which is unusually in the centre of one of the rows, and a kistvaen beside the stone row.
The kistvaen is a very good example. The cap stones were originally part of one and same piece of rock which was regrettably smashed around 1870 to make a pair of gateposts or was it, as legend has it, smashed by Zebediah Torre. Torre is supposed to have smashed his way in to shelter from a blizzard, being to miserly to pay to stay in Tavistock. His body was found inside the kistvaen, frozen to death.
A single row of stones (row 3) juts off to the southwest, in the very general direction of the stone circle and standing stone.
The circle is made of 11 very small stones, the tallest are just about half a meter above the turf. Just to the south stands a more impressive stone, some 3 meters high and the diminutive stones of row 4 trail off to the south from here.
The cache is hidden near the stone circle but is not hidden in any of the ancient relics. There cache is not in the wall - please do not search there.
For the F.T.F. there is a F.T.F. coin hidden in the same place but not in the cache itself.
Please be careful as this can be a popular spot and please replace the cache as you found it. Happy hunting.
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