The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

The Plague Market At Merrivale

Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue


Back at Merrivale, and in glorious sunshine. It's funny how when you revisit sites something totally different can catch your eye. This time I was just so taken by the outlines of the roundhouses (there are some as you climb up from the car park). There's quite a cluster of them, a little settlement. It felt very human. It suddenly struck me that the amount of space inside the roundhouse I was stood in seemed about the same as our little flat at home. Instead of the familiar feeling of disenchantment about our compact living arrangements I suddenly felt cheered up. If it was enough space for a Bronze Age family it was good enough for me.

Wandering further up to the stone rows it felt like they were almost in the back garden. They're certainly very close by. I wonder if this sheds any light on their use or the way they were perceived by their constructors. In my mind, perhaps it tells us how integral to their lives whatever the rows represent was. Perhaps you don't put something you only use and think about occasionally out the back of your house where you have to step over it all the time!

I still thought the stone rows were fantastic, and had a power in their landscape - they're very sculptural. But arriving at the stone circle and standing stone - they left me a bit flat. The stones in the circle are tiny, the menhir tall but somehow too man-made looking.

When the Bronze Age village was here, the climate on Dartmoor was much warmer, and the people would have grown crops and farmed livestock. It was only when it became wetter and more miserable that the villages were probably abandoned. As you can sympathise with if you've ever been out on Dartmoor in the rain.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
26th March 2003ce

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