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

Devil's Den

Chambered Tomb


I haven't been here for years, it was even before I had a digital camera, my memories of the site are kind of dulled by time but I distinctly remember being underwhelmed. Seeing as we've taken lunch from Greggs of Marlborough this would be the optimum moment to revisit and see if my memories are reliable.

Parking is a problem, there is no where to do it.
I tried on the main road, but that didn't feel safe at all, so I opted to park in the same place as Carl despite the sign saying park here and we'll tow you away, like Carl I left backup in the car in case of emergency.
The walk up the track is very muddy, but the sun was shining, the birds were flying and I was ready for some stones. As you get to the barn you can see the dolmen, I pause a while here and ponder the barns use as viewing platform up the valley, decide i'm being silly and keep on splashing through the mud.

I enter the enclosure of the Den and approach the stones, much is made of the fact that you're allowed to go to the stones any time you like, permission is already given. But, if there's no where to park your motor it's just a bit of a laugh isn't it, probably best to get Scotty to beam you straight to the site, walking? who needs it.
A big chunk of concrete helps support the stones, no one seems to mention it much, but there you go. They also call it a dolmen, is it really a dolmen? a portal dolmen maybe? I don't think it is, yes it's a stone lifted upwards by other stones, but that doesn't make it a dolmen does it?
If you like dolmens go to Wales.

But none of this means I don't like it, I do, very much, what it does mean is that a place as famous as this should have a little car park, just a simple one will do, one without fear of being towed away. And I'd like to know exactly what it is that remains of what, is it really a dolmen, is it all that remains of another big chambered cairn, or is it a mad folly, were any burials found, what do we really know about it.
My ponderings were then rudely broken by my daughter in the car saying that a tractor with a big spikey thing on the back was there, so I said I was on my way, waved cheerfully to the stones and left readying myself for yet another confrontation with the farming fraternity. But it didn't happen, he just passed me by on the track.

Still, not hard to understand my slight disappointment with the place last time. Stones, it's not you, it's me.
postman Posted by postman
27th December 2016ce

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