It is only a short walk from the stone rows to the circle. The tall (over head height) outliner can be seen from the rows but not the stones forming the circle itself.
I counted 11 stones and walked (as I always seem to do) in an anti-clockwise direction around them, touching each stone I passed (something else I always seem to do)
This is a nice, rather than spectacular, stone circle and is well worth visiting. One piece of the complicated prehistoric jigsaw that is Merrivale.
Across the way (other side of B3357) I suddenly noticed a large black cloud of smoke. A fire had somehow broken out (I didn’t see anyone) and was spreading through the tinder dry bracken. Fortunately it soon burnt itself out before too much damage was done.
Merrivale is yet another fantastic ‘must see’ site in the Devon / Cornwall border area.
First TMA notes for this site in 9 years?
How very odd.
Just to the south of the two rows stands the lovely menhir. between it and the rows is a circle of a decent size although none of the stones are of much more than a foot or two tall.
Around the menhir there are possibly the remains of another circle/row. A small cairn and what is thought to be a fallen menhir.
Is this all part of the settlement and stone row complex? the cairn is similar to the one found in the middle of the southern stone row, only really big enough for ashes, but if they do all date from the same time what is the realtionship between them all?
(SX 55357463) Stone Circle (NR). (1)
A 60 ft diameter circle of ten stones about 1 ft 6 ins high.A trial trench cut from the centre southwards revealed no evidence of previous use. (2) In 1895 examination of some depressions near the stone circle, revealed pits with packing stones which had apparently been the sockets of standing stones. (3)
A stone circle with a diameter of 20.0m. measured from northeast to southwest and 18.0m from northwest to southeast. It is formed by eleven stones spaced between 2.7m and 6.7m. apart and from 0.3m. to 0.5m. high. Three of the stones are of post type and eight are upright slabs. An additional stone, 7.5m. from the northeast side and 0.3m high, is angled towards the circle and may be quite unassociated. The depressions excavated in 1895 can not be identified.
Circle surveyed at 1:10 000 on MSD and at 1:250. (See illustration plan and photograph). (4)
Several detailed 19th century accounts of the stone circle show the number of stones has actually increased, a most unusual phenomenon, from 9 in the early part of the century, 8 in 1828, 10 in 1827 and 9 in 1859, before reaching the present total of 11 in Worth's 1895 plan. It seems at least 2 stones have been added, probably by some of the early investigators who were not always particular in recording their restorations. a small outlier 8m east of the circle might be considered natural but for the Exploration Committee's excavation of several pits 0.3-0.5m deep 'near the sacred circle', one of which contained a flint flake. These were found to be socket holes for 'large stones .. perhaps the size of the menhir' according to Tower, who, as a member of the Committee, was presumably present during the dig. The outlier and two of the pits on their plan show them to be concentric with the circle, indicating a much more impressive structure at one period, another pair being nearer the standing stone. The interior is quite flat apart from a shallow trench from the centre to the southern edge, dug sometime before 1871 by Spence Bate. (5)
Centred at SX55367464. The eleven stones of this stone circle stands on a gentle slope in close-cropped grassland. The diameter of the circle ranges from 18.5m to 20.0m; there are five post stones and six slab stones up to 0.65m in height.
The level interior has a number of slight pits and shallow linear depressions: one is the infilled 19th century trench and others denote footpaths. The outlying stone to the east of the circle and the two 0.3m deep pits survive in situ; they may represent the remains of a second, concentric, stone circle. Other partially buried stones occur in the locality of this outer ring. Merrivale Stone Circle: dimensions of the individual stones
Grid Ref H W T Status
SX5536274643 0.35 0.55 0.2 Slab
SX5536774639 0.55 0.55 0.15 Slab
SX5536774634 0.55 0.4 0.2 Post
SX5536574629 0.6 0.65 0.15 Slab
SX5536374628 0.6 0.34 0.25 Post
SX5535774626 0.5 0.5 0.15 Slab
SX5535174629 0.3 0.2 0.2 Post
SX5534874634 0.55 0.55 0.15 Slab
SX5534874638 0.35 0.2 0.3 Post
SX5535274643 0.3 0.6 0.2 Slab
SX5535674644 0.3 0.25 0.35 Post
SX5537574638 0.3 0.5 0.15 Recumbent