This hunebed, the northernmost in Drenthe, lies just south of the village of Roden and close to the hamlet that gives it its name: Steenbergen. Hunebed D1 Steenbergen is a sizeable hunebed, and particularly impressive because it has not suffered stone-robbing over the millennia like so many of the others. The full complement of 12 sidestones with six capstones in place, two endstones and a fine entrance portal are all plain to see.
Standing diagonally on a low sand hill, D1 is located in an attractive, woodland tourist area about 150 metres from a car park adjacent to the main road (Hoofdweg) leading north from the hamlet of Steenbergen.
When originally surveyed by A E van Giffen in 1918, this hunebed was in ruinous condition. All the capstones had fallen from their supports and one was broken into five pieces. In a 1953 restoration project, the broken stone was repaired, partly fallen sidestones were re-erected, and all the capstones were reinstated on their supports. Several times since, the portal capstone has had to be replaced after being pushed from its supports by vandals.
In March 1997, the dolmen was severely damaged by arson, which resulted in capstone No 2 being split into a considerable number of fragments. The damage was repaired as well as possible by means of steel pins and epoxy resin, and the stone was replaced on the hunebed on July 21, 1997.
If visiting D1 Steenbergen by car, head north from the centre of the hamlet of Steenbergen along Hoofdweg for about 400 metres until you enter woodland. About 50 metres farther on you will encounter the 'car park' sign (red route). A short walk to the northwest, along a sandy road, brings you to the hunebed (blue marker).
If travelling by bus, take the No 83 from Assen (or Groningen) and alight at the 'Alteveer, Markeweg' halt. In the corner of the field at this junction you will see a small 'modern hunebed', a farmer's inventive way of disposing of unwanted boulders. Walk southwestwards along Markeweg for just under a kilometre, till it bends to the right, and look out for a waymarked path through the woods. After about 300 metres you come out on Hoofdweg, beside the aforementioned car-park (yellow route).
This link leads to a short YouTube video about Hunebed D1 Steenbergen, in particular pointing out the repairs to the damaged capstone.
With the light almost gone, we really needed clear directions to get to Steenbergen before dark. I fouled up on the navigation and we went the wrong way. Then, just as we really needed shit-hot directions from Julian (as they had been most of the two days we'd used his instructions) he let us down. However, we found it. (just turn right when you get to the first T-junction in Steenbergen village and follow the lane round till you see the car park.) Just as we had started the day with a rip-roaring beauty, we ended it on a high. Steenbergen is marvellous. Up on a dune this lovely six-capstoned animal perches in the sand, complete with dinky dolmen-style portal. For some reason it had a single strand of barbed wire fence around it. Protection from what, we wondered? We just climbed under.