Just 150 metres from D53, on the other side of the sandy road, lies another passage grave, Hunebed D54 Havelte. Slightly smaller than its twin, with a length of 12.7 metres, D54 consists of six capstones supported on a complete set of 14 sidestones. An original seventh capstone is missing from the eastern end of the hunebed, as is its supporting end stone. There is an incomplete entrance portal, but no evidence for there ever having been a circle of kerbstones. Unlike D53, D54 has never been scientifically excavated.
If you want to be impressed, then this hunebed on the northern outskirts of the village of Havelte is the place to go. Hunebed D53 Havelte is second only to D27 Borger in size, with a length of 18.9 metres. The grave chamber is complete, with nine capstones resting upon 23 side stones and two endstones; and there is a beautiful entrance portal with its capstone resting on four sidestones. This hunebed still retains ten of its original 40 kerbstones. Unlike the hunebed at Borger, however, which is heavily shaded by mature trees, D53 stands in open heathland, and presents an imposing spectacle from all directions (as well as an impromptu climbing frame for the younger generation).
D53 was thoroughly excavated by archaeologist A E van Giffen as long ago as 1918, when thousands of potshards were unearthed from beneath the floor of the burial chamber, the remains of some 665 items of pottery. Additional finds included three flint axes, an arrowhead, a hammer and beads of jet and amber.
If you are travelling to Havelte from the direction of Meppel (the nearest sizeable town), follow the N353 (Van Helomaweg) which skirts the west of Havelte, following signs to Vlinderparadijs (a display centre for exotic butterflies). Continue past Vlinderparadijs in a generally northward direction for about 800 metres till you encounter a cafe, Theehuis 't Hunebed, on the left hand side of the road. Almost immediately opposite is Hunebeddenweg. Follow this road and D53 will come into view after a 200 metre walk.