A small microchip, similar to that used for microchipping
a pet, has been developed for this purpose.
Firstly as a deterrent to would-be thieves, and secondly as a means
of retrieving those that have been stolen.
The procedure is simple; a minute hole is drilled somewhere into
the artefact, the microchip inserted and covered, the details recorded
and by the simple use of a detector/reader the stone can be identified.
to its original site after being used as a gatepost
is not a new phenomenon,though. Years ago things disappeared from
across the moor. The old-type 'lengthman', when looking for easy
stones to crack to repair the roads, used the most easily available
of that were the hut circles and the like that were close by the
road. Some large items were also 'recycled' - Ouldsbrim (Ouldsbroom)
Cross was taken away and the arms knocked off to make a gatepost.
In the 1950s it was restored to its original site and some of the
metal gate hanging features are still visible on it.
Cross was returned because of the kindness of a local benefactor
Dunstone Cross, fell over in the early 1800s and was taken away
and erected in Widecombe Vicarage garden as a decoration.
In 1980 it was returned and re-erected where it belonged by the
kindness of a local benefactor, Miss M. Hamlyn.
publication by The Dartmoor National Park Authority titled "Merrivale;
An Archaeological Landscape", is a 28 page colour booklet
containing lots of information about the area and a general description
of Dartmoor's pre-history, and reading it will give you an idea
of the vast amount of interesting items to be seen all over Dartmoor.
Price £3.50 obtainable from the DNP Information Centres.
be warned and keep a wary eye on the interesting stones in your
you next time.
Yer old mate, Tony
Dartmoor Diary >>
presents a request programme on BBC
every Sunday lunchtime.