The group of monuments at Merrivale is one of the finest on the moor mainly because of its richness in prehistoric monuments. The site comprises two stone rows, a stone circle, several cairns and a standing stone. Both rows are actually double rows, each more than 150 meters long and comprising about 200 stones. The monuments were probably built over a long period, between about 2500 BC and 1000 BC.
The Merrivale Stones are within a few minutes walk from the Four Winds car park (Grid Ref: SX 56075 74897) on the B3357
Foggintor was one of the three great granite quarries of Dartmoor, the other two being: Haytor, and Merrivale. Stone started to be quarried at Foggintor around 1820 and it was abandoned about 80 years ago in 1938. Quarry operations were substantial enough to warrant building not only offices, but also cottages, a day school and chapel, all just beside the canyon-like quarry. In its hey day more than 400 people where employed in the area. Little now remains of the this “village” and the associated industrial buildings apart from some walls and their ground-plans. The stones from the houses and mining office were reused to build North Hessary television mast.
During the early 1840s Foggintor Quarry supplied the granite that was used to build famous London landmarks such as Nelson’s Column and London Bridge, while locally it was used in the construction of a vast number of buildings including the famous Dartmoor Prison and nearby village of Princetown. In order to transport the quarried granite from Dartmoor to the Plymouth Docks, Sir Thomas Tyrwhitt (1762-1833) had a horse-drawn tramway constructed in 1823, which was later replaced by the Yelverton to princetown railway. Traces of the railway tracks can still be seen today.
Nowadays, nature has reclaimed the site and it is absolutely stunning during sunshine and quite gothic when the mist rolls in. The quarry itself now contains a small lake, ideal fro wild swimming. Foggintor Quarry (Grid Ref. SX 56590 73692) can easily be reached on foot from a small car park (Grid Ref. SX 56719 74987) on the B3357.