Page:A Book of Dartmoor.djvu/84

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their bones seem to have been taken out on anniversaries, scraped, and then replaced; and remoter ancestors were huddled into the background to make room for new-comers.

In time the fashion for carnal interment gave way to one for cremation.

Now of the large dolmen or cromlech we have only the fine Drewsteignton example, and that deserves a visit. Formerly it was but one of a number of monuments, lines and circles of upright stones. All these have been destroyed in this century.

But although this is the sole remaining example, we know by place names that anciently there were many more. These monuments have everywhere a local designation. In France they are pierres levées or cabannes des fées. In Devon they were shelf-stones, and wherever we meet with a farm called Shilston, there we may confidently assert that a dolmen formerly existed. With a little search the portions of it may occasionally be recognised in pigsties, or worked into the structure of the house.

The parish of Bradstone derives its name from the broad coverer of a cromlech, which is now employed as a stile. The supporters have disappeared, used probably for the church. There is a shilstone in Bridestowe, and another in Modbury. In dolmens it is usual to have a hole in the end stone, and even, sometimes closed with a stone plug, or else a small stone is employed that could easily be removed, so as to enable those who desired it to enter and put therein food for the consumption of the dead, or to