Compared to D50, which stands 100 metres away on the other side of the road, D51 looks like a ‘stripped down’ hunebed. Stone robbers have obviously been busy here. Yet it must once have been quite a large hunebed, probably with seven lintels. That can be seen from the fourteen uprights, one of which is missing and indicated by a marker. The four missing lintels create a gaping hole in the middle of the tomb. There are still three portal uprights, the position of the fourth shown by a marker. The bronze nameplate is also still there, mounted on a large stone. In September 1997 an information panel was placed at the entrance to the site.
There are signs pointing to the hunebed in Noord Sleen and along the road to Zweeloo.
Location of D51
Visit of Professor van Giffen in 1918
The photo shows the ruinous state of what was once an impressive tomb. That was also Van Giffen’s opinion: “The hunebed is in a very damaged state”. But he also said that the original condition was still ‘recognisable’. As the keystones and a few uprights were more or less still in place, he was able to estimate the original measurements as 12.3 by 3.5 metres. The remaining lintels were in a sorry state: there might have been three, but he could only find fragments. Surprisingly, despite the hunebed’s disturbed state, the entrance way with three portal stones was clearly still present. In 1870 this damaged monument came into state ownership.
(Source: Atlas of “De Hunebedden in Nederland”, dr.A.E.van Giffen, 1925)
Text Hans Meijer
Translation Alun Harvey
Photography Hans Meijer and Davado