D18 looks neat and complete. But that does not give the whole picture. Steel pins hold two of its seven lintels in place. The 14 uprights and 2 keystones are indeed complete, as are the 2 portal stones although these are not immediately visible as they are almost completely covered with sand.
This monument is undoubtedly the most immortalised of all hunebeds, both in paintings and photographs. The picturesque and characteristic oak which enhanced the scene until 1984 certainly had a lot to do with that. Indeed it stood so close to the hunebed that its growth threatened the existence of the tomb, which is why it sadly had to be removed. Since then the hunebed looks a little bare.
Location of D18
D17 and D18 stand behind the large Jacobus church in the centre of Rolde.
Giant Stones in the Field
D17 and D18 are described at length by Provincial archaeologist Wijnand van der Sanden in his book “Giant Stones in the Field – the hunebeds of Rolde”, published in April 2007.
Visit of Professor van Giffen to D18 in 1918
Van Giffen reported restorations made before his time, by Gregory among others, and found the hunebed “in a good condition”. That can be seen on the photo. He regretted the levelling of the ground, which may have removed possible remains of a mound and ringstones. He praised the fine oak trees and said that the right-hand one had blown down in 1922. The other was removed in 1984 to the regret of many people.
(Source: Atlas of “De Hunebedden in Nederland”, dr.A.E.van Giffen, 1925)
Text Hans Meijer
Translation Alun Harvey
Photos Davado and Hans Meijer