Dartmoor Expedition April 2017

Craggy granite tors, vast open exposed moorland, wetlands, forests and it’s ever changing weather, Dartmoor can be a wild, rugged and rough place to venture into. Because of the constantly changing nature of Dartmoor an expedition to the moors will not only constantly expose you to the elements but it will also reveal something different to you, no matter how many times you embark on an expedition. As an all encumbering fog rolls across the moor, which forces you to change your route, you can stumble upon a track that was unknown to you and one you would never have discovered if an alternative path was not a necessity. Due to the fearsome nature of Dartmoor, you can understand why Sir Arthur Conan Doyle based his story ‘Hound of the baskervilles’ on the moors.

The goal of this expedition was to explore some of the granite tors and the Bronze Age Settlements that are scattered around the moor. A secondary goal was to escape away from social media and mobile phone signals. The primary and secondly goals were well and truly achieved. The time away was filled with the myths and legends of Dartmoor and lots of walking around the fascinating Tors and settlements. An added bonus to an anyway success venture was discovering a delightful small inn that was tucked away on the moors, which offered fantastic views, good food and ales. Due to the awesome power of the moors, the weather swapped from sunny and warm to dark, foreboding and very stormy, with rolling fog and heavy rain. The constantly changing weather added to the experience, which made the expedition even more of an ever changing adventure.

28th April 2017 – Day One

  • Combestone Tor {Granite Tor} – Hexworthy

Combestone Tor {Granite Tor}.

 

A mother sheep and her young lamb roaming around the site of Combestone Tor.

 

The dramatic Combestone Tor.

 

The roaming sheep, kept a watchful eye on the photographer.

 

29th April 2017 – Day Two

  • Haytor {Granite Tor} – Eastern Dartmoor, Haytor Vale

Dark clouds building up over Haytor {Granite Tor}.

 

Wild Dartmoor ponies graze around Haytor.

 

  • Badgers Holt – Deermeet  (Enjoyed an Ice cream)

The picturesque East Dart River, which flows through Dartmeet.

 

Wild ponies (an impressive lookign dun) grazing at Deermeet.

 

A young foal at Deermeet.

 

 

  • Hookney Tor {Granite Tor} – Postbridge, Yelverton – (Looks down on Grimspound)

Hookney Tor, looking very dramatic and spectacular.

 

The rough and ready landscape of Hookney Tor meets the dark and stormy sky.

 

  • Grimspound {Late Bronze Age settlement 1450 – 700 BC} – Postbridge, Yelverton

A weathered post pointing the Grimspound which is a ate Bronze Age settlement which is from about 1450 BC – 700 BC. A truly fascinating place, steeped in history and intrigue.

 

Within a large circular wall which spans 150 meters in diameter there stands the ruins of 24 stone roundhouses, which once would of had conical roofs made of turf or thatch. The stone wall was more likely to keep animals in and predators out, rather than for defensive reasons.

 

Remnants of some of the stone roundhouses. The settlement had a fresh water stream flowing though it, which provided an important source of water to all who dwelt within the stone walls.

 

The Bronze Age entrance to Grimspound, one of two entrances in fact. This one seems smaller than the other entrance. An exciting thought, that many years ago Bronze Age people herded cattle thought this very entrance as well as bring sued to bring vital supplies and goods in and out.

 

  • Warren House Inn {One of the two fires has been burning since 1845} – Postbridge, Yelverton (Had an evening drink here overlooking the moors and enjoying a drink beside the fire)

The fog started rolling in as we arrived and the fog was soon swirling around the Warren House Inn. You only have to look at an OS map to see that this place, due to it’s location, can be bettered by some very inclement weather. Warren House Inn is on the B3212.

 

The inn had two fires burning away which filled the place with a fantastic smell as well as providing heat. After opting for a pint of ‘Fraid Not’, it was time to settle down beside one of the fires.

 

30th April 2017 – Day Three

  • Warren House Inn – Postbridge, Yelverton (Had Sunday lunch here with a friend)

Enjoying a pint (out of a tradtional glass pint glass) while waiting for a Sunday Roast to arrive at the table. The Inn was warm and cosy, which was just as well due to the wet weather outside.

 

The Sunday Roast was fantastic, everything was cooked to perfection. It was nice seated beside the fire, while enjoying a roast and hearing the wild weather outside. Sunday lunch was enjoyed with a friend, which is why there is a glass of wine in this photograph, I was mixing drinks. Honest.

 

This is a rather famous fire as it has been burning since 1845, or so the legend goes!

 

Upon leaving the inn, it was evident that the tempestuous weather was increasing.

 

  • Merrivale Prehistoric Settlement {Bronze Age settlement 2500 – 1000 BC}

This is one of the best Bronze Age settlements on Dartmoor. This is an impressive settlement has a mixture ritual sites and a few cairns. This site was probably constructed over a very long period, which spanned from about 2500BC and 1000 BC. Regrettably I didn’t take photographs of this particular site.

  • Turbulent and storm-tossed Dartmoor (Stopped off along the way to Hound Tor for some photography)

A wild, untamed and beautiful Dartmoor landscape.

 

Flurries of rain blow across the moorland as the fog rolls over the fertile farmland.

 

  • Hound Tor {Granite Tor} – Eastern Dartmoor, Widecombe-in-the-Moor

Hound Tor {Granite Tor}.

 

A few granite pillars of Hound Tor in order of size with a grey and stormy sky as a background.

 

Stunning scenery.

 

Views from Hound Tor.

 

Take it easy,

Arctic Tundra Fox

The photographs in this blog are owned by ©Arctic Tundra Fox unless otherwise stated, and not for public domain use, thank you.

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