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Aspects Of Dartmoor

Tavistock Pennies

Tavistock Pennies

Throughout the 18th century there was a dearth of small change coinage throughout Great Britain due to the fact that the mint could not keep up with the demand for the lower denomination coins. To confound the problem there were also numerous forgeries in circulation which tended to lose people’s …

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Take Off Stones

Take Off Stones

When talking of the ‘Take Off Stone’ you could be forgiven for thinking it is something connected with NASA and Space Shuttles. But no, it is/was a small insignificant stone that stands beside the A386 Tavistock to Okehampton road and which hundreds of people drive past every day. During the …

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Swaling

Swaling

Swaling – sounds like some sort of manic folk dance, but it is a practice that has been carried out for centuries. Swaling is the annual burning of the gorse and scrub in order to thin out the old vegetation in order to allow new grass shoots to grow thus …

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Stiles

Stiles

On the 12th of April 2012 the Daily Mail printed the following; “But stiles could soon be removed on Dartmoor – after ramblers claim some walkers are becoming too fat to get over them“. Many of the other national newspapers carried similar stories and very soon the topic became a …

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Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones

“The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them.” You may have heard of the famous novel ‘The Thirty Nine Steps’, well this is the famous ‘Thirty Two Steps’ of Dartmoor’. To some they may at times have been proven to be infamous and resulted in …

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Songsters

Songsters

‘When the mistrals were forbidden to journey from place to place, by the act of 1597, they settled down in country places, married, took to some trade, or became workers on the land, and supplemented their wages from what they could pick up at Whitsunales, May-games, Sheep-shearings, Harvest Homes, Christmas …

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Skunk Farm & the BBC

Skunk Farm & the BBC

On the 21st of March 2015 I opened my email inbox to find amongst the usual spam the following message: “Dear Tim, I’m a big fan of your Legendary Dartmoor site, and was fascinated to read about your discovery of the Skunk Farm! Could we possibly have a chat about …

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Skunk Farms

Skunk Farms

Over the years there have been many kinds of farms established on Dartmoor and in latter years have been concerned with various non-native breeds. Probably the most unexpected was one that appeared in the early 1920s and involved skunk breeding. Normally the skunk is probably one of the last animals …

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Simnel Cakes

Simnel Cakes

I’ll to thee a Simnel Bring ‘Gainst thou go’st a-Mothering So that, when she blesseth three, Half that blessing thou’lt give me. Robert Herrick As with many other parts of the country one Easter tradition that has long been held on Dartmoor is that of the Simnel Cake although its …

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Orange Sheep

Sheep Rustling

Dartmoor can boast many strange animals both real and fictional, over the past few years we have had the ‘beast’ of Dartmoor, piranha fish and now there are orange sheep. On Thursday (14.04.2011) I called in at the Little Chef near Okehampton and met a sheep farmer who asked me …

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