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Dartmoor Characters

Bray’s Eight Days

In the December of 1881 John Bray from Chudleigh, then aged 59, was arrested and charged with stealing  some horse hair along with other items from an outhouse at Bickington.  That same month he appeared at Ashburton Assizes charged charged with the offences and was  committed for trial at the …

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The Lag and the Gypsies

It is reputed that Charles Ross was one a the very few Dartmoor prisoners who ever managed to escape and get completely away from penal servitude at the prison. In the mid 1800s Charles Ross, a landowner, was sentenced to serve seven years in Dartmoor Prison for robbery with violence. …

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Perrott’s Obituary

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Over the centuries Dartmoor has seen many characters come and go and one such was James Perrott of Chagford. It can be said that a man’s legacy can be seen from his obituary and as you will read to below there can be no question that James Perrott left a …

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Henhouse Capture

Let me take you back to Princetown on the morning of Tuesday the 4th of June 1907. It’s ten o’clock and Princetown is suddenly engulfed in a shroud of thick Dartmoor fog – nothing new there then. Through this opaque wall of mist can be heard the sound of horse’s …

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The Dartmoor Cowboy

What comes to mind when the word ‘Range’ is mentioned on Dartmoor? The chances are that images of red flags, military activities, firing notices and warning signs are likely candidates. But what about cowboys riding through such places as Deadman’s Bottom or Sniper’s Gully as they round up their steers …

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Two Ducks

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  At the weekend I attended an emergency services open day and was interested to see all the support teams and equipment the police had. There were rapid response teams, dog handlers, traffic investigators, mounted police to name but a few. Their equipment included drones, dogs horses, guns, fast cars …

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Courageous Chaplain

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  Here is a true story worthy of a West End play, it involves a prison chaplain, a burglar armed with a knife, a shotgun and an amputated arm. The scene is large granite Victorian house located near to the church at Princetown. It’s a dark March night when all …

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Edward Dunn

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  The first recorded evidence of Widecombe Fair appeared on Saturday, October the 19th 1850 when the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette announced that on the following Friday (25th) a Free Fair would be held on the Green which adjoined the churchyard at Widecombe-in-the-Moor. It was expected that a large show …

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Joseph Denny

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  Over the centuries there have been numerous attempts, a few successful many not, to break out of Dartmoor Prison. However seldom has anyone tried to break into Dartmoor Prison but back in 1890 one man made this his mission. The reason for this bizarre quest was one of revenge …

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Beatrice Chase the Business Woman

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In this day and age we are all well conversant with famous sports stars, film celebrities, pop stars, authors, artists etc. endorsing merchandise, appearing on Social Media and in various newspapers and TV. The bigger the star the more money they can earn and in some cases the figures can …

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