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Dartmoor Characters

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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Saint or Sinner

“… the noted Teign Head George. George was quite a character in his way, and though reared in a remote spot where little or no association with his fellows was to be found, developed a great liking for company nevertheless. The neighbouring village of Chagford knew him often, he had …

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Dartmoor on a Motorcycle

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Dartmoor is more than capable for setting challenges of all shapes and sizes but probably one of the more stranger of such took place over one hundred years ago. It involved a man, a vintage motorcycle and over fifteen miles of the moor’s rugged landscape. The man was Mr. J. …

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‘Just William’ on Dartmoor

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  As a boy I loved the ‘Just William’ books which were written by Richmal Crompton, William was my hero, always into mischief but ever the lovable rogue. In many ways he somewhat reflected my childhood spending his days roaming his village and countryside on his various adventures and misadventures. …

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Stanley Thurston

On the 26th of March 1941 the Western Morning News published the following report under the headline of ,”Vanished from Dartmoor.” It read: “Stanley Thurston the man who boasted that no English goal could hold him, escaped from Dartmoor Prison yesterday morning and was still at large up to a …

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Watchmaker of Lydford

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This is not a legend as such but it is one of those quirky things that are a ‘must see’ if you are in Lydford. Tucked neatly to the right of the church porch is a small rectangular grave. It’s obviously much visited as there is a small track worn …

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William Crossing

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Many people say that you either love Dartmoor or loathe it, I would slightly disagree insomuch as there is a third emotion regarding Dartmoor and that is obsession. It truly can become an addictive place for all sorts of reasons and it is this third category that the writer William …

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Dartmoor Shepherd Letters

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One of the most famous and perhaps lovable convicts who have had the pleasure of a spell in Dartmoor Prison has to be David Davies, aka Evans, also known as the Dartmoor Shepherd. For a series of petty crimes he served at total of some 50 years in various gaols …

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