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Dartmoor Characters

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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Tom Penny

Tom Penny

It is a well known fact that moor folk, especially the farmers like a drop of the hard stuff from time to time. Which is no wonder when you consider the cold climate, any way of ‘warming your cockles’ is appreciated. It is also a well known fact that on …

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Tom Pearse

Tom Pearse

Tom Pearce. Tom Pearce, lend me your grey mare, All along, down along, out along lee, For I want for to go to Widdecombe Fair… The chances are that any mention of Devon and Tom Pearse will immediately bring to mind the famous Widecombe Fair folk song and how he …

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Tom Leek

Tom Leek

What happened was back in the days when a pint of cider cost an old penny. A local moorman who will remain nameless (Tom Crossman) for fear of embarrassing his kin folk took a Friday night stroll down to the inn. It was a warm night and so by the …

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Tom Cobley

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The old saying of ‘Old Uncle Tom Cobley and All‘ is often used to describe an all encompassing assemblage of people. It is from here that the name ‘Uncle Tom Cobley‘ has become recognised along with the famous folk song – Widdecombe Fair. There is much fierce dispute as to …

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Tawton Forger

Tawton Forger

Whilst looking for something else I came across the following in J.L.W. Page’s book (p.88); “… John Orchard who was shortly afterwards hanged for forgery.” But what on earth did the man forge to recieve the death penalty? One would have thought it was something major to deserve such a …

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St. Richard

St. Richard

Whilst perusing an old book of 1875 I came across a startling statement which proclaimed that a saint was born at Widecombe-in-the-Moor. This very piece of information could be the start of a new place of pilgrimage for many people wanting to see the saints birthplace. Imagine, instead of selling …

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St. Pancras

St. Pancras

On a national scale if you mention Saint Pancras most people will think of a borough and a grubby (according to a recent email I received it’s no longer grubby ?) railway station in London. On Dartmoor most folks will come up with a church. Look at Widecombe-on-the-Moor from most …

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