Home / Dartmoor Traditions (page 3)

Dartmoor Traditions

Franklin Nights

Franklin 2

At one time, not too long in the past cider was as common a beverage as Typhoo tea is today upon Dartmoor. Not only was it a popular drink in the pubs and inns but many farms had their cider orchards whose apples would make the families yearly supply. During …

Read More »

Wheel Rolling

Wheel Rolling

“This wheels on fire, rolling down the road Best notify my next of kin This wheel shall explode.” Bob Dylan & The Band – 1967 There is a fourth century record of pagans in Aquitaine celebrating the coming of Midsummer by rolling a flaming wheel downhill into a river. Some …

Read More »

Wife Sales

Wife Sales

Before proceeding I would like to point out that what follows is not sexist, male chauvinism or misogynistic, it’s simply historical fact. Now as a rule a moorman has an eye for a good beast and an even better one for a profit, it’s an ability that comes with living …

Read More »

Widdecombe Fair

Widdecombe Fair

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, Wi’ Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney, Peter Davy, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawk, old uncle Tom Cobley and all, old Uncle Tom Cobley and all. …

Read More »

Wassailing

Wassailing

By no means is ‘wassailing’ an exclusive Dartmoor custom, it can be found all across Devon and indeed the other cider making counties. The tradition is said to have originally been an ancient pagan fertility rite. The word ‘wassail’ comes from the Anglo Saxon words ‘waes hal‘ which meant be …

Read More »

Valentine’s day

Valentine's day

Valentine’s Day, February 14th, what man dare forget that date? Many would like to, but the marketing vultures have successfully made it compulsory to buy the obligatory card and/or bunch of flowers. But there was a time when things were a lot simpler and dare I suggest a lot more …

Read More »

Thirty Penny Ring

Thirty Penny Ring

In 1855 a Walter White took a topographical tour which took him on a walk to Land’s End which took him across parts of Dartmoor. In his book – A Londoner’s Walk to Land’s End he describes many of the people he meets and some of their traditions. He certainly …

Read More »

Soul Bell

Soul Bell

The batt, the night-crow, or a skreech-owle. To these I heare the wild woolfe howle In this black night that seems to skowle. All these my black-booke shall in-rowle. For hark, still, still. the bell doth towle, For some but now departing sowle. There is nothing more evocative than to …

Read More »

St. Clements Day

St. Clements Day

“Come all you Vulcans stout and strong, Unto St. Clem we do belong, I know this house is well prepared With plenty of money and good strong beer, And we must drink before we part, All for to cheer each merry heart. Come all you Vulcans, strong and stout, Unto …

Read More »

Sun Dancing

Sun Dancing

“But, oh, she dances such a way No sun upon an Easter day Is half so fine a sight.” John Suckling. Whilst perusing the old 1900 issue of the Transactions of the Devonshire Association I came across a report about the old tradition of watching the sunrise on Easter Morning. …

Read More »