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Historic Dartmoor

Battle of Dartmoor

Fairey5

It was a fine day when three pilots left R.A.F. Benson in Oxfordshire on the 4th of July 1939 in their Fairey Battle Mark 1 aircraft (serial number – K9391). They were on what was deemed at the time to be a straightforward training mission flying from Benson to Roborough …

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The Big Guns

Limber

As with any weapon it was vital that those using them needed regular practice exercises to ensure they were ‘battle ready’. In 1873 the military began artillery training on Dartmoor and in 1875 North Dartmoor became a licensed as a permanent training area with the Okehampton Camp being built in …

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Creaber Pound

Creaber5

“As we are again on the Moor we may as well descend upon Gidleigh by way of Creaber Pound; not the old structure, which has long since disappeared in newtake walls, but a piece of enclosed common at the foot of the Moor, through which strangely enough, the road passes. …

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The Pepperpot

Pepperpot2

  It’s always said that you never appreciate the things that are in front of you and having once lived just outside Chagford the Market House, AKA ‘The Pepperpot’ is a fine example. Until I came across a newspaper report of 1862 I never realised the building held so much …

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King’s Wood Mine

Kingswood4

I recently came across a short article in the Mansfield Reporter dated the 24th of January 1919 which began: “A valuable radium discovery – radium is £400,00 an ounce – has been made in a remarkable way at Hapstead on the fringe of Dartmoor.”  It then went on to say; …

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Dartmoor’s Innocent Escapee

There are numerous reports of daring escapes from Dartmoor Prison over the centuries that appeared in newspaper reports and related books. Some were successful others failed miserably but the majority of these are told from the point of view of the captors and not the escaped convict. But in 1891 …

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Dartmoor’s Brent Hill

Brent Hill3

  “In order to obtain an idea of the whereabouts of things in general, and the hills and valleys of Dartmoor in particular, we shall ascend Brent Hill, where granite once more gives place to trap. It rises to an elevation of 1,027 feet above the sea-level. It is a …

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Dinna Clerks Longhouse

Dinna Clerks, AKA Dinah Clerk – who or more technically what are they? In all reality nothing to get too excited about, they are in fact the names of three fields belonging to or once belonged to West Shallowford which lies to the south-west of Widecombe-in-the-Moor. As can be seen …

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Grimspound 1942

Grims2

  “The best known of many prehistoric settlements on Dartmoor, Grimspound dates from the late Bronze Age (about 1450–700 BC). The remains of 24 stone roundhouses survive here, within a massive boundary wall about 150 metres in diameter.” – English Heritage. There can be no question that Grimspound is one …

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Dartmoor’s Gulwell Cross

Gulwell3

  Just by the junction of West Street and the old Totnes road in the ancient stannary town of Ashburton stands a rather erect stone cross. Known as either Gulwell or St. Gudula’s Cross it’s clear that it has undergone some restoration in fairly recent years. Both names refer to …

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