'Preserve all local sanctities of place and oral tradition as you can. The antiquary may be trusted for the one: but words and myths have many foes and vanish before the schools, like ghosts at the grey breath of morning. The morning is welcome, yet I morn the death of many pleasant ghosts, slain with bell, book and candle of unimaginative learning. In folklore of fairies, in good wishing and evil wishing, in charms of hurt and healing, in simples gathered at right seasons under sun and moon, in churchyards and legends and natural things set to supernatural use, much appears that influenced the lives of the old people, who were born in belief of these spells and mysteries. They reacted on character; and you who write of such legends, hold none too archaic or grotesque to set down in its place; for these things fall quicker than the elms at March, and cannot be recovered. Hourly they perish, in the withering brains of ancient men and women and are lost for ever.'

A Shadow Passes - Eden Phillpotts, 1919


Over the past 12,000 years man has hunted, farmed, mined, quarried and lived on and around Dartmoor. From the early Mesolithic hunter gatherers to the modern day 'moorman', humans have left their marks on its landscape. Dartmoor has been described as the 'last wilderness' and sometimes when walking deep in that 'wilderness' it is not hard to believe that you are the first to set foot on its virgin soil. Don't even go there, just stop and have a good look and it's guaranteed that within eyesight will be the mark of someone being there before you. It may be a solitary standing stone on the horizon, built by the 'Men of Bronze' or it may be a small heap of stones left there by the old tinners, but somewhere there will be something. Every tor, mire, stream, gully, wood or valley will have a name, granted many of them won't appear on the modern map and lots have been forgotten in the mists of time but they will all have a name showing evidence of the presence of man.  Therefore if man has been associated with the area for so long it is inevitable that there has been a wealth of tradition, archaeology, history, folklore and legend left for us to explore today.


The intention of this web site is to provide an overview of the many aspects of Dartmoor in the hope that they will inspire people to visit the moor and discover the numerous, "Gems in a Granite Setting" for themselves. Some of the tales and stories within this site date way back in time whilst others literally happened yesterday but all go together to make an ever evolving heritage of Dartmoor. Albeit natural or supernatural, human or spiritual, everything will in some small way leave its mark, many of which now lie firmly in the written tomes and oral history of Dartmoor. So, I hope you enjoy your visit to Legendary Dartmoor and find something of interest but check back regularly as there are new pages being added all the time.


The word Dartmoor conjures up many things to many people. Some think of ponies and cream teas, others picture vast tracts of wilderness and bottomless bogs. To those who take the time to get to know the 'moor' it is 368 square miles of pure intrigue and fascination but be warned, it's an addictive place and once you have fallen under the spell of 'Old Dartymoor' you will never be parted from it.


So if you know of any legend or story related to Dartmoor that has not been included on this site please contact me with the relevant details so that they may be included along with the existing tales and stories.



Just a few site 'domestics', each of the categories on the left-hand side of this page are linked to a main page where all the relevant topics are listed. At the top of this page is a link called 'Latest Pages' which contains new pages as and when they are posted. Additionally there is also a link to the alphabetical site index where every page and its link can be found.




This site now lists 935 individual pages.

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