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Giant of Dinger Tor

Giant of Dinger Tor

Back in the dark ages almost every tor was home to a fearsome giant. Slowly, one by one they all died either at each others hand or through old age. Until the last living ogre was the largest and fiercest of them all – namely Moran the mighty. Now Moran was that big he needed several castles to live in, some were in Devon and some in Cornwall. Along with all his castles he had many wives to look after them. Accordingly he had one favourite – Jenny. Unlike the rest she was pretty, caring and worked hard which made all the others very jealous and consequently he saw very little of Jenny.

Dinger tor was his summer residence and whenever possible he and Jenny slipped away to spend the weekend at this castle of the moor. One day, however his other wives discovered this and made his life hell. They refused to cook his food, clean his castles and keep his bed warm (which he was not too concerned about because they were all as ugly as sin) , “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” etc. So as the weeks past Moran became angrier and angrier. Something had to be done, he was hungry, fed up of living in filth and then to cap it all they hid the key to his beer cellar.

Sitting outside his castle, angrily hurling rocks at the farmers cattle, he finally came to a very hard decision, he would have to take Jenny down to one of his Cornish castles and lock her up in the dungeon by the sea. The following day he took her down to the castle and locked her in the dank dungeon. As he kissed her goodbye the tears were rolling down his cheeks. The only thing this accomplished was to flood the nearby village. So heartbroken, he returned to Devon. Every day he would send two ravens to deliver food to Jenny. She in return would send back little notes tied around the ravens feet. It was clear from the notes that although she loved Moran very much she was miserable and lonely. The only company she had was a pirate who was chained to a rock below her window. If memory serves me right he was held captive because of his pillaging activities. Now the only amusement the pirate could find was to cruelly taunt Jenny which just added to her misery.

One moonlit night she was sat at her rocky window when she noticed a ship approaching from the horizon. It appeared to be heading straight for the rocks below where the pirate was chained. Jenny tore of her white blouse and waved it frantically to warn the ship of its impending doom. To her joy the captain saw her signal – or maybe the site of a pretty topless girl attracted his attention more. Either way he dropped anchor and put out to shore in a small boat, climbed the craggy rock to her cliff face prison. Oh, that is before he killed the pirate because he thought he had deliberately tried to lure his vessel onto the rocks. Having reached the window he was rather miffed she had put back on her blouse and inquired why she should be entombed in the dungeon. She explained her fate. It transpired that he was a Phoenician and had sailed over to the West Country to buy tin. Jenny soon told him where the best tin mines were to be found. In return the captain gave her a secret recipe that once prepared would soon put her back in favour with the giant despite his jealous wives.

So the next day she sent a note back via the ravens telling Moran of her ‘secret recipe’ from over the seas. As soon as Moran read the note he was drooling at the mouth. Now the threat of Jenny had passed, his wives had got complacent and were cooking crap meals. So with ten huge strides Moran leapt from Dinger tor to the small Cornish castle, freed Jenny and took her back to Dinger tor. That very evening she milked the best cow and early the following morning set to making a huge bowl of clotted cream. Then she cooked some ‘melt in your mouth’ scones and finished the meal of with a huge pot of wild strawberry jam. The old giant was delighted and soon cleared the lot. Every following day Jenny made the ‘cream tea’ and soon Moran wanted for no other food and soon became so fat and contented he decided to heap all his wealth on his other wives on the condition they kept out of his way. They in their turn were perfectly happy just spending their days shopping at nearby ‘ye olde Harrods’

So that is how the famous Devon Cream Tea came to be the most popular meal in Devon.


About Tim Sandles

Tim Sandles is the founder of Legendary Dartmoor

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