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Dartmoor Characters

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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Squire Northmore

Squire Northmore

Hundreds of years ago in the small moorland parish of Sheepstor lived a wealthy landowner called Squire Northmore. He had two sons, the eldest of which was considered to be what was best described at the time as a ‘dullard’. As the years ticked by the old squire became concerned …

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Squire Bidwell

Squire Bidwell

Just outside the western boundary of Dartmoor lies the small village of Bridestowe which technically has no place on a Dartmoor web site, but for the sake of a mile surely a good tale beats all bounds? This story goes back to the 1640’s and an estate called Bidlake. During …

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