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Dartmoor Traditions

Oak Apple Day

On the 3rd of September of 1651 the Battle of Worcester took place after which King Charles II managed to escape from the the Roundhead forces by hiding in an mighty Oak tree which was near Boscobel House in Shropshire. Following six weeks of narrow escapes Charles managed to flee …

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Night Stalkers

“Each shiny night the moon was bright, To park, preserve, and wood He went, and kept the game alive, By killing all he could. Land-owners, who had rabbits, swore That he had this demerit – Give him an inch of warren, he Would take a yard of ferret.” DARTMOOR NIGHT …

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Hurt Pickers

“To where the whortleberries lure I hie, Thinking of tasty whortlberry pie; A most delightful delicacy, it To set before the epicure is fit!“ Dartmoor Whortleberries, hurts or ‘urts have a well deserved place in the traditions of the Moor. For centuries they have not only provided a tasty meal …

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Mysterious Crotal Bell

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The sheep are coming home apiece Hark the bells on every hill Flock by flock and fleece by fleece Wandering wide a little piece Thro’ the evening red and still Stopping where the pathways cease Cropping with a hurried will Before the advent of the railways and motorised vehicles the …

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Toad Stones

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I once knew an old farm labourer who worked on a farm near Lustleigh, who sadly is no longer with us but who always wore a strange ring. It had a shiny stone set in it whose colour was hard to describe, the nearest likeness would be that murky green …

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Lychgates

Many of the Dartmoor churches have lychgates of varying architectural merit, design and ages. The actual name is said to have derived from the old English word ‘lic‘ meaning body or corpse as also can be found in Dartmoor’s Lych Way (corpse road). In some parts of Devon these structures …

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Dousland Sheep Sale

Over the centuries up and down the country numerous livestock sales and fairs are no longer for various reasons including viability, access and latterly falling livestock numbers. In their place are a breed of more modern livestock centres such as those in the South West at Exeter and Sedgemoor. However …

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Brent Fair Again

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Brent Fair Again – why having already covered this traditional fair do it again? What follows is another glimpse back in time which provides a window into the South Brent Fair which can never physically be experienced today. It gives a flavour of the sights and sounds of busy days …

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Okehampton Market 1904

For centuries if a farmer or any keeper of livestock wanted to buy or sell their animals then it was off to market they went. In the not to distant past Dartmoor livestock would have been taken to one of the weekly markets held in most towns such as Okehampton, …

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