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Dartmoor Traditions

Dartmoor Hay and Corn Ricks

  A vital part of any harvest on Dartmoor was storing the crop until it was needed for processing or feed and bedding. Due to the small size of many farmsteads it was not possible in the barns and linhays so the answer was to build ‘ricks’. Numerous crops would …

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Dartmoor Rippers & Oak Bark

For centuries British leather tanners used oak bark to tan skins and hides in order to make them waterproof and durable. This was a process whereby the bark is stripped from trees during the spring and summer seasons. Then it’s dried out for a couple of years and ground down …

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Sloe Gin

  SLOE GIN – For several hundred years gin has been a popular drink but in its early days there was a great divergence in its price and quality. And so either as a personal preference or to improve its taste people began experimenting with its flavour. One day somebody …

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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

Crotal2

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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