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Historic Dartmoor

Dartmoor Prison 1909

Most of the early reports of Dartmoor Prison paint a stark and sombre picture of prison life behind those imposing granite walls. But here is one from 1909 that almost reads like an advert for the gaol which could have appeared in a travel magazine. Clearly Mr. B. T. Bridges …

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Wheal St. Ann

Due west of the small moorland village of Drewsteignton lies Bradmere Pool, a large, tree lined, dark, foreboding place which covers about 3 acres. Today the pool is more commonly known as Bradford Pool but in the past it has been called Beechmere Pool. Colonel Hamilton Smith an early antiquarian …

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Crossing’s Crosses

In 1887 William Crossing published his book – ‘The Ancient Stone Crosses of Dartmoor’ prior to which he had spent a great deal of time locating both the standing granite crosses of the moor and those who had not weathered the storms and interventions of mankind and animals so well. …

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Inspector Calls

  The Inspector Calls – those words will strike fear into any business owner when Governmental Inspectors are concerned. Imagine then you owned a gunpowder factory back in the day and all the possible hazards that may exist and the fines for any that are found. Not a visit to …

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Fyshinge Feaste 1898

In the 16th century the importance of Plymouth grew and accordingly so did its population. It then soon became apparent that the existing water supply was insufficient for the demands placed upon it. So in 1576 Robert Lampen lead a team of surveyors in search of a route for a …

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Widecombe Village Sign

Widecombe-in-the Moor Village Sign – It is fair to say that this village sign is the most photographed one on Dartmoor. The one that proudly sits on the green today is not the original one nor is it on the same site of the road as once located. The first …

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The Wall

Every now and again one comes across a place-name on a map which begs for an explanation. I came across such an example on the Ordnance Survey 25 inch map of 1888 which was ‘Wallon’. As always one part of research leads to another and then another and before long …

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Regimental March

Sometimes today you can come across convoys of military vehicles moving men and equipment around Dartmoor during their training exercises. I think it would be fair to say that such a sighting is not one of the most memorable and exciting experiences. But just imagine witnessing a whole regiment along …

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Pigs Leg Mystery

  “The old mail road from Exeter to Falmouth, having reached Okehampton, passes by ruins of the old grey castle that for centuries belonged to the Courtnays and the Baron Mohon of Okehampton, and then winds gradually up an ascent until it arrives at a table-land where the four cross …

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Myrrh and Borax

Although this report, written by an officer attending the military camp on Whitchurch Down in 1909, is rather rambling and very much tongue in cheek it does give some good insights into camp life. There are several references to ‘myrrh and borax’ which at the time was an ingredient for …

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