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Tales Of Dartmoor

Dartmoor Bog Trotters

Following the cessation of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 many ex-servicemen found themselves homeless, out of work and penniless with no option but to tramp the country looking for employment, sleeping rough and begging. So great were the number of tramps and beggars that in 1824 the Vagrancy Act was …

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Oxenham Love Feud

“It was one of those cold evenings which so often occur in the vicinity of the Forest of Dartmoor in the month of November, that I alighted at the porch of a small public house, in the obscure village of Gidleigh. I had left my track for Moretonhampstead to view …

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The Long Drop

Call it a crime of passion or one of pure jealousy the Peter Tavy Murders certainly was one that has lodged itself in the annals of Dartmoor crimes. Today such a crime would warrant a long prison sentence but back them justice was harshly dispensed. What follows is a very …

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Church Music

There can be no question that not so very long ago the belief in the powers of witchcraft was very strong and deep routed on Dartmoor. When it came to the local ‘Wise Woman’ her wisdom and powers were never put into question. She could cure many an illness and …

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Piskie Wine

Back in the long lost past when Dartmoor was the home to a whole variety of other-worldly creatures the piskies were the cleverest of them all. There can be no arguing that they were mischievous creatures but on the other hand, if treated kindly, they were a great help to …

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Mary Ann

Mary Ann – the last witch of Dean Prior. – This story was related by the Reverend C. J. Perry Keene who was the vicar at Dean Prior between 1879 and 1926. Coming from a man of the cloth there should be no doubting the tale as it was told …

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Parson’s Plight

It probably goes without saying but Dartmoor’s north moor can at times be a trifle tricky if you do not know the lay of the land. Back in 1864 an eminent man of the cloth decided that he needed to recharge his batteries and that Dartmoor was the best place …

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Manaton Cross Verse

  The ancient cross which stands in Manaton Churchyard has an interesting history, it was once the tradition to carry a coffin around the cross three times before entering the church. In the 1650s the then incumbent parson regarded this as a pagan tradition and tried to persuade his congregation …

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Nefarious Navvies

Night of the Nefarious Navvies – It was the Boxing Day of 1882, Princetown was cloaked in mist along with one of those miserable rains that soaks everyone to the skin. Just as it is to day, what do you do on such a dank and miserable day? – take …

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Grey Wethers Five

The Grey Wethers – version one About a hundred and fifty years ago the small moorland farm below Sittaford was renown for its sheep, the holding had been in the family for generations and now the latest of the line was carrying on its traditions. They had a very pretty …

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