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Tales Of Dartmoor

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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Huccaby Horseplay.

Huccaby Races first took place in the late 1800s and soon became an important fixture in the Dartmoor calendar. Such was the renown of the races that in the June of 1909 Prince George and Princess Mary (the future King George V and Queen Mary) who were on a four …

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Hapless Housemaid

History is full of sad and tragic stories of service girls who fell victim to feckless lovers and the pages of Dartmoor’s past are no exception. For instance take Kitty Jay whose forlorn grave is testament to such events. But one does not have to turn the pages back too …

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Tale of the Rungglestone

In 1921 Eden Phillpotts published a book of Dartmoor short stories called ‘Told at the Plume’ by which he referred to the Plume of Feathers inn at Princetown. One of the stories in the book was simply titled – Rugglestone. The events in this tale revolve around the famous logan …

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Done One Again


“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again,” this could well be a motto of one John Michael Gasken, a prisoner serving time at Dartmoor Prison. In the February of 1931, he along with another prisoner, John Mullens effected an escape from the prison. Both remained at …

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Dunsford Ghost


There was an old tradition in the Dunsford area that when a dwelling was left unoccupied a ghost would come down the chimney and take up residence in the house. On Friday Aug 7th, 1874 the following case was heard at Crockernwell Assizes and as the evidence was revealed it …

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