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Two Crosses

Two Crosses

Having recently written the ‘Dream Tor’ page I was in need of a photograph of Wind Tor and so on July 22nd 2008 I called up to the car park on the top of Dunstone Down. No sooner had I crossed the road when my eye was caught by very unfamiliar slab of granite which had been embedded in the roadside verge. On it was carved the words ‘Two Crosses’ and on each side of them was a cross, I knew this area was the location of a place known as ‘Two Crosses in the Turf‘ and so this is what the new stone must mark. But who put it there and when? Having taken the required photograph of Wind Tor I then travelled over to Water Hill to get some photos of the King’s Oven cairn. I know I should have known better and not wasted my time but I made a slight detour to the Dartmoor National Park Information Centre at Postbridge to enquire about the new stone. Having firstly established that Two Crosses was nowhere near Fernworthy as the attendant suggested I was then ushered to the map to point out where I was talking about. Having jabbed a finger into the map I was then faced with a shrug and a totally blank expression and informed that ‘the man who empties the dustbins lives over at Widecombe and uses that road regularly, the next time I see him I will ask if he knows anything about it‘. Good old DNPA, typical uninformative answer, heaven knows why they call these places Information Centres, perhaps they should give the man who empties the dustbin a job? Even better still just leave a computer that is connected to Google and people can get their own information.

So, having returned home I logged onto Google and put in a search for, ‘Two Crosses Widecombe’ and was immediately taken to the Widecombe History Group pages where the following information was readily available. It appears that a Mr R. Whale donated the stone which appears to have been previously used as a gatepost. The stone is to be placed at the point where the manors of Jordon, Blackslade, Dunstone and Widecombe town intersect. Always known as ‘Two Crosses in the Turf’ this location was always marked by two crosses cut into the turf, every year the village lengthsman would re-cut them to ensure of their visibility. In May 2008 the Widecombe History Group announced that the donated stone had been given to the Dartmoor National Park Authority to have the necessary engraving done. In June it seems the National Park’s stonemason, Andy Cribbett was progressing well with the cutting of the stone and work was expected to be completed very soon. In July the long awaited announcement came that a ceremony was to be held on the 10th of July 2008 when the stone would be placed in-situ and all members of the Widecombe History Group were invited to attend. Clearly this did take place because 12 days later I found the stone proudly marking the ‘Two Crosses in the Turf’ as can be seen below – click on images for a larger picture:

Two Crosses

The Old Two Crosses

Two Crosses

The New Two Crosses

Two Crosses

The New Two Crosses

According to William Crossing (1990, pp. 284 -285 footnote) this is not the first time this project was attempted:

‘... Another mark is named Two Crosses and these were formerly cut on the turf. The late Mr. Robert Dymond, owner of Dunstone Manor, intended to erect a mark at this point, but was undecided whether it should take the form of a cross with two pairs of arms, or two separate crosses. We had some correspondence on the subject, but unfortunately his death put an end to the project‘.

At a commoners meeting in 1903 the reeve stated that he would have two boundstones cut in order to mark the location of the ‘Two Crosses’ and in 1907 two stones were duely erected. The first was located at Two Crosses and the other placed between there and nearby Wind Tor, (Brewer, 2002. p.86). So now both boundstone and commemoration slab lie virtually side by side and once again Two Crosses has become recognised in the heritage of Dartmoor. I think this is a marvellous initative and one that will hopefully keep alive an old Dartmoor place-name and congratulations to the Widecombe History Group for making such an effort.


Brewer, D. 2002. Dartmoor Boundary Markers. Tiverton: Halsgrove Publishing.

Crossing, W. 1990. Crossing’s Guide to Dartmoor. Newton Abbot: Peninsula Press.

Online Source – 2008. The Widecombe History Group. Found – HERE


About Tim Sandles

Tim Sandles is the founder of Legendary Dartmoor

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