Just above the Warren House Inn is what could be described as the most puzzling of Dartmoor features. It consists of two five foot granite blocks, each has an large inscribed ‘V’ on the upper surfaces and a round hole at each of the three nodes of the ‘V’. They look like the petrified footprints of some long extinct dinosaur and are known, for obvious reasons as the ‘V Stones’. The stones are sited near to a couple of small, disused quarries which in turn is located near the tin mining complex of Birch tor. In which case they could be associated with either quarrying or mining amongst a host of alternative explanations.
It has been suggested that the gully to which they are near could have been a light tramway used by the old Bush Down Mine and that these blocks were part of the points system.
I have recently spoken to John Evans who is a leading light in Industrial Landscape Archaeology at the Blaenavon Iron Works and he considers that providing the blocks are not in-situ they could have been used for getting carts onto a tramroad. The ‘V’s would have had iron guiding plates that would have directed the cart wheels onto the rails, that is assuming that there was a light tramway nearby. A similar iron-made device can be seen in the casting shed at the Blaenavon Iron works and this was used for identical purposes.
The only other suggestion has been that they formed part of a Vermin Trap that would have been used at the old Headland Warren which at one time was in operation nearby.
The map below shows the location of the blocks which, as can be seen, are located very near the roadside:
If anybody has any further suggestions or knows of additional references to the V Stones I will be very grateful to hear from them.