Circular walk from Burrator reservoir – part 1

Burrator reservoir early afternoon

As we walked some way on this occasion I’ll spread this over two blogs I think.  I set off with a friend from the Norsworthy Bridge car park by Burrator reservoir on the south west edge of Dartmoor and we walked up the River Meavy which flows into Burrator reservoir. Before we started the walk it was very misty however the sun came out just before we started and stayed out until sunset.

Raddick Hill aqueduct, Dartmoor

About two kilometres up the river there is a leat flowing over an aqueduct which also feeds the reservoir but was part of the Devonport leat which ran to Plymouth originally.  The leat was constructed in the 1790s to supply water to the naval dockyard.  While leats are common on the moors aqueducts are not.


The image above is taken from halfway up Raddick Hill looking approximately south west.  The leat can be seen running from the right of the image to the centre when it goes around the corner.  The right hand tor is Sharp Tor and the left hand tor is Lether (or Leather) Tor.


The leat does not run all the way down the hill, indeed leats generally follow contour lines and lose height very slowly which allows the water to travel greater distances.  The image above shows the leat at the point where it starts its sharper descent and there is a small clapper bridge at that point.

Crazywell Pool on Dartmoor

Dartmoor is a place of many legends.  Given the fact that parts of it are fairly wild and, for England, quite remote it is not particularly surprising.  The image above is of Crazywell (or Classenwell among other spellings) Pool which, legend would have, is bottomless.  I believe it has been drained in the past however, given the surroundings, it is obviously the remains of a tinners’ working so being “bottomless” would have caused the miners a few issues…  The tor directly ahead is Down Tor.

Above are photos of two ancient crosses in this area.  The one on the left is Crazywell Cross marking one of the ancient trans moor routes which may well have been used by monks moving from one monastery to another.  The one on the right takes its name from the small stream at the bottom of the valley here which is Newleycombe Lake (although it is a stream) and so is called Newleycombe Cross.  It too is believed to have marked the ancient trackway.


The final image is taken from the same area and looks back on the light shimmering on Burrator reservoir which was both our starting point and our end point.  However this is around halfway through the walk and I will blog the other half soon.