I have been quite busy of late though less so with photography sadly so this walk is from a few weeks back.
We headed over to the River Plym area of the moors in the south west quadrant quite early in the morning. It was misty but with glimpses of the sun around. Before we parked we had a lovely view of Sheepstor in the early morning mist and had hopes that the mist would soon burn off.
After parking we walked towards Ditsworthy Warren. These warrens were used as a source of supply for fresh meat for the tin miners who works extensive areas of Dartmoor in the past. Mounds were built and populated with rabbits who bred happily there. While the mist had not lifted but become much thicker at this stage, one of the mounds can be seen very clearly.
Other than the fact I had not walked the area for a while these was another motive for walking this part of the moors. Ditsworthy Warren was used as a location in the recent Spielberg film Warhorse which I saw shortly after it came out. The image on the left is the family home in the film and those who have seen the film will realise just how much work went into it to make it look “nice”! Equally the picture on the right is the field which was ploughed by the “warhorse” quite early on in the film and has become unploughed now!
In the corners of the field attached to Ditsworthy Warren house we found this small store shown above. I can’t say I have noticed them in the past (there were at least three in the field) however they have obviously been there a long time and must have been used as storage a long time ago. It seems quite possible that harvested crops might have been kept there or possibly feed for livestock.
Walking up the Plym from Ditsworthy takes you through Drizzlecombe. Much of Dartmoor has Bronze Age remains if you know where to look but in this area it would be hard not to spot the remains. The combination of cairns, stone rows and menhirs make it a rewarding area for anyone with an interest in antiquity. The above image shows one of the cairns, a stone row and one of the larger menhirs with a little sun coming through the mist which seems to add to the “feel”. The area also has extensive tin workings all around both in the valley of the Plym and higher on the slopes of Eylesbarrow.
We now headed up towards Eylesbarrow via Hartor tor and away from the valley of the Plym. From the top (rather misty still) we walked rather west of north towards the Down Tor stone row which I posted about here a year ago. We walked past the row, circles and cairns (more bronze age remains) to Down Tor itself. The weather was improving so we sat and had a break looking over Burrator reservoir and I took the picture that can be seen above.
From Down Tor we started back towards where we had left the car going via Combshead Tor and then skirting the edge of Eylesbarrow’s lower slopes and mine workings. The image on the right looks westwards towards Sheepstor and shows a rather boggy piece section in the foreground, often found in mining areas that have silted up. The left hand image shows two blocked up adits into a mine. The openings are very small and adits are not that common on Dartmoor as most of the mining was surface mining.
I am posting this blog in the week we attended the funeral of a very good friend who we have walked with many times over maybe 25 years so we will call this walk one for you Bernie – sadly missed.
“May you always remember
when the shadows fall—
You do not walk alone.“