Dartmoor Explorations

A collection of walks, discoveries, insights and pictures of exploring Dartmoor National Park

‘629’ Capping Stones

In the late 1980’s / early 1990’s, the author found a stone inscribed with ‘629’ on it, south of Limsboro’ Cairn (Lynch Tor) quite close to the peat cutters track which leads up from Wapsworthy Common and runs around the aforementioned tor and also down into the Walkham Valley. The author thought that it was almost certainly of military origin, but it wasn’t until 2001 that the true meaning of the inscription was revealed. In the Spring issue (no. 62) of the Dartmoor Magazine, a letter by R.L.G. Seidal was published in the magazine asking if anyone could shed light on 5 such ‘629’ stones they had found on the moor. An answer to the question came in the Summer issue (no. 63) of the magazine by A.H Clark, Lt Col (Retd), Commandant Dartmoor Training Area, Okehampton, Devon. It was revealed by Lt. Col Clark that: “….these block mark precisely the buried junction points of the military range safety telephone system. The use of 629 escaped me, until Mr Colin Hutchings, until recently an Okehampton based MOD Technician, recalled that back in the 1960’s, 629 Signal Works Troop, from Crownhill in Plymouth was responsible for maintaining line communications on Dartmoor. Hence their unit number marks the concrete blocks”.

Therefore, these blocks are around 60 years old. The author is aware of four such blocks, extant or otherwise; namely; 1. on the south of Limsboro’ Cairn, 2. north east of Cullever Steps, 3. near the summit of Amicombe Hill and 4. on the west side of Lints Tor. On visits over the last 10-15 years, the author has failed to re-find the Limsboro’ Cairn block, suspecting it may either be gone or vegetation has grown over the top of it. If any readers of this post are aware of any other extant blocks, the author would be most grateful in receiving details of their location(s).

Bibliography:

  1. Dartmoor Magazine – Spring 2001 (issue 62) – Letter from R.L.G. Seidal titled: ‘629’ Stones
  2. Dartmoor Magazine – Summer 2001 (issue 63) – Letter from A.H. Clark, Lt Col (Retd), titled: ‘629’ Stones
0. Dartmoor Magazine Letter 1
The letter from R.L.G. Seidal in the Spring 2001 edition of the Dartmoor Magazine regarding the ‘629 Capping Stones’
0. Dartmoor Magazine Letter 2
The response to the original letter by A.H Clark, Lt Col (Retd), Commandant Dartmoor Training Area, Okehampton, Devon from Summer 2001 Dartmoor Magazine. Lt Col Tony Clark now has an OBE. The author is grateful to him for supplying information on other military artefacts for other Dartmoor Explorations posts such as the planned Target Railway between Okement Hill and East Mill Tor.
0. Dartmoor Magazine Lynch 629 Capping Stone
This picture was taken by R.G.L Seidal and its angled position is very reminiscent of the block the author remembers at Limsboro’ Cairn area. This picture may well be of that very same block.
1. Map Cullever Steps
Sketch map showing the location of the ‘629’ capping stone to the north east of Cullever Steps
2. Cullever Steps 629a
‘629’ capping stone north east of Cullever Steps
2. Cullever Steps 629b
A contextual picture of the ‘629’ capping stone north east of Cullever Steps
2. Cullever Steps 629c
The Cullever Steps ‘629’ capping stone can be found at SX60462 92210
3. Map Amicombe Hill
Sketch map showing the location of the ‘629’ capping stone close to the top of Amicombe Hill
4. Amicombe 629a
The ‘629’ capping stone on Amicombe Hill lies alongside a communications post (where a socket would have been located). The communications post still has a wooden back board inside it.
4. Amicombe 629b
Close up of the ‘629’ capping stone, which can be found at SX57009 86201
4. Amicombe 629c
Contextual pictures of the ‘629’ capping stone on Amicombe Hill. This stone was brought to the attention of the author by Patricia Davies on the Dartmoor Information Exchange Facebook page.
5. Lints 629a Louise Allerton
‘629’ capping stone on Lints Tor – picture provided with kind permission from Louise Allerton

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