Dartmoor Explorations

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

Dartmoor Way – Stage 8 – Lydford to Tavistock

This eighth stage of the Dartmoor Way is stated on the official website (dartmoorway.co.uk) as being 12.75 miles (20.5 km) starting at Lydford and finishing at Tavistock. The elevation climb is 1594ft (486m), with the longest individual climb being from Peter Tavy through Coombe and up through the woods to Great Coombe Tor and the Higher Godsworthy road below Cox Tor. The author had a personal interest in this stage having assisted with the signing of the route between Tavistock and Peter Tavy in 2019.

This post of the eighth stage was recorded by the author as being 23.3 km (around 14.6 miles) in length. That said, the author made a couple of minor deviations / side trips from the official route to look at the (Wesleyan) Methodist Chapel and War Memorial in Mary Tavy and to visit the churches of Mary Tavy (St. Mary’s) and Peter Tavy (St. Peter’s). As with all other posts recording the Dartmoor Way, this post records historical features, shows pictures of some far reaching views, shows pictures of wildlife and shows pictures of points of interest – all photographs taken by the author along the route are annotated.

The GPS plot of the 8th stage of the Dartmoor Way. Before embarking on the walk, a side trip to the castle and church are worth while.
1. Bayfield House
B.M 731.9 as shown on side-by-side and on Dartmoor HER map. It is on the north west gatepost of entrance to Bayfield House, Lydford. Bayfield House was built as the rectory to St. Petroc’s Church in 1870. It is located at SX50964 84745
2. Castle a
Lydford Castle (Gaol) – The first castle in Lydford is sometimes termed the “Norman Fort” and was a small ringwork built in a corner of the Anglo-Saxon fortified Burh in the years after the Norman conquest of England. It was intended to help control Devon following the widespread revolt against Norman rule in 1068. The Norman fort had been abandoned by the middle of the 12th century. Source: Wikipedia
2. Castle b
The second castle in Lydford was constructed in 1195 following a wave of law and order problems across England. It included a stone tower with a surrounding bailey, and rapidly became used as a prison and court to administer the laws in the Forest of Dartmoor and the Devon stanneries. Originally the two storey 12th century tower was 15.8 metres square and had walls 3 metres thick. (Source: Wikipedia and Dartmoor HER)
3. Bailey
Rectangular bailey north-west of stone tower bounded by Saxon earthwork
3. Milestone
Milestone at entrance to castle (gaol). Once a gatepost with a broken peg/hook in the face. It is recorded as dating from c1762. It is inscribed, ‘8 T 9 O’ (meaning 8 miles to Tavistock, 9 miles to Okehampton). Location : SX50955 84752
4. Inside Castle a
The tower was rebuilt, circa 1260s by Richard Earl of Cornwall and was redesigned to resemble a motte and bailey castle. The rebuilt made the walls 2 metre thick with a mound built up round the ground floor of the original tower. It was considered an antiquated design for the period but one that was heavily symbolic of authority and power. An excavation by the Ministry of Works in 1958 showed that the lower storey of the keep had been filled up with rubble to first floor level in the 13th century. The results of this excavation indicated that the three-storey keep was originally a free standing structure without a mound. 
4. Inside Castle b
In 1342 the castle, when it was still being used as a prison and courtroom, passed to the Duchy of Cornwall, who owned it until the 20th century.
5. Rune Stone
The Viking or Rune Stone. The picture with the red frame supplied with thanks by Tim Sandles (to show the inscriptions in better light than those in photographs taken by the author). The ‘Rune Stone’ was commissioned to mark the 1,000th anniversary of a year 997 Viking raid on Lydford. The stone was made by a stonemason called ‘Eric the Red’ and when it was unveiled a sacrifice of mead was poured over it at the celebrations of the Viking’s 97 festival on the 27th July. (Ref: https://www.legendarydartmoor.co.uk/lyd_vik.htm)
6. Wheelwright Stone a
The “Wheel-wright stone” can be found just inside the gate to St. Petroc’s Church.
6. Wheelwright Stone b
Inscribed slab above the Wheelwrights stone
7. St. Petrocs Church
St. Petroc’s Church and graveyard, which is thought to be early Christian on the grounds of its sub-circular shape, which has been modified and the massive nature of the enclosure wall. Source: Pearce (1985), The Early Church in the Landscape: The Evidence from North Devon.
8a. Watchmaker
The tomb of the watchmaker can be found outside St. Petroc’s Church. George Routleigh (the watchmaker) passed away on 14th November 1802. He had lived in Launceston and it is believed that when his health started to decline he moved in with his brother (Edward), who was a local churchwarden and who was living in the parsonage house. 
8b. Watchmaker
The lid stone of the George Routleigh tomb has been removed from outside and now resides on a wall inside the church and is lit by a spotlight. This was to prevent further weathering of the epitaph inscribed on it. The epitaph is rather amusing and was originally thought that George had written it some years before his death. The words have been found to have been published in an American almanac in 1797, being the work of a black American astronomer called Benjamin Banneker who was also a clockmaker. However, in more recent years, an even earlier version has been discovered as having been printed in the Derby Mercury in 1786. Source: Devon Heritage. The epitaph reads:
Here lies in horizontal position
The outside case of George Routleigh, Watchmaker
Whose abilities in that line were an honour
To his profession
Integrity was his mainspring,
And prudence the regulator
Of all the actions of his life.
Humane, generous and liberal
His hand never stopped
Till he had relieved distress.
So nicely regulated were all his motions
That he never went wrong
Except when set agoing
By people
Who did not know
His key.
Even then he was easily
Set right again.
He had the art of disposing his time
So well
That his hours glided away
In one continual round
Of pleasure and delight
Till an unlucky minute put a period to
His existence.
He departed this life
Nov. 14th 1802
Aged 57
Wound up
In the hopes of being
By his Maker
And of being thoroughly cleaned, repaired
And set agoing
In the world to come.
9. Benchmark
An obligatory benchmark can be found on the Church and as seems usual in the authors experience, this one can be found on the tower (west end). Its reference is B.M. 0729.4 and its GR is SX50895 84736
10a. Inside Church
A wood carving and some stained glass windows in St. Petroc’s. The south aisle windows are all late 19th century.
10b. Inside Church
St Petroc’s Church is mentioned in the 13th century with an earlier church sacked by the Vikings in 997. The tower and south aisle were built in the 15th century and the church was restored in the 19th century. There are some fabulous carvings, a rood screen and a lovely model to be seen. The rood screen is a reproduction from 1903.
11. St. Petrocs Church
St. Petroc’s is a part of the Dartmoor Archangel’s Way. This pilgrimage route was launched on Saturday 31st July 2021. The route starts at St Michael’s, Brentor, and runs for 35 miles to St Michael the Archangel, Chagford.
12. Fortifications
Iron Age Fort to the west of St. Petroc’s Church.
13. Archway
Archway at entrance to St. Petorc’s Church.
14. Llydanforde
As with the ‘Rune Stone’ this stone also commemorates the Viking raid of year 997. It was erected in 1990 by the Lydford Women’s Institute. The plaque reads: “Llydanforde – SITE OF DANISH SAXON CONFLICT 997 AD – TO COMMEMORATE THE 70TH ANNIVERSARY – OF LYDFORD W.I. 1920 – 1970.” It can be found at SX50943 84715
15. Lydford Bridge
Lydford Bridge supports the main road over the deep ravine of River Lyd, where the Devils Cauldron is located. It has some medieval fabric but was considerably widened in the 20th century. 
16. C Stone
Continuing in a southerly direction a “C” (county) stone associated with Lydford Bridge can be located. The GR is SX50942 84470
17. Bridge House Lodge
Bridge House Lodge on the route
18. Railway Bridge
The road passes under the former London and South Western Railway
Views from the road as the Dartmoor Way heads south. Tors viewed include Great Links
20. Hartswood
Entrance to Hartswood (which can’t be seen from the road). This historic farmstead was known as ‘Waterfall’ at the time of the Tithe Map and was referred to as ‘Watervale Farm’ on OS 1880s map.
21. Moorcroft
Moorcroft (right) and Hazeldene (left) on the south side of the road are relatively modern buildings.
22. Sedgeford House
Sedgefield House, another relatively modern house on the south side of the road.
23. Spring House
Spring House, another relatively modern house on the south side of the road.
24. Leaving Lydford
Leaving Lydford
25. Homeleigh
Holmeleigh Coach House as viewed across  the old London and South Western Railway
View across the Black Down and Gibbet Hill. The building behind the trees is Hall Farm
27. Railway overbridge
Bridge over the former London and South Western Railway
28. Was Tor
Was Tor.
29. DNPA Sign
Dartmoor National Park sign a short distance from the Whitelady Waterfall entrance of Lydford Gorge.
30. Bridge and Benchmark
Long wall over a tributary of the River Lyd near the site of the former manor house at Westford. The benchmark is B.M. 0645.50 and can be found at SX50265 83184
31. Lyd Cottage
Lyd Cottage, a modern building near the old manor house site of Westford
32. Forde Bridge
Point where the Dartmoor Way turns by ‘Weak Bridge’ which crosses the former Tavistock and Launceston branch of the South Devon Railway. The branch to Launceston opened on 1st June 1865 and closed on 31st December 1962.
33. Lydford Junction Station
Entrance to the former Lydford Junction station. The station was built by the South Devon Railway and opened in 1865. At one point it had 4 platforms.
34. Station Cottage
The old railway cottage as the Dartmoor Way enters open moorland for the first time on this stage.
35. Blackdown
Entering the open moorland at the north west side of Black Down. The track is labelled Mary Tavy Footpath 32 on the Dartmoor HER.
36. Was Tor
Another view of Was Tor – from Mary Tavy Footpath 32
37. Views from Blackdown
Looking north with Great Links Tor, Arms Tor, Brai (Brat) Tor, Sharp Tor and Hare Tor in the distance.
38. Boundstone
B / MT boundary post lies alongside a track (also known as Mary Tavy Footpath 32). This post is located at SX49955 82433. In 1987, the parish boundary of Brentor and Mary Tavy saw a change where the area east of the ‘White Lady Waterfall’ on the River Lyd transferred from Brentor to the new (smaller) Lydford parish* and an area on the west side of Blackdown, transferred to Brentor from Mary Tavy parish. Along these newly defined boundaries are six upright smooth finished granite posts, which are suitably inscribed to mark the changes. *In 1987 the parish of Lydford finally lost its claim to be the largest parish in England as it was split into two civil parishes; Lydford and Dartmoor Forest, with the latter being largely the higher open moor.
39. Gate
Moorland gate to Burn Cottage
40. Burn Cottage and Wastor Farm
View of Burn Cottage (foreground) with Was Tor Farm (background). The former South Devon Railway lies in the trees just beyond Burn Cottage
41. Brentor
Brentor coming into view. A Dartmoor Way ‘sticker’ remains on a broken metal signpost.
42. Boundstone
B / MT boundary post located at SX49623 82105.
43. Blackdown
Gorse and heather (left) and track to Gibbet Hill (right).
44. Stonechat
Fledgling stonechat
45. Boundstone
View of West Blackdown Cottage from B / MT post. This post can be found at SX49266 81611 and additionally has a date inscription (2000) under the “B”.
46. Chilling
Chilling in the shade on a hot day
47. Brentor
 Zoomed in view of St Michael de Rupe, located on the hill of Brent Tor. It is believed to be probably largely 13th century with 15th century alterations and 15th century tower. It was further restored in 1889/90. 
48. North Brentor
North Brentor with the church of St Michael tower prominent.
49. Blackdown
Views from near the south end of Black Down
50. Clearance Cairn
Clearance cairn next to the track
51. Approaching Mary Tavy
Approaching the outskirts of Mary Tavy. Distant tors include Cox Tor, Great Staple Tor and Roos Tor.
52. Palmers Tenement
Glenside, which was marked in an area called Palmers Tenement on 19th century maps.
53. Dry Water Course
Watercourse from below Higher Spring next to Brentor Road
54. Brentor Road
Heading down Brentor Road
55. Palmer House
Palmer House, which presumably relates to the area called Palmer’s Tenement
56. Up Yonder
The wonderfully named “Up Yonder” on the Brentor Road.
57. Hillside Stone
Next to Hillside House is a standing stone inscribed ‘HB 1’, which the author believes is a boundary stone relating to an old mine in the area called Wheal Hope.
58. Weather Vane
A cricket lover on Brentor Road
59. Benchmark
Benchmark on Brentor Road at SX49921 79787
60. Sunnycroft
Sunnycroft is mentioned on the Dartmoor HER, which states: “origins as an early-mid 19th century house, greatly altered and extended in the 20th century”.
61. Crossings Close
A modern estate in Mary Tavy. It is assumed that the name is in honour of William Crossing, the Dartmoor Author who lived in the village and is buried in St. Mary’s church. In the 1890’s the William and Emma Crossing moved from South Brent to Brentor and then on to Mary Tavy.
62. Bryn Tavy
At this point on the Dartmoor Way, the author decided to make a minor detour by ‘Bryn Tavy’ down Chapel Lane to view the (Wesleyan) Methodist church and the war memorial. ‘Bryn Tavy’ dates from at least the early-mid 19th century
63a. Wesleyan Chapel
The Wesleyan Methodist Chapel alongside the A386 at Mary Tavy. The date plaque states the year it was built, 1835.
63b. Wesleyan Chapel
There are several “foundation” stone shaped blocks on the east side of the chapel. The Historic England entry (1326255) states in has a: “Front gable end has gabled porch with round-headed opening for double doors with decorative strap hinges, round-headed sash to right and left with 12 panes to lower section and margin glazing”
64. War Memorial
The war memorial is at the junction of the A386 with Bal Lane, opposite the Wesleyan Methodist chapel and comprises a granite obelisk on an inscribed square base. There is a raised wreath inscribed ‘LEST WE FORGET’ and the dates 1914 and 1918 on one side.
65. Downs Garage
C.J Down garage on A386
66. Brookside
‘Brookside’ may have been associated with Wheal Friendship mine, perhaps as workers accommodation. It is located just adjacent to the leat running through the mine and near to the calciners. (Source: Dartmoor HER)
67. Mining
Part of Wheal Friendship Mine, which can be seen from the road through Mary Tavy. The mill was a stamping mill and was constructed in 1912, to replace the mill near Brenton’s Shaft, which is located to the east. Source: P.H.G Richardson, The Mines of Dartmoor and the Tamar Valley after 1913).
68. Dowerland Frm
Dowerland Farm. Although the farm dates from an earlier period, the farmhouse and threshing barn are early 19th century in date.
69. Dowerland Cottage
Dowerland Cottage Cottage dates from at least the early-mid 19th century as its depicted on the Tithe Map.
70. Benchmark
Bridge over Cholwell Brook has a benchmark on it, which is depicted on the Dartmoor HER map. The benchmark is reference B.M. 0549.1 and the GR is SX50765 78900. At this point the Dartmoor Way turns south east enroute to the River Tavy.
71. Church Cottage
Church Cottage – On the modern OS map this is represented as a single rectangular building, although the labels refer to both Church Cottage (northern end) and The Old Dairy (southern end). The cottages are shown on the Mary Tavy Tithe Map and 539 on apportionment with the ‘Cottages’, owned by John Buller and occupied by William Rowe and others.
72. Old Dairy
The ‘Old Dairy’ at southern end of the cottages.
73. Kirkside
Kirkside is located alongside St. Mary’s Church. The building closest to the road is a former barn dating from early 19th century. It is possible that the building at the rear was the ‘priest’s house’ mentioned by Worth (in 1893).
74. St. Marys
St. Mary’s Church is believed to have had  14th century origins. The churchyard cross is from 15th century with late 19th century restoration (new cross head).
75. Benchmark
St. Mary’s benchmark can be found at SX50909 78755. Its reference number is B.M. 0566.2.
76. Crossing
A visit to the church wouldn’t be complete without paying respects to Emma and William Crossing.
77. Graveyard View
Graveyard with Smeardon Down beyond.
78. St. Marys
The second phase of building St. Mary’s was early 15th century.
79. Lower Tavydale
Lower Tavydale. ‘Tavydale’ was divided into two dwellings (upper and lower) have originally been a single rambling farmhouse. It dates from at least the early 19th century
80. Higher Tavydale
Outside Higher Tavydale
81. St. Raphael
St. Raphael. The building is not depicted on the Tithe Map as another dwelling is shown here, closer to the road. That said, the late 19th century historic map shows a new building has replaced that shown on the Tithe Map, which, presumably is St. Raphael. There are some upright standing stones in the garden.
82. Cider Press
A cider press near Mary Tavy power station. I am grateful to Andy Benham who provided the following story: “the current owner is a very affable chap and we spent over an hour chatting with him on the way to the pub in Peter Tavy. It was an unsold item at the local farm machinery sale for a couple of years until he made a ‘silly’ offer and ended up the proud owner of a cider press. He’s got an orchard and it has been used to make a village cider from local windfalls and the like”.
83. Hydro Electric Plant
Entrance to the Mary Tavy hydro-electric power station. The first phase of the power station was opened in December 1932 using water diverted from the River Tavy at Hillbridge Weir. There was a 1 and 1/4 mile long extant leat originally and this was extended another 3/4 mile then a 1 metre diameter pipe took the water to the power station. The second phase of the power station took place in 1936 using water diverted from Tavy Cleave along the 200 year old Reddaford Leat for 4 and 1/2 miles. Water entered a linear reservoir at Wheal Jewell before being taken by pipe to the power station.
Heading towards the Tavy. This open view from the track is Smeardon Down.
85. Descending Lane
Mary Tavy Bridleway 14 heading towards the River Tavy.
86. Bob Holt Bench
A great place for lunch next to the footbridge over the River Tavy. Méry-Corbon is twinned with Mary Tavy and is the former commune in the Calvados department in the Normandy region of north western France. On 1 January 2017, Méry-Corbon was merged into the new commune Méry-Bissières-en-Auge. The Twinning Charter between Mary Tavy and Méry-Bissières-en-Auge, was signed on 24th April 1982.
87a. Bridge
View from the Bob Holt bench
87b. Bridge
Views of and from the footbridge over the River Tavy between Mary Tavy and Peter Tavy.
88. Longtimber Tor
Longtimber Tor is very overgrown but it is possible to get to the summit as there is a path
89. Lane to Peter Tavy
The lane to Peter Tavy from the bridge
89a. Lane to Peter Tavy
The same lane to Peter Tavy from the bridge in March 2018
90. Peter Tavy Inn
Peter Tavy Inn is believed to date from at least the 17th century, although it may actually be 15th century, according to one source (Quick: 1992, Dartmoor Inns). It was originally a farm cottage and blacksmith’s shop. It is possible that the original cottage was built to house stonemason’s and workers who were employed to repair the walls and tower of the Church during the 15th century. The inn was extended and altered in 19th and 20th centuries. An intriguing story is that the famous escapee, Frank ‘Axeman’ Mitchell (the only man to escape from Princetown prison without recapture) is said to have visited and possibly stayed here around 1965 with his bills being paid by one of the notorious Kray twins. Source: Dartmoor HER records.
91a. Peter Tavy Cross
Peter Tavy’s cross was re-erected on 11th December 2000 to mark the millennium. The new shaft and cross was made by Messrs Pascoe of Gunnislake with granite being donated by DNPA which was quarried at Merrivale. A special service was held on 1st January and was attended by about 50 people. Source: Dartmoor Magazine (issue 63).
91b. Peter Tavy Cross
Carvings on the socket stone include the Cross Keys of St. Peter, a Fish, a frontal view of a Rams head, a Salamander and a Rampant Lion. The cross had been dismantled 150 years earlier as horse drawn hearses needed extra room to turn around outside the church, so the cross was removed. The cross was laid in pieces outside the church wall but the shaft and cross were lost just leaving the socket. A new shaft and cross had to be made.
91c. Peter Tavy Cross
Facing South, there are two panels on the socket stone.
91d. Peter Tavy Cross
The left panel shows the Cross Keys of St Peter, the Patron for St Peter’s Church, Peter Tavy. The right panel has an anchor with a coil of rope at its base – representing hope and salvation. This also links with St Peter’s occupation as a fisherman. Source: Dartmoor-crosses.org.uk
91e. Peter Tavy Cross
The West facing side of the socket stone has two panels. The left panel shows a fish – representing the Eucharist or Jesus. In medieval times there were strict ‘fish days’, commonly on Friday, representing abstinence. On the right panel is a Ram’s Head – this connects with the rural work of agriculture and also indicates the sacrifice and the blessings of the lamb. Source: Dartmoor-crosses.org.uk
91f. Peter Tavy Cross
The North facing side of the socket stone has only one panel which is of a Salamander – representing divine peace. This animal is said to have the ability to exude a mucus which was believed to have the effect of calming troubled waters. Source: Dartmoor-crosses.org.uk
91g. Peter Tavy Cross
The East facing side of the socket stone has only one panel which is a Rampant Lion, representing courage and kingship. Source: Dartmoor-crosses.org.uk
92. Lych Gate
The Lychgate of St. Peters
93. War Memorial
This memorial cross was erected in 1922 with funding from parishioners to commemorate those who fell in the First World War. It also includes the names of those who died during the Second World War. Running around the riser of the base is an inscription: ‘IN HONOURED MEMORY OF / THOSE OF THIS PARISH / WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES / IN THE GREAT WAR / 1914 – 1919.’ 
94. St. Peters
St. Peter’s is believed to be of 14th century origin, was much rebuilt in 15th century and restored in the 1870s. 
95. Benchmark
The obligatory benchmark on the church. Reference B.M. 0567.2 at SX51299 77771
96. Inside Church
The Dartmoor HER records that, “the north aisle has 5 windows, all 2-light with restored tracery except for the central window which is circa late 15th century and taller with cinquefoiled heads and square hoodmould. East end of aisle has 3-light Perpendicular windows with renewed mullions”. 
97. St. Peters Graveyard
St. Peter’s graveyard with some gravestones dating to the 18th century.
98. GP 1880
At the exit onto the Cudliptown road is an inscription. The origins of the “G.P. 1880” stone by the steps into the Peter Tavy Churchyard reveals that the Church wall was rebuilt in 1880 and the Churchwarden was George Palmer
99. Terry Pearce Bench
Back to the Dartmoor way after the side trip to St. Peter’s church. At the corner of the lane to Peter Tavy Inn and the road to Cudliptown is a restored bench. There was also a Queen Elizabeth Platinum Jubilee “painted stone” left on it.
100. Peter Tavy Farm
Gatehouse farmstead in the middle of the village
101. Benchmark
B.M. 0541.9 on one of the buildings of Downgate Farm at SX51369 77655
102. Old Post House
The old Post Office dates from at least the early – mid 19th century.
103. John and Joyce Whiffin Bench
A bench near the Colly Brook. The plaque has lovely words
104. Village Hall
The village hall in Peter Tavy was built at a cost of £300 as a school. It was a two-roomed building opened in 1865 for girls and infants (the boys were still taught in the old school). Source: Mary Stanbrook, 1991, Old Dartmoor Schools Remembered. The school finally closed in 1959
105. Silver Jubilee Bench
The Dartmoor Way passes the (bus) shelter in Peter Tavy. It is interesting to note that there are inscriptions here, to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee. On the Left Hand granite pedestal is an “E” with “19” underneath and on the Right Hand granite pedestal is an “R” with “77” underneath.
106. Methodist Chapel
Peter Tavy Methodist Chapel next to the lane the Dartmoor Way takes en-route to Coombe.
107. Stone Stile
Stone stile near to the Chapel
108. Higher Mill
Next to the Colly Brook and a small bridge is Higher Mill. It is 18th century and has a 19th century addition. There is still a millstone here (just behind the red car).
109. Old Pump
A water hydrant in Coombe. The author has conducted some research of this Hydrant by Ham Baker & Co, Westminster as follows: “In December 1893 the business of Ham Baker and Co. of Grosvenor Road, Westminster, and Langley Green, Worcestershire, were founded. They were engaged in the erection of iron and brass foundries and fitting shops for the manufacture of engineers’ specialities for sewerage and water works. In 1905 they became engaged in sewage and water fittings. The Ham Baker group are still going in 2021 With manufacturing bases in the UK, China, Hong Kong, UAE and Australia.“
110. Combe Cottage
Combe Cottages
111. Combe
The lane at Combe entering the woodland at this gate. Just beyond the gate, the Dartmoor Way turns right (south east) towards a bridge over the Colly Brook
112. Bench
Bench beside the footbridge over the Colly Brook
113. Colly Brook and Bridge
The footbridge over the Colly Brook
114. Colly Brook Pool
The Mill Pond in the Combe, which has been used as a swimming pool. It is fed by a leat with water collected from the Colly Brook upstream. Over the years it has often been drained for safety reasons. On the day the author passed on this stage of the Dartmoor Way, there were swimmers in the pool.
115. Path to Great Combe Tor
Climbing the track from the Mill Pond to Great Combe Tor. The track is known as Peter Tavy Bridleway 11
116. Views from Great Combe Tor
Beautiful views from near Great Coombe Tor: these include St. Peter’s church below, Smeardon Down and White Tor.
117. The approaching storm - Brentor
An approaching storm over Brentor – it really was that dark !
118. Great Coombe Tor
Great Combe Tor
119. Between the walls
Leaving Great Combe Tor along Peter Tavy Bridleway 11 through between some lovely dry stone walls.
120. Sharp Tor
Paths close to Sharp Tor (Peter Tavy) on Peter Tavy Bridleway 11 enroute to the Higher Godsworthy road
121a. Old Farm Machinery
Old farm machinery next to the Dartmoor Way (Peter Tavy Bridleway 11) at SX52719 76983. This machinery is most probably from late 19th century.
121b. Old Farm Machinery
The old machinery was made by Henry Bamford and Son, Uttoxeter. It is a ‘Tedder’. Henry Bamford and Son (Samuel) was founded in 1871.  The company closed in 1987.
122. Boundstone
A minor side trip from the Dartmoor Way along the Higher Godsworthy road to record a boundary stone at Lawns Corner. Recorded by Tim Jenkinson in 2007, (Miscellaneous Milestones and Boundary Markers of Dartmoor Roads) he states: “Boundary Stone at Lawns Corner where the road bends north towards Higher Godsworthy Farm. Leaning beside wall next to yellow grit bin west side of road (SX52980 76931). Legend ‘P’. Misshapen stone worn and apparently moved to current spot in c. 1970s (citing Hemery) after being found in wall. ‘P’ is thought to relate to Peter Tavy. Thought to be late 18th century in date”.
123. Higher Godsworthy Road
Higher Godsworthy road. Good views from here as the Dartmoor Way passes a small quarry (bottom left picture) before leaving the road by way of a well defined track (Peter Tavy Footpath 8) which is the bottom right picture.
124. Around Cox Tor
Peter Tavy Footpath 8 at the south west side of Cox Tor.
125. Radcliffe Boundary Stone 7
The track passes this boundary stone. It is one of a series of boundary stones on the Peter Tavy / Whitchurch parish boundary which are believed to relate to the Radcliffes of Warleigh, who were considerable landowners in the area from the late 16th century. The Radcliffes owned Cox Tor farm, Hill town, Collaton, Dennithorne, Godsworthy, Horndon and Longstone. The stones are inscribed with “RB” (or part thereof) with the “R” believed standing for Radcliffe. The stone in the picture is Radcliffe Boundary Stone 7 and is probably the best preserved stone. It can be found at SX52791 75415. More information on these stones can be found here: https://dartmoorexplorations.co.uk/radcliffe-boundary-stones-on-peter-tavy-whitchurch-parish-bounds/
126. Semi Circular Feature
Approaching the car park at Pork Hill, the Dartmoor Way passes this semi-circular feature. The Dartmoor HER describes it as “a rectangular building measuring 3.5m x 2.7m”. It is located at SX53086 75218
127. Pork Hill Car Park
The car park at top of Pork Hill
128. Rivot
Close to the B3357 road at SX53128 75161 a benchmark rivet (possibly B.M. 1082.9) can be found.
129. Tors
Views from near Port Hill car park.
Looking towards the end point (Tavistock) of this eighth stage of the Dartmoor Way
131. Swelltor
Distant views of Swelltor quarries
132. Near Prowtytown Rocks
Near Prowtytown Rocks. Top Right is Prowtytown Rocks, bottom right is Pew Tor and on left a large granite boulder with an attempt to split it.
133. Moortown Farm
Leaving the open moor near to Moortown Farm and is said to probably date from at least the 14th century based on documentary evidence.
134. Moortown Cottage
Moortown Cottage
135. Langstone
Entrance to Langstone Manor now a camping, caravanning and glamping pods establishment. According to their website: “Originally Stone Farm, the property was bought by Samuel Lang (brother-in-law of the Duke of Bedford) and developed into four villas, Langstone Villas, surrounded by the pleasure grounds (as per deeds) in 1871. These villas were probably used by mine workers. Subsequently, the whole building was developed into the Manor house and an extension added. Previous tenants of the Manor House include the family of the Writer/Poet Coleridge. The Manor House was a Country Hotel for many years and then in the early 1960’s was split into two and became a camping park”. 
136. Higher Quarry
Higher Quarry Farm
137. GR Letterbox
GR Letterbox near Higher Quarry
138. Lower Quarry
Lower Quarry Farmstead dates from at least the 17th century, but may be older.
139. Bridge
Road bridge west of Lower Quarry, described as a clapper bridge
140. Warren x to Moorshop
The “T” junction from the Moortown road leading to Warren Cross.
141. Warren x
Warren Cross showing the Dartmoor Way signs put up by the author in 2019
142. TA Stone
TA stone at Warren Cross. “This stone is recorded in the Dave Brewer report on T/A guide stones from 1991. He records there being a “small piece of rectangular section” on the northern side of the wall at Warrens Cross, having the incised letters ‘TA’ on the exposed face – thought of as being part of an old guide stone”. Certainly the old packhorse track passed close to this point at Pixie’s Cross.
143. View from Warren x
Views from Warren Cross looking north to Cox Tor. The Dartmoor Way turns west here towards Whitchurch Common.
144. Dressed Gatepost
A gate along the road towards Whitchurch Down. The reason the author took this picture was because to the unusually well dressed gatepost, which looks like a boundary markers (similar to the PCWW stones).
145. Venn Bungalow
Venn Bungalow with some more rather splendid dressed gateposts. The Dartmoor HER suggests this road could have been a part of ‘The Abbots Way’ ; the alleged route of monks between Tavistock and Buckfast Abbeys, across the southern moor, which was first named as such in the late 18th century. Eric Hemery and Worth have doubted the route and have suggested alternatives.
146. Stonechat
Stonechat having a scratch (left picture)
147. Pixies Cross
Zoomed in view of Pixies Cross, which is a medieval wayside cross
148. B.M 515.4
Blocked gate where an old benchmark according to side-by-side) was / is located. The reference is B.M 0515.4 at SX50157 73437
149. The Pimple
View of the “Pimple”
150. B.M 492.2
Benchmark, B.M. 0492.2 at Gate Cottage (SX49927 73343). The lane here runs south to a 17th century farmhouse and outbuildings at Holwell.
151. Boundary 2000
A Tavistock/Whitchurch Parish Boundary Marker at SX49705 73303, dated for the millenium. At this point the Dartmoor Way heads north west up to ‘The Pimple’
152. Signpost
Dartmoor Way signpost
153. Lionel Shadrack Bench
Lionel Shadrack Bench
154. The Pimple
The Pimple on Whitchurch Down is a folly. It is a small triangular building which was designed in 1914, by Sir Edwin Lutyens, for the Duke of Bedford. The ‘Pimple’ was built over the entrance to and on top of a reservoir
155. ROC Observation Post
To the south-west of the ‘Pimple’ is a mound where a former Royal Observer Corps (ROC) post, once stood. It opened in October 1940 and was closed in December 1952. It is located at SX49130 73056
156. Leaving Whitchurch Down
Leaving Whitchurch Down near the end of Stage 8. Good to see the Dartmoor Way signs the author put up in 2019 still in position,
157. Edward Chilcott Bench
As the Dartmoor Way exits Whitchurch Common down and small lane onto Down Road a bench dedicated to Edward Chillcott can be found. The date on it looks like December 1931 (albeit the last digit is blurred). The plaque says
158. Down Road
Down Road – the end of Stage 8 as the author had parked in one of the parking spaces at the bottom of the hill.

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