Dartmoor Explorations

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


The gate at Hemsworthy was (and possibly still is) known to locals as “White Gate” as that was the colour it was painted. Like other gates in the area, for example on Hayne Down, motorists would have had to get out their vehicles to open / close the gate. Today, two lanes can pass through what was once a narrow gate and there is now a cattle grid. The original gate posts were demolished by US troops in WW2 so they could get tank transporters through. Also of interest on the immediate area is Stentiford’s (or Stittlefords) Cross, which is built into a wall corner

The ‘Then and Now’ pictures and commentary in this post have been provided by Nigel Machin and Steve Grigg.

Map showing the location of the gate in relation to “Stentiford’s Cross” (aka Stittlefords Cross)
Hemsworthy 2
‘Hemsworthy Gate’ name appears to be a modern OS invention? Its real name has always been ‘White Gate’ – and in the 1925 photo it looks like it was painted white.
Hemsworthy 1
Hemsworthy Gate – July 2020
Hemsworthy 5
Hemsworthy Gate – December 2019
Hemsworthy 3
The narrow gate was demolished by US troops in WW2 so they could get tank transporters through. The gatepost you can see in the 1925 picture didn’t go very far – it is now lying in the wall on the north side of the modern wider gateway.
Hemsworthy 4
A superimposed 2020 picture on a c1920 postcard. Apart from the cattle grid sign and the road sign post this scene has remained the same.
Hemsworthy 6
Stentifords (or Stittlefords) Cross has an “RM” inscription which stands for Rawlin (Rawlyn) Mallock, who laid claim to Lord of the (Dunstone) Manor. He was the fourth Rawlin Mallock and this stone was erected between the middle and late 18th centuries at the boundary of his estate. The Mallock family were merchants from Exeter, who bought the Manor of Cockington in 1654. The family occupied Cockington Court for twelve generations (Ref: Dave Brewer, Dartmoor Boundary Markers and Dartmoor-Crosses.org)
Hemsworthy 7
The cross is shown as Stentiford Cross on 19th century maps and it is not known where the name of Stittleford came from. Dartmoor-crosses.org suggest it could be a derivation of Chittleford, the name of a centuries old farm about 2 kilometres away to the west. It is located at SX74253 76028.

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