Dartmoor Explorations

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


Steve Grigg

Inspired by the section on Ilsington in the Dave Brewer Dartmoor Boundary Markers book (2nd Edition), this post follows an exploration of the area to photographically record each boundary marker. The labelling of each boundary marker follows the same nomenclature shown in the Dave Brewer book.

Boundary Markers 1-12 follow the Ilsington and Bovey Tracey then Manaton parish boundaries between Green Lane and the Becka Brook. These markers (1-12), are from Natsworthy, an ancient Saxon manor broken up in medieval times. In the 1850’s the then land owner, the Duke of Somerset had erected many shaped and named stones to emphasise his bounds. These were intermingled with some older parish set stones and natural rocks.

Boundary Markers 13-16 and 34-35 follow the Ilsington and Manaton parish boundary. Finally the Boundary Markers 17 through 33 follow the Ilsington / Bagtor Manor Boundaries. Each photograph has information gleaned from the fabulous Dave Brewer publication.

The post also shows a few boundary markers in the vicinity of those aforementioned, which have been erected since the Dave Brewer publication.

IB Map
Ilsington Parish Map (NW corner) showing the comparative locations of the boundary markers in this post
IB 2
IB 3
IB 4
PoW Stone
IB 5
IB 6
IB 7
IB 8
IB 9
Hole Rock
IB 10
IB 11
IB 12

Now we follow the Becka Brook upstream to find boundary markers 13-16. The Becka Brook at one time was known as Hollow Brook

IB 13
MI 1
IB 14
IB 15
IB 16

The Duke Stone is where the Manors of Ilsington and Bagtor met. From this point the boundary markers 17-33, follow a south east direction all the way to the stroll giving access to the commoners from Bagtor to Bagtor Mill, an ancient droveway.

IB 17
IB 18
IB 19
IB 20
IB 21
IB 22
IB 23
IB 24
IB 25
IB 26
IB 27
IB 28
IB 29
IB 30
IB 31

32. Stone near Thorn Tree in Bagtor Well. The 1835 records state follow “the boundary of the old enclosures allowing a deer’s leep on the Bagtor side to the Crownley Works”. In 1853 “to a thorn tree at Crownley Works”. Dave Brewer states this stone is a slab near a larger than average tree, but not a thorn tree. (NOTE: The author has yet to locate this stone).

IB 33

This completes the western boundary of the Ilsington manor and the eastern boundary of the Bagtor manor. Boundary markers 34-35 are located on the western boundary of the Bagtor manor and are shown below.

IB 35
IB 35
IB 36
Update: The author made the assumption that the “B” stands for Bagtor based on the fact that Bovey (Tracey) Parish only comes as far as (near) Black Hill and Buckland as far as Blackslade Ford. The assumption was based on this being a boundary stone. The assumption was also based on the fact there are are other old B/I stones relating to Bagtor / Ilsington not far away. To add to the confusion is that the stone is on the triple boundary of Manaton, Ashburton and Widecombe. The HER “suggests” that its a probable directional stone, not a boundary stone and is probably early 19th century. The HER states: “On south-east face is carved the letter A (probably for Ashburton), on the east side the letter B (probably for Bovey Tracey), and on the north side the letter M (probably for Manaton)”.

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