A collection of walks, discoveries, insights and pictures of exploring Dartmoor National Park
September 2, 2022
Napoleonic War – The Honour Oak Tree and Parole Stone (Milestone) between Tavistock & Whitchurch
Captured French army and navy officers from the wars with France (1809 to 1815), were sent to the then ‘Dartmoor Depot’ war prison at Princetown, which at that time was named, Princes Town. Some of these officers lived freely on parole in Tavistock provided they adhered to certain conditions, which they agreed to “honour”. As with other towns the limit of the officers excursions was believed to have been one mile. The main route out of Tavistock to Plymouth at that time was on what is now known as Whitchurch Road. The limit is thought to have coincided with the last oak in a row of trees on Whitchurch road. This oak tree became known as the ‘Honour Oak Tree”, and before 1935 marked the boundary between Tavistock and Whitchurch parishes. The tree, however, appears to be within a mile distance from Tavistock as there is a milestone depicting this a few hundred yards further down the road in the direction of Plymouth. The milestone has been recorded as a parole stone.