A collection of walks, discoveries, insights and pictures of exploring Dartmoor National Park
June 23, 2021
Okehampton WD (War Department) Stones
In his 2nd edition of Dartmoor Boundary Stones, Dave Brewer writes that the earliest record of the army training on Dartmoor was in 1794 on Ugborough Down. At the same time an encampment was also set up at Hemerdon Ball due to the threat of invasion by Napoleon. Forward 80 years, army manoeuvres took place in 1873 on Yennadon Down and at Roborough. These latter two served as a forerunner to the summer encampments (6 weeks) at Okehampton from 1875. Following the summer encampments, the Duchy agreed the establishment of the permanent camp at Okehampton and in 1892, a 99 year lease* was granted, 80 acres of which were acquired from Okehampton. The bounds of the original 80 acres granted to the War Department to set up the permanent camp were defined by a series of 8 bound stones, (inscribed in the format No.1 / W.D / –) . This post covers these 8 stones and three other “WD” stones which are located approximately a mile away to the east around the Cullever Steps / Scarey Tor area.
Information from the Dave Brewer publication. Nigel Sharpe has provided information which states that the lease was actually for 999 years. Thank you