On the bridleway between the Haytor / Bovey Tracey road (near the entrance to Ullacombe) and the Manaton / Bovey Tracey road (near Reddaford Water) there are three boundstones, of which two have intriguing inscriptions. The boundstone nearest the Haytor / Bovey Tracey road (southern most) is inscribed ‘Shewte Rights’, which hints at the reason why the boundstones were erected. The story of the stones is explained in Dartmoor Boundary Markers (2nd Edition, 2002) by Dave Brewer on page 245, where the contents of a letter he received from a Mrs Scott of Shewte Farm, following his enquiry as to an explanation, was published.
There appears to have been at least four original stones, which marked the Shewte Farm grazing rights on what was once common land on Yarner Down before it was enclosed and which at one time had been squatted on. Shewte Farm had once formed part of the Yarner Estate.
Mrs Scott further explained to Dave Brewer that at the farm a stone shed had been pulled down and some marker stones / granite posts (in one case used to make a step) had been found. On one of these marker stones / granite posts was inscribed ‘Lower Down of Yarner Down’. The land on this part of Yarner Down is divided by the old Haytor / Stover Canal granite tramway, the northerly section (below the tramway) known as ‘Lower Down’.
Using 19th century maps, the four original boundstones are clearly labelled. The higher (southern most) two boundstones appear to be still in their original positions, above the line of the tramway. These boundstones comprise the ‘Shewte Rights’ inscribed stone and a further uninscribed stone. The lower (northern most) two boundstones are shown to have originally been erected on what is now private land to the west of the current bridleway and below the line of the tramway. One of these lower two boundstones would (most likely) have been the marker stone / granite post described by Mrs Scott as being inscribed ‘Lower Down of Yarner Down’. In the intervening years since the Dave Brewer book was published the ‘Lower Down of Yarner Down’ stone has been re-erected and can now be found on the bridleway, a short distance downhill from where the granite tramway crosses its course. Therefore three of the original four stones can be found when walking the bridleway, with the fourth likely to be either still in situ on the private land or still at Shewte.