The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Grimspound & Hookney Tor


On a walking break for a few days in Devon last week. Spent a day (it was never going to be long enough) travelling to and walking on Dartmoor. First walk was to Wistman's Wood - a place I have long wanted to visit. Ancient twisted oaks dripping with silvery lichen and huge rocks covered in mosses, the place had another-worldly feel.
Later, a quick roadside stop to look at Soussons Common Cairn Circle and then on to Grimspound Bronze Age settlement.
Grimspound is one of the best known prehistoric settlements on Dartmoor, probably dating from the Late Bronze Age, with the remains of 24 houses/hut circles enclosed within a stone wall. A very impressive place to visit as positioned on the steep side of some spectacular moor land. A peaty fast flowing stream runs down past one side of the circular wall.
Text taken from 'Ancient Dartmoor' by Paul White says "The most famous of the pound settlements is Grimspound, which is untypical in the immense thickness of its outer walls. It has been calculated that these would have taken 35 man-years to make. Since the site is badly positioned for defence (and the Bronze Age was a remarkably peaceful period) it is hard to see why such a massive structure was needed." Paul White goes on to say it would be tempting to assume these people were pastoralists, keeping their sheep and cattle on the moor and bringing them in for protection from raiders such as wolves or 'the wild lads from the next valley', however, he adds there is no evidence to support these assumptions.
tjj Posted by tjj
20th October 2014ce

Comments (3)

Excellent, you've been to Dartmoor. Hopefully more fieldnotes to come - did you visit Soussons Common on foot or by car? thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
22nd October 2014ce
Soussons Common was shown on the OS map as being just by the road en route to Grimspound so it was a case of jumping out of the vehicle and taking a look. It was just one day really which turned into just one afternoon as it took so long to get there from where we were staying. I definitely want to go back and stay nearer to Dartmoor (Ashburton or Widecombe perhaps) to focus just on Dartmoor and its ancient sites - rather than the coastal paths.

PS: It was just a short break with a walking friend in Devon who needed a companion to walk with - the other two days were spent walking by the coast.
tjj Posted by tjj
22nd October 2014ce
Sounds lovely :) thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
22nd October 2014ce
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