"Keen historians are being invited to help a team of Exeter University archaeologists uncover secrets of an ancient Bronze Age and medieval site.Members of the public are invited to the dig to investigate the remains of a medieval building near an old manor house... continues...
Ramblers have held a mass trespass on one of Dartmoor's most popular landmarks to protest over its closure. Vixen Tor at Merrivale (Cornwall, England) was shut to the public when a new landowner bought it earlier last year... continues...
The farmer who closed Dartmoor's (England) Vixen Tor to the public has been charged with carrying out land improvements without an environmental impact assessment. Mary Alford, who owns the site at Merrivale, near Tavistock, Devon, will appear before Plymouth Magistrates in the New Year... continues...
A Devon farmer has realised his dream by building a Bronze Age burial chamber on his land. He transported four huge pieces of granite from Dartmoor to his estate near Ivybridge to carry out the construction... continues...
There is a series of books well worth looking at for the serious antiquarian who is going to visit Dartmoor and look for the many sites there.The books are by Jeremy Butler and are called Dartmoor atlas of Antiquities and come in five volumes.Volumes one to four are the main books dealing with, volume 1, The East. Volume 2 ,The North. Volume 3,The South west and volume 4 The South East.Volume 5 is an over all cover of The Second Millennium B.C. and also contains an index.
All the books contain maps and extensive text along with line drawings and the grid references to all the sites mentioned.
From the church we walked up to the Roman encampment of "Cadbury Castle," which is most interesting. It was partially excavated in 1848, and on the previous evening we had been shown many interesting relics taken from it. The most valuable of these is a large ring of debased silver. On an intaglio of a light green antique paste is engraved an object supposed to be connected with the sacrifices of Apollo or Hercules. There are, besides, some smaller rings, some armlets, reminding one singularly of the present fashionable bangles, and making one remember that there is nothing new under the sun. Both the workmanship and design of these are singularly delicate. There were glass and enamel beads, horses' teeth, fragments of pottery, &c.
All these had been taken from a well in the centre of the camp. There has been an attempt to fill up this well, but it persistently sinks down in the centre. There is a tradition that there is an underground passage from the top of Cadbury Castle to Dolberry Hill (Killerton). Risdon gives us the following couplet:-
"If Cadbury Castle and Dolberry Hill down delved were,
Then Denshire might plow with a golden coulter and eare with a guilded sheer."
From the same source we learn "that a dragon, forsooth!" is supposed to guard these treasures.
The views from Cadbury Castle are both extensive and beautiful. The Dartmouth Tors were all plainly visible, and we saw Cawsand white with snow. Farther to the left our eyes rested on Exmouth and its Bar, and on the other side we saw the range of hills at Wellington, in Somersetshire.
By 'Volo non Valeo' in the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, 29th May 1885. Tristram Risdon wrote his 'Survey of the County of Devon' in 1632.
It’s getting on in the afternoon, so looking for an ancient site that was a) easily accessible, with no massive hike required, and b) somewhere we’d never been before, limited the options somewhat. However a cursory look at the OS map seemed to show a likely candidate in the temptingly close to the road form of the Soussons Common cairn circle.
Heading south from Moretonhampstead on the B3212 we initially missed the turning, which probably in hindsight was a good thing, as it’s a very sharp left turn, which almost doubles back on itself. So turning around in the ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ village of Postbridge, and back up the road, we headed down the lane signposted towards Widecombe.
Within a couple of minutes the circle was visible off to our left in a clearing screened by forestry. There’s plenty of space to pull in, and I scamper out of the car and into the perfect little circle of twenty-three stones.
It’s almost too perfect here but I’m immediately struck by the atmosphere, it feels so welcoming and homely. Sheltered but not overpowered by the trees, seemingly remote but accessible on the quiet moors, pristine but not over-restored, there is just something about the place. An old camper van is discretely parked on a forestry track nearby, and the smell of wood smoke emanating from its chimney, along with the sound of wood being chopped for the fire, somehow just adds to the cosy air of domesticity.
It’s too damp for sitting, but I stand in the circle and ponder, surrounded by the sounds of the wind in the trees, birdsong, and the aforementioned crusty’s axe work. The central cist is well grassed over now, with only the top edges of the cist stones remaining as a faded outline, such a shame that people fail to treat these places with the respect they deserve, but at least this part of the monument is now protected as it slumbers beneath the turf.
Another of Dartmoor’s many gems, the circle is intimate in size, yet still gives a feeling of the specialness of the place. Once cairn stones would have filled this space, but today instead it feels a place of life, a small posy of heather placed by one of the stones showing it still holds a significant meaning for some, of which I am one.