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

Eastern White Barrow



I approached from the large car park at Shipley Bridge to the approx south-east (SX 681629), a formerly pleasing starting point which is sadly now being used as a revenue cash cow for the National Park... biting the hand that feeds... of tourists bound for the Avon Dam Reservoir and serious walkers alike... and, furthermore, disproportionately impacting access to the countryside for the less well off, for which £4 is a significant additional outlay. Yeah, speaking to a number of locals passing by, the car park charge is apparently VERY unpopular with residents. But since when did the wishes of people who actually live in the locale count for anything? So... given that fiscal targets must be met to provide creature comforts for tourists, at the very least the machine MUST be able to accept card payments!!! My lack of cash placed me in quite a dilemma until a local stepped in to assist me. Shame on those incompetents failing to maintain this 'facility' and discriminating against those not meeting their limited criteria. Simply not good enough.

That negativity aside, the trek to c1,548ft Quickbeam Hill is upon a clearly defined, gently rising path, so should offer no technical difficulties except in poor weather. Note, however, that the main track does not directly access the cairn, the intervening terrain proving rather hard going. In retrospect, it's probably a good idea to gain the crest of the ridge sooner, rather than later, in order to minimise this. Or perhaps I'm simply getting old?

As for the cairn:

Despite being aware it is a 'whopper' from the distant view enjoyed from the 'Heap of Sinners' cairn upon Huntingdon Warren a few years back, I'm nevertheless pretty well overwhelmed upon arrival by just how big it actually is. The views to be had from the summit are far-reaching, the isolated upland vibe exquisite. Historic England notes:

"This monument includes a round cairn known as Eastern White Barrow situated on a prominent ridge on the north eastern side of Quickbeam Hill. The cairn survives as a circular stony mound measuring up to [c85ft] 26m in diameter and [11.5ft] 3.5m high. A secondary cylindrical marker cairn is situated on top of the summit allegedly built by soldiers during the Second World War. In 1240, 1609 and 1796 the cairn was one of the bounds of the Forest of Dartmoor."
31st May 2024ce
Edited 1st June 2024ce

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