Didn’t post this before as my server was down and all the image links wouldn’t work:
Sunday 18th December
Went for a lovely walk on the moors with Bill, Dad and Molly today. Mum came along too to get out of the house for a bit, but of course had to stay in the car and not traipse over the moors with us.
We parked over at the Old School Car Park, making sure that Mum had a nice view, and headed across the boggy ground in the direction of King’s Tor. Here I am, too fat to hide behind a standing stone along the way:
Quarrying for granite was taking place in this area in the 1800s and The Plymouth and Dartmoor Railway was opened in 1823 to serve the quarries. It closed in the 1950s but used to run the 20 odd miles from Plymouth to Princetown.
We had intended to walk along the disused railway line over to Swelltor to show Bill the derelict buildings over at that quarry, but unfortunately we had started out later than we had wanted to and we risked the sun going down on us so we had to cut short the expedition.
Poor Molly wasn’t so happy about this because she has a favourite swimming hole by Swelltor and knew we were approaching it when we had to start back. She had to content herself with not getting muddy or wet, but merely chasing stones and sticks on this walk.
We did however make it to the stack of dressed granite corbels patiently waiting by the track since 1902 to be picked up and taken to London for use on London Bridge.
Here, Dad and Molly spotted a letterbox hidden beneath a nearby granite stack. Bill’s first letterbox!
From here we decided to cut up to the top of King’s Tor, making our way through a grazing herd of Dartmoor Ponies. Here, Dad and Bill made it to the summit while Samuel and I had a bit of a sit down as they clambered over boulders.
Dad then judged it time to start making our way back to Mum (who we could see was being naughty and wandering alone around the car park on her crutches) via Merrivale to show Bill the prehistoric remains there. We were hoping to make it over there to see the sun set, but were a little too late for that.
Unfortunately I think we can blame Bill for having no photos of the stone rows, cists and stone circle on Long Ash Hill as he had taken so many photos of ponies that the batteries ran out. I have googled and found this image of the double stone row though:
Pondering the mysteries of megalithic Dartmoor we wandered up and down the rows (which according to Dad is unique in being a double row). Molly, wanting bigger and better stones to be thrown for her, tried to remove part of the structure and give it to us, but fortunately her eyes were greedier than the size of her mouth.
With the sun set it then got very chilly very quickly and we hastened back to the warmth of the car and the prospect of sitting in front of a cosy fire back at Ashridge.