The White Rajahs

In 2003, Sheepstor, its namesake tor and surrounding land went under the hammer in a Somerset auction, and apparently ex-Beatle Sir Paul McCartney showed an interest in bidding, since he already owns land on Exmoor...

We enjoyed the nice weather with a wander over Sheeps Tor, over to Hingston Hill and back along the shoreline of Burrator.

We started with a look around Sheepstor churchyard. Here lie the the princely rulers of the Kingdom of Sarawak from 1841 to 1946.

The 'White Rajahs', otherwise known as the Brooke family, who, as reward for efforts fighting piracy, received land on the island of Borneo from the Sultan of Brunei. After the Second World War, the Brooke brothers handed their independent kingdom over to the UK, who are still a protectorate of the state (now of Malaysia).

A complicated history, but the tombs of Sir James, Charles and Vyner Brooke - the White Rajahs happen to be in the peaceful graveyard at St Leonards Church in Sheepstor.

Sheeps Tor is a massive bulk, with awesome views, but a dull eastern flank around to the Narrator Brook, with only a visit to Outcombe Rocks to liven the walk. Onwards to Combeshead Tor with its graffiti on the Northern outcrop. WITC has seen littering and vandalism elsewhere, but does not believe graffiti exists on any other other tor on the moor like this.

Hingston Hill next, with its stone row and iconic lone tree. Then the descent to Down Tor, Middleworth Tor, Snapper Tor and Norsworthy Bridge and the walk past the unusual Burrator Arboretum on the way back to the car. Planted after the storm of 1987, its a mixture of trees set beside the road.


4 Winds said…
Had no idea about the White Rajahs - interesting stuff!

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