Monday, 30 July 2012

Uncle Ab

Concluding our July focus on Dartmoor houses, today's walk included a visit to the remains of a pit pony residence near the head of Middle Brook: Uncle Abs House.  

Our walk took us from Shipley Bridge up the Zeal Tor Tramroad to Petres Pits, and on up to Eastern Whittaburrow.  Affectionately known as the Sub, due to its resemblance to a surfacing submarine with a conning tower.  At 472 metres, EWB is one of the highest points on the South moor, and provides impressive views across the South Hams.

WITC met fellow letterboxers 'Slow Going' and 'Cornish Lady'.  They helped kick start the box finding, which up to this point had been tough, thanks to iffy weather and the LBT.  From Eastern Whittaburrow to Western Whittaburrow, with Petres Cross affixed in it's cairn.  

We descended from here to Quickbeam Hill, Knattaburrow, and Middle Brook.  Pausing to look around Uncle Abs House.  The shell of this property stood as late as the 1950's, as a photo on the Dartmoor archive shows here.  Today, just a solitary corner remains upright, alongside the ruined foundations.  A geocache is hidden among the ruins, but letterboxes keep their distance.

The house used to be split level, with the ground floor used to store the horses for nearby pit work, and the first floor for the staff.

A quick crossing of the hill to Bala Brook, and we found ourselves just a short stroll around Brent Moor from the Avon Dam track and Shipley Bridge.

8 miles walked.  15 boxes found.

Monday, 23 July 2012

A sneaky peek

WITC notes with interest the sale of another iconic Dartmoor house:  Pew Tor Cottage, near Merrivale.  This 6-bedroomed property has a unique situation amongst small Dartmoor properties, in that it is surrounded by access land (and probably letterboxes) right up to it's four boundaries.  High hedges provide the residents with seclusion, and the proximity from the top of the Pew Tor prevents prying eyes.  So the brochure attached to the property listing (accessible via Rightmove: here) gives a rare glimpse into the home and gardens.

The sales information suggests that the house was built in the late 18th century, with many original character features.  It has an acre of land including an ornamental pond and - although it needs upgrading - a swimming pool too.

The square shaped, wooded family retreat is on the market now for £675,000 from Tavistock agent Ward and Chowan.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Rain stopped play

Whoisthechallenger took a stroll up the Plym this past week.  With high hopes and even higher gaiters, we splashed our way out of the Gutter Tor car park towards Ditsworthy Warren.  The house, which featured in last year's Oscar-nominated Spielberg epic 'War Horse' looked decidedly moody under leaden skies.

The recent rains on Dartmoor again has hit the headlines with the Yealm sparking a Severe Flood Warning on Friday 6th July.  River levels in Yealmpton rose more than 6 feet higher than normal for this time of year.  The Plym was also on high alert.  The Youtube video below was filmed during the morning of July 7th at the confluence of Blackaton Brook and River Plym above Cadover Bridge.  The OP of the video: 'Bikiniboy' states that levels had dropped 2.5ft before he arrived on location.

In keeping with the exceptional conditions, our walk came to an abrupt halt at Whittenknowles Rocks because our path to Drizzlecombe and beyond was underwater.

Lets hope Summer arrives soon!