Sunday, 22 June 2014

New clues - A parliament of owls

A series of boxes sited on the popular ridge from Two Bridges to Higher White Tor.  These boxes will be on site until the end of November 2014.

Crockern Tor    (Contains visitors book)

Lydford Gaol   


Ashburton   (Contains visitors book)



A parliament of owls   (Contains visitors book)

This series has now been removed from the moor.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

White Tor

Between the rain showers, I grabbed the opportunity to complete a charity letterbox walk sited for the 'People's Dispensary for Sick Animals' around White Tor on the western fringe of Dartmoor.  I parked up at the quarry car park on Smeardon Down, and climbed to Boulters Tor.  The gorse is beginning to flower, and the bracken is growing fast. Another few weeks and this area is deep in the stuff.  

As well as the flora, the rocks around here are distinct too.  Boulters Tor, White Tor, Brent Tor, and other western outcrops around here are not of granite.  They are basalt, the result of lava flows during the Devonian period, some 400 million years ago, when this area of Britain was under the sea.  The rocks are black and far more angular than granite.

Stephens Grave was on my route, although this area is devoid of letterboxes.  This lonely spot is the supposed burial site of John Stephens of Peter Tavy. As someone who committed suicide in the 18th century, he was not allowed to be buried on hallowed ground, but instead was buried at a crossroads, far away from the parish church, to confuse the spirit should it feel like a wander. Witnesses claim to have seen his ghost, sitting as though lost, on the grave.

White Tor is an entertaining place to letterbox.  Lots of outcrops, and opportunity for bearings.  It never ceases to disappoint.  One bearing seems to be missing though - the white flagpole.  The base remains, but it appears the pole has been cut down.  There was no indication of this happening in MOD plans that I have read.

After completing the loop of the tor, I descended to Wedlake and the Colly Brook to trace back to the car.  A fantastic day and 19 boxes found.