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The Jeremy Stephens Stone Row.

This is possibly the boldest walk we have undertaken. We are trying to prove the existence of the elusive stone row which some say moves around following sheep. The physicists among us say there is a real risk that if JS - who first spotted the row - actually meets up with it there could be mutual annihilation.

We started with the usual coffee at the Plume and then went off to the Norsworthy Bridge car park at Burrator. We parked next to the wheel pit and had a look around the mine.

The forecast was for possible wintry showers and this picture on the left shows a brief glimpse of the sun. That was as good as it got.

The gits liked the barn renovated by Sir Massey Lopes (picture left) but were offended by the lack of symmetry on the first floor. The lack of symmetry on Massey Lopes is not too good either but what do you expect from a man named after a tractor

We were fortunate to encounter a Reynold's Pony. These are as rare as unicorns.

Not many people know that an American Independence battle took place in the fields beyond Deancombe Farm. Actually it was only a film starring Al Pacino and our very own Mrs Palmtree. Somewhere I have a picture of Mr Pacino with the stunning Mrs P and will include it if I can find it. Mrs P could have been a fine actress but was held back because she preferred Rugby League to Union and you can't have that sort of thing.

Ben was pleased when RH showed him his new dinner bowl.

Here at Deancombe Farm a decision was made that would later come back to haunt us. CTH offered the choice of dropping south for a detour to look at a shaft, an adit, and a cist We decided to leave that for another day and soldiered on to look for bridge further upstream to get us across the Narrator Brook to look at another adit.

This is when an even earlier decision came back to haunt us. Having fallen foul of modern technology on a previous attempt on the stone row CTH decided to leave his compass in the car. This meant he led the troops south about 1/4 mile sooner than he should. A compass bearing on cuckoo rock would have prevented this. Marching boldly on where no man would have gone in their right mind he went straight into an alligator infested mangrove swamp. Bravely ending up to his knees in mud at least he saved the others from a similar fate. Mind you they were more in danger of rupturing something through laughing so much.

Showing great fortitude and determination the team carefully picked their way over fallen trees and swirling rivulets eventually coming to a place where they could leap across the torrent. Cassie amused everyone by failing the first time but just about managed on the second attempt.

The adit was found and was generally considered to be underwhelming. Then we found the bridge that we should have taken. Later that day at home drying his feet and removing the leeches CTH realised that had we gone south at Deancombe we would have had an easy dry walk up along the river bank. He also noted that near the adit was another potato cave or miners cache. Legend has it that it housed an illicit still.

From the bridge we walked up to look at the interesting ruins of Combeshead farm which apparently is the last place where anyone lived in the valley. The old pictures below show the farm in various stages of dilapidation.

After looking at the buildings we soon found the potato cave. Notice JS at the back of the cave doing his sack of potatoes impression. Looking at the poses of the foremost old gits we might have inadvertently stumbled upon the real purpose of the cave.
The BBC had promised us wintry conditions and just then the blizzard blew in. We braced ourselves and started striking up over Combeshead Tor. After two minutes the slight hailstorm abated and voices carried on the wind from the advance scouting party were saying "we can see the stones". O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! Invigorated with this news the beamish boys stepped up their pace and climbed the hill like 65 year olds.
The stones were fine specimens and after looking at them for a while we headed back taking a route south of Down Tor.
The views were among the best we have seen on our perambulations.
Leaving the moor behind we sped off to Princetown and once again enjoyed a plate of Liver and Bacon at the Plume happy that the stones and JS had survived their meeting.