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Norsworthy and Raddick Plantation

A trio of old gits headed off to South Dartmoor stopping at the Plume of Feathers, Princetown, for the coffee intake necessary before all expeditions. We then continued south for 71/2 minutes when we turned sharp left towards Burrator Reservoir. At the top of the hill we turned left at Lowery Cross taking the narrow road which crosses the old railway track.

For our first adventure we stopped to poke around the mediæval barn at Lower Lowery. CTH mentioned that a few 100 metres up the hill from here there were 3 sett makers bankers if anyone wanted to find them. At the sniff of a challenge SB and PR went off up the hill like a pair of hares - albeit two very old hares with more than a touch of myxomatosis about them. We spread out and after what seemed like no more than five days SB had tracked down the first two.

The bankers - with their hearts of stone - are simple constructions. On the right PR is having a friendly chat with his banker.

We returned to the car and parked up at Cross Gate Cross.

Proceeding on foot we came to stacks of logs which were climbed by an old Health and Safety and Risk Assessment scrutineer who had not noticed the sign telling him not to.
His effort was justified because he wanted to take a picture of the fine cist just behind the logs.The fact that had he started them rolling downhill they could have bounced across the reservoir and breached the dam. That might have induced an outbreak of semi senile men running around in black and white with their arms outretched singing that familiar old film tune.
The ruins of once fine school teachers examined the ruins of once fine farm buildings.
We knew that near the derelict farm building there is one and possibly two potato caves - or voogas. We searched around for a while without success until SB - who was absolutely on fire today - shouted out that he had found one.
There are a number of similar constructions in this area and there is some debate as to their use. However the fact that are several in the area and the picture on the right appears to have a hobbit sitting outside smoking seems to prove conclusively that Burrator was the Shire and these are hobbit holes.

Leather Tor bridge was a disappointment because it is not a tor and neither is it made of leather. However undeniably it is a bridge and a very fine clapper one at that. It also boasts a balustrade to stop drunken miners and farmers falling into the water.

We went on to find the mortar stones at Riddipit Mill but failed totally.

I have since found an old sketch map of the mill so maybe there will be another trip one day.

We re-visited the Plume for lunch and were saddened to find that they no longer sold Dartmoor Brewery beer which is brewed so close to the pub that they could have had their own pipeline.

The liver and bacon was, as usual, par excellence. Presentation was a little different in that the gravy was served separately in little pouring containers. CTH felt moved to compliment the cook on her jugs which I think she appreciated.

We sympathise with the plight of pubs and the commercial decisions they must make but the lack of the iconic Jail Ale means that the rating has dropped from 5 full onions to 4 onions and 6 shallots. It is still, however a dam fine pub with good food, good beer, a warm fire and a warm welcome.