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Assycombe & Lowton

Circular Walk

Froggymead & Grey Wethers

Froggymead Circles and Row within the forest, Teignhead Farm and Grey Wethers stone circles.

Click for large image

A long walk rewarded with the chance to explore two stone rows, two stone circles, two small villages, two abandoned farms and two clapper bridges. Wow!

Interesting links

Froggymead Circle - picture from http://www.dartmoorarchive.org/

circle

Butler is scathing about the miserly amount of space left for the Froggymead monuments but it is still a very pleasant and peaceful spot providing you come when there is not a rave going on. Clicking on the pictures below brings up a printable size image.
butler GE
Froggymead monuments - after Butler
Froggymead monuments - Google Earth

Teignhead Farm - pictures from http://www.dartmoorarchive.org/

farm
Manga

All these pictures are labelled as Teignhead Farm but the one at bottom left is thought to be the older Manga Farm.

Contained in A  BOOK OF DARTMOOR, BY S. BARING-GOULD  - is the quote:-

Near the source of the North Teign is Teignhead   House, one of the most solitary spots in England. A shepherd resides there, but it is not for many winters that a woman can endure the isolation and retain her reason.

I offer it without any comment but I am wearing a little smirk.

Teignhead Farm is a fascinating spot with many granite artefacts to wonder at and admire. However it is deteriorating fast not because granite is weak - quite the opposite - but because of the attentions of some who probably love going to the moor but do not have respect for it.

After crossing the fine clapper bridge, finding the tin mould, the roller, and the slotted gatepost go down the hill to the river and find the blowing mill at SX 63747 84243. Here are more tin moulds.

From Geocaching read this account:-

These are the ruins of Dartmoor’s remotest farm house. It was built in 1780 and inhabited until 1943.

The occupants seem to have had a liking for massive stonework. There are several very large gate posts near the house; and the clapper bridge, built at about the same time, is one of the Moor’s finest. It has three sets of imposts (slabs) three abreast. The newest walls were several miles long, enclosing something like 1500 acres of good grazing land.

By the river below the copse is a blowing house whose walls almost certainly provided stone for the farm house buildings. All that remains of it are two mighty boulders, in one of which are two tin moulds. It is worth a visit to inspect these and to ponder on the fact that an ingot of tin taken from the larger mould would weigh more than a large man.*

Presumably the miners of Great Varracombe also made use of it, as well as those who dug in the immediate vicinity.

In later days this spot became known as the Blacksmith’s shop.

*Nerdy bit. Atomic mass of tin is 118 and that of iron is 56. A cubic metre of Sn is 7,280kg. I think I remember that granite is 2700kg.

I have estimated that the moulds were about 30 x 20 x 15 giving a volume of 9000cm3 although that may be on the small side.

Doing some sums gives a mass of 65.52kg. Quite an impressive figure even if it is less than the mass of a large man. current price of tin is 1571.98 euros per 100kg. Check my sums. I could be wrong. Haven't done any for quite a while. I'm retired you know!

Since writing the above paragraph I have come across this:-

The only properly documented find of a tin ingot from Dartmoor has a diagonal hole through it which matches the supposed practice of placing a stick in the mould when pouring in the molten tin. The stick would burn away leaving the hole which would be used to lever out the solid ingot from the mould and would later be useful to tie up the ingots for carriage. According to Worth, the found ingot fitted precisely into one of the moulds found at the lower blowing house on the River Yealm, although it did not fill it and weighed only 52 pounds (24 kg), far less than the average Dartmoor ingot weight of 195 pounds (88 kg). He speculated that it was the small surplus that remained after the normal ingots had been cast. Cornish ingots were much larger, averaging around 345 pounds (156 kg).

Wikipedia - worth reading.

Staggering sizes! Good article here too. Talking of staggering sizes - take a look at these beauties

Greywethers Circles

grey Grey Wethers circle before restoration- picture from http://www.dartmoorarchive.org/

Crossing the river and walking uphill to the Long Ridge track follow it south until you reach the Newtake Wall. Suddenly you are upon the Grey Wethers stone circles. From there our path went back into the forest to see the two villages and then back to the car park.

The Walk.