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This walk: 2015-5-20. Fitz's or Fice's Well, Lower Halstock, East Hill, triangulation pillar, Oaklands, WW2 searchlight, Belstone Tor, Cosdon Hill, Yes Tor, East Mill Tor, bluebells, clapper bridge, Moor Brook, Halstock Cleave, waterfall, West Cleave Rocks, Ashbury Tor, Roman Chair, Iron Age hill fort, Shetland ponies.

Walk details below - Information about the route etc.

 

Google Satellite view of the area - including the GPS track of the walk (compare with the Ordnance Survey map plus track below)

 

Extra photos taken the following day, 21st May 2015.


 

Fitz's Well or Fice's Holy Well Cross, reputedly originating from nearby lost chapel of Halstock (St. Michael's Chapel), the actual well is a couple of yards to the right .....

Mention of the "lost chapel" goes back a very long time, to 1240 AD when the Sheriff of Devon and 12 lawful knights (and their retinue) were commanded by a writ dated 13th June 1240 from King Henry III to confirm the boundary of lands held by Richard of Cornwall (the King's brother), namely the Forest of Dartmoor and the Manor of Lydford, by a perambulation of the boundary. The task was completed without delay, on the 24th July (source: Legendary Dartmoor: The Dartmoor Perambulations web page). The book A Perambulation of Dartmoor by Simon Rowe (first published 1848, personal edition 1985 by Devon Books, Exeter), page 290 shows: 'et inde linealiter usque ad vadum proximum in orientali parte capelle Sancti Michaelis' ...which translates on the Legendary Dartmoor: Lost Chapel of Halstock web page as: 'and thence in line to the next ford east of the chapel of St. Michael of Halgestoke.'

Photographs below include the area known as Chapel Lands Fields, where rises Chapel Spring, and a local ford is still known as Chapel Ford today. Another, very modern, reminder is the name of the private dwelling near the car park today - St. Michael's Bungalow, as marked on Ordnance Survey maps.

Link to zoomed Bing & Google maps, side-by-side showing the believed ruins of the lost chapel - after the aerial image shown on the Legendary Dartmoor: Lost Chapel of Halstock web page.

 

The story of the maidens at Easter, be careful about drinking the water!

 

The cross has an incised cross on this face, just discernible; the covered well can be seen behind .....

 

Ribbons tied to the tree presumably by hopeful individuals.

 

Belted Galloway cattle grazing by the roadside.

 

Entrance to the start of the walk today.

 

Over there, there be Exmoor!

 

The summit of East Hill, with the nearby triangulation pillar and the remains of a WW2 searchlight base .....

 

The trig. pillar .....

 

Zoomed view to the Mansion House, called Oaklands or Oaklands House, just north of the centre of Okehampton, built for a wealthy landowner called Albany Bourchier Saville (1783-1831).  He owned the local brickworks and every brick in the house bears his initials, ABS.

 

Concrete pillar bases of the searchlight ..... with Belstone Tor (centre) and Cosdon Hill and Cosdon Beacon (left) .....

 

Belstone Tor (centre), SX 614 920, elevation 479 metres (1571 feet) and Cosdon Hill and Cosdon Beacon (left), SX 636 915, elevation 550 metres (1804 feet) .....

 

To the right, Yes Tor, SX 580 901, elevation 619 metres (2030 feet) with West Mill Tor, SX 587 909, elevation 541 metres (1774 feet).

 

Zoomed view from 350 metres elevation down to the A30 dual carriageway at 200 metres, 150 metres (492 feet) below.

 

Part of ther searchlight installation .....

 

History in the telling .....

 

Ditto.

 

Looking towards Lower Halstock ..... with Chapel Lands Fields, medieval longhouses and Chapel Lands Spring (not visible in one of the fields today) ..... the "Chapel" in the names refers to the area where the cross at Fice's Well is reputed to have been brought from, the "lost" Chapel of St. Michael .....

 

As previous photograph.

 

A Bronze Age cairn with bluebells .....

 

Not quite tip-toeing through the tulips!

 

Clapper bridge over Moor Brook at SX 59937 93648, with a modern bridge built just above it, leaving a gap between the two .....

 

Closer view of the gap.

 

Nearby sign to a footpath then followed.

 

Passing through Halstock Cleave ..... with Moor Brook below .....

 

As previous photograph .....

 

As previous photograph .....

 

As previous photograph .....

 

As previous photograph .....

 

That's what I call stepping stones!

 

Nearby artefact, some sort of key, it was surmised.

 

Sedimentary rock in the footpath: Meldon Slates-with-lenticles Formation - Metamudstone And Metasiltstone. Metamorphic Bedrock formed approximately 352 to 375 million years ago in the Carboniferous and Devonian Periods. Originally sedimentary rocks formed in open seas by pelagite deposits. Later altered by low-grade metamorphism.  Originally sedimentary rocks formed in open seas by pelagite deposits. These rocks were first deposited as pelagic oozes in the deep sea, and then later metamorphosed, though there is evidence of their sedimentary origin. Source: British Geological Survey: http://mapapps.bgs.ac.uk/geologyofbritain/home.html

 

Waterfall .....

 

Waterfall .....

 

Waterfall .....

 

Waterfall - Click on the image to see a movie.

 

Waterfall ..... from another angle .....

 

Waterfall in Halstock Cleave.

 

Still in Halstock Cleave .....

 

Still in Halstock Cleave .....

 

Bluebell, Hyacinthoides nonn-scripta, close-up .....

 

Bluebell, close-up .....

 

Bluebell, close-up. 

 

Looking across to West Cleave and West Cleave Rocks .....

 

Zoomed view.

 

A spreading hawthorn tree.

 

Candid .....

 

Still walking among bluebells.

 

The best of both worlds.

 

The ditch around an Iron Age hill fort.

 

Ashbury Tor, SX 6046 9408, elevation 309 metres (1013 feet) - conquered by Jim .....

 

Or so he thinks!

 

Then conquered by everybody else!

 

Yay - the Roman Chair at SX 60540 94150, natural or manmade? .....

 

"Shades R Us" .....

 

Girls together.

 

Part of Ashbury Tor Iron Age hill fort - this is a univallate hill fort, meaning it is a hilltop enclosure surrounded by single rampart that is usually accompanied by a ditch.

 

"I'm having a bad hair day" - Shetland ponies .....

 

There are quite a lot of Shetlands around here (see a later photograph).

 

Bluebells in a sea of gorse - the coconut scent was powerful.

 

So many bluebells, they also scented in places.

 

The path ahead.

 

Zoomed view of bluebells and gorse.

 

More!

 

More Shetland ponies.

 

Berni and Tom, streaking ahead .....

 

Final photograph.

 

Walk details

MAP: Red = GPS satellite track of the walk.



Crown copyright and database rights 2015.  Ordnance Survey
Licence number 100047373
Use of this data is subject to terms and conditions.
Also, Copyright 2005, Memory-Map Europe, with permission.


 

This walk was reached by  following the road to Willsworthy Army Camp from the centre of Okehampton.  The car park, marked by the yellow cross on the map, is reached just before reaching the driveway entrance to St. Michael's Bungalow.

 

Statistics
Distance - 4.32 km / 2.68 miles.
 

 

All photographs on this web site are copyright 2007-2015 Keith Ryan.
All rights reserved - please email for permissions

Sister web sites
Dartmoor Tick Watch
The Cornish Pasty - The Compleat Pastypaedia

 
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