This walk: 2007-10-4 - Burrator - Middleworth Farm - Deancombe Farm - Cuckoo Rock - Blowing House - Adit - Shaft - Cist on Sheepstor Common
below - Information about the route etc.
Middleworth Farm, SX 57210 69178
A view up the valley from the track after Middleworth Fram
Sign at SX 57925 68800 showing Public Bridleway Middleworth Farm, Public Bridleway Sheepstor Common & Public Footpath Combeshead Farm (as spelt on the signpost, compare with Combshead Tor on the map)
A view of the ruins of Deancombe Farm, just after the signpost
Another view of Deancombe Farm
First view of Cuckoo Rock
Cuckoo Rock, SX 58471 68720 ('fixed' by GPS)
View from Cuckoo Rock path of Leather Tor (left, SX 56275 69988) and Sharpitor (right, SX 55970 70330)
Another view from the same place, showing Sheeps Tor (SX 56550 68240)
View from behind Cuckoo Rock towards Sheeps Tor
Another large rock behind Cuckoo Rock
View down from previous rock towards Burrator Reservoir
Footbridge down the bridleway from the signpost, this is at SX 57880 68665
Ruins of the blowing house at SX 57992 68620 ('fixed' by GPS)
Double mortar stone in the ruins, this would have been used for crushing the tin ore. This whole area is covered with moss (this is a correction: I had previously called this a mould stone, these would have been used for casting the molten tin into ingots for transport).
Nearby walled structure at SX 58007 68620, possibly an old enclosure or a building
Site of a second blowing house on the map at SX 57765 68575, it is possible that the label on the map simply refers to the blowing house mentioned above, the are is very overgrown
Possible location of the adit marked on the map at SX 57772 68415, I looked around the area but could not find the entrance. The side of the valley is quite steep here.
View from the path above the adit area, looking down into the valley
Another view from the same place, towards Down Tor
Possible location of the shaft marked on the map, SX 57787 68333 - couldn't find it, perhaps luckily?! I 'fell' down an old shaft in my youth when the cap covering it gave way and my legs went down into empty space - a nearby fir tree half-disappeared down the shaft.
Lichen on a tree in this area
View from the cist on Sheepstor Common (at SX 57994 68279, by GPS, see map etc below) towards Combshead Tor (as spelt on the map). Cuckoo Rock is visible near the left of the photo, among the brown bracken, just below the skyline, with the other prominent rock behind it, almost on the skyline.
View from the cist towards Down Tor, the TV mast at North Hessary Tor is visible behind Down Tor
View of the cist, lookng towards Leather Tor and Sharpitor (towards the right)
View from the cist looking towards Sheeps Tor
View of the wood corner at SX 57789 68288, looking towards Sheeps Tor
View along the wood edge looking towards the road/Burrator Reservoir
View from the old wall at SX 56930 68640 back along the track looking south-east towards the cist (a long way out of sight)
Zoomed view of the area in the previous photo
Finally, approaching the road, a view of Leather Tor, with Sharpitor behind
MAP: Blue = planned route, Red = GPS track of the actual walk
Reproduced from Dartmoor OS Explorer map 1:25 000 scale by permission of Ordnance Survey
on behalf of The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office.
© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Licence number 100047373.
Also, Copyright © 2005, Memory-Map Europe, with permission
The road access to the car park marked P on the map above (top left of map, SX 56872 69310) at the far end of Burrator Resrvoir is excellent. The track up to Combeshead Farm is also excellent. Beyond that the path to Cuckoo Rock is good, with a stream to cross in a slightly boggy area, but the way is well-trodden - the red GPS track followed the path rather than the planned blue route simply because it presented itself along the way. Returning to the signpost, the bridleway down into the valley is very easy and then the walker is presented with a stream and footbridge (phographed above). The way then splits several ways although they are all quite easy. There is a good path through into the woods although I followed the steep, rough track along the edge of the wood. I suspect some of the path is not shown on the 1:25,000 map. The ground to the cist is easy, as is the return leg back to the road.
Something for GPS friends
The cist is located at SX 57997 68280 on the map, using Memory Map at maximum magnification, and the blue route waypoint was at that location, precisely. The GPS 'fix' was SX 57994 (3 meters difference) 68279 (1 meter difference), which is good. The GPS unit-indicated error at that place was ± 5 meters. The red GPS track shows a slight displacement, a little less than the height of the 'i' in 'Cist' (without the dot), which measures an equivalent length of about 17 meters ......... displacement, but within the given srror.
Reproduced from Memory Map with permission
The sharp-eyed will notice a little going-back at about 4.25 - 4.5 km, someone left his pipe on a gate post while taking a photograph .....
I should say that this was largely a map and compass exercise but the blowing houses, mine adit and shaft were impossible to locate this way because of the overgrown nature of the ground and also not all were found even with GPS. It may be that labelling on the map is not the best in all circumstances.
Distance - 8.8 km / 5.5 miles
Start 11.10 am, Finish 3.45 pm, Duration 4 hr 35 min
Moving average 3.9 kph / 2.4 mph; Overall average 1.9 kph / 1.2 mph