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This walk: 2008-8-14. Hookney Tor, Grimspound, Hameldown Tor, Cairn, Hamel Down Cross (remains of), Broad Barrow, Single Barrow, Two Barrows, Challacombe Medieval Village. This walk was Walk 5 in Short-ish Walks on Dartmoor.

Walk details below - Information about the route etc.


View from Hookney Tor (SX 69903 81318) at 497 meters / 1630 feet, towards the Warren House Inn, the white building near the centre of the photograph.


Approaching Grimspound coming from Hookney Tor


Common Heather or Ling (not Bell Heather or Cross-leaved Heather).


More of the heather with gorse - probably Western Gorse rather than Common Gorse because it is low-growing in with the heather and flowering in late summer rather than spring.


A small stream just on the approach to the pound.


One of the larger round houses (hut circles) inside the pound.


Another of the better preserved round houses, just inside the main entrance which can be seen looking south-east up towards Hameldown Tor above.


A round house with a "porch-like" entrance which faces away from the prevailing wind. This might have functioned with a venturi-effect, thereby ventilating the house by sucking out the smoke from the fire inside the house.


The main entrance at Grimspound. There is a small cross inscribed in the left wall, looking from this direction inside the pound (see next photo).


The small cross mentioned in the previous photo.


View looking across Grimspound from outside the main entrance back towards Hookney Tor.


Large quartz crystal in a stone in the path running up towards Hameldown Tor.


View from near the top of Hameldown Tor looking north-west, down on cars parked at the bottom of the path up to Grimspound, with Headland Warren Farm beyond and Assycombe Hill/Fernworthy Forest beyond that. The Warren House Inn is visible under cloud shadow near the left edge of the photo.


The trigonometry point and cairn at the top of Hameldown Tor (SX 70313 80576), at 529 meters / 1725 feet.


As previous.


The remains of Hamel Down Cross (SX 70423 80103), inscribed H/C DS 1854. According to Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor (1912 edition, printed 1990, page 285) this is simply a manorial boundary stone and the inscription signifies Hameldown Cross, Duke of Somerset (the former owner of Natsworthy). 1854 is the year the marks were set up or renewed.


Approach to Broad Barrow (SX 70570 79906).


Another Duke of Somerset boundary stone inside Broad Barrow .....


..... except that here it is called Broad Burrow.


Believed Bell Heather, with dark green leaves, rather than Cross-leaved Heath with its grey-green leaves that are borne in 4's, in the shape of a cross around the stem.


View towards Single Barrow at SX 70565 79533, with a stone just visible.


"Single Burrow", another Duke of Somerset boundary markers, see next photo for the reverse of the stone .....


..... as mentioned in the previous photo, "DS 1854".


Possibly a Fox Moth caterpillar (July-October), about 8 cm / 3 inches in length.


Approaching Two Barrows, SX 70658 79206, with a reputed 3,000-year-old boundary wall behind it.


"Two Burrows"


View across Two Barrows showing, if you know what to look for, two depressions from possibly two burrows i.e. two burials?


Zoomed view looking 112 magnetic ("east-south-east") towards Haytor Rocks, 5.6 km / 3.5 miles away.

At this point, in the shelter of the wall corner from the wind, we had lunch and were close to being plagued by what appeared to be St Mark's Flies, a black fly that can hover with long back legs dangling. This is unseasonal since St Mark's Fly appears for St Mark's Day on 25th April. What is happening to the seasons?


Grassy path scoured flat by rainwater run-off, walking down the slope from Two Barrows to the road that runs back north, towards Challacombe.


Signpost at SX 69268 79206 from the road to Challacombe Farm.


Self-explanatory notice board.


A scene alongside Challacombe Farm.


A granite drinking trough by Challacombe Farm.


Challacombe Medieval Village.


Corner construction at Challacombe Medieval Village.


Two inquisitive black sheep.


View from near Headland Warren Farm looking up to Hookney Tor, near the start of the walk.


Old tin-mining scars on the hill across from the car park, which was at SX 69548 81381.


Walk details

MAP: Blue = planned route, Red = GPS satellite track of the actual walk.

The blue lines are the compass or GPS bearings. The red line is the route actually walked: it deviates sometimes from the blue lines to avoid obstacles such as thick bracken, gorse, bogs or clitter, and often to use paths or animal tracks that are not on the map. Many paths on the map are not on the ground, and vice versa.

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


Road access was easy, passing the Warren House Inn from the Plymouth direction and taking the first right turn, at Challacombe Cross. Parking is at SX 69543 81383, 1.64 km / 1.02 miles, down the road.

Distance - 8.79 km / 5.46 miles.
Start 11.10 am, Finish 3.28 pm, Duration 3 hr 18 min.
Moving average 4.3 kph / 2.67 mph; Overall average 2.3 kph / 1.43 mph.


All photographs on this web site are copyright ©2007-2016 Keith Ryan.
All rights reserved - please email for permissions

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