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This walk: 2010-2-10. A wintry walk - freezing on the high moor above Okehampton. Rowtor, West Mill Tor, East Mill Tor ??? gun emplacements, steel target, target railway, Yes Tor, Winter Tor, New Bridge, East Okement Farm, OP22 - Observation Post 22, old Lydford boundary stone.

Walk details below - Information about the route etc.

 

Looking at Rowtor, SX 593 916, elevation 468 m (1535 ft), from the car park, with West Mill Tor behind. This walk is all on the Okehampton Firing Range - after first checking the Dartmoor Firing Notice.

 

Looking south-west from the car park, along part of the Military Loop Road/Ring Road.

 

Military flag-pole on Rowtor, for red flags when the military are firing.

 

View of the range of Belstone Tors with Irishman’s Wall showing up clearly.

 

Frost-covered rock at Rowtor - not white enough for me, lighting!

 

Another frosty scene at Rowtor.

 

Approaching the top  of Rowtor (details already given), with West Mill Tor beyond (top right).

 

Rowtor.

 

Rowtor.

 

Rowtor.

 

Looking from Rowtor to West Mill Tor.

 

On Rowtor - with blue sky!

 

Looking from Rowtor to West Mill Tor, again.

 

Looking back at Rowtor, the rock in the foreground appears to be shaped round - perhaps a millstone abandoned in the making?

 

Looking due south, to East Mill Tor, with frozen pools.

 

Two firing (gun) emplacements (marked on maps below), with West Mill Tor behind.

 

Again, with human scale and frozen pool.

 

The frozen pool, with wheel-track artefacts.

 

Another view .....

 

Looking through the firing position, towards the steel plate target .....

 

Looking back at Rowtor again.

 

Steel plate target .....

 

Armour-piercing bullet strikes .....

 

Showing the thickness of the steel plate with a 20 p coin for scale (14 cm or 5˝ inches thick).

 

Target railway shed, with West Mill Tor behind.

 

The target railway .....

 

..... running through a cutting, to protect the engine and base-area of the target (a tank silhouette).

 

Another view of the railway shed with a set of points in the foreground.

 

A far view to Yes Tor (SX 580 901, elevation 619 m (2030 ft).

 

Looking just north of east to the diminutive and aptly named (for today) Winter Tor just behind the trees, SX 609 915, elevation 420 m (1377 ft) with Higher Tor outcrops behind. The target railway is in the foreground.

 

A view towards Yes Tor with a frozen stream in the foreground.

 

Rocky outcrop passed en route to New Bridge ..... believed once-featured in Rock&Gem magazine .....

 

New Bridge over Black-a-ven Brook, SX 596 903, seen from the north (downstream) side ..... with Jim looking for the "On" button .....

 

A closer view through one of the "arches" .....

 

Looking upstream from the bridge .....

 

The pointed, upstream side of the central support, to combat damage by flood flows.

 

East Okement Farm, nestled in among trees, no doubt as windbreaks.

 

"OP 22" - Observation Post 22 ..... at the end of the military road as far as walkers/tourists are concerned - there is now an official policy of benign neglect .....

 

The view from the OP ..... back towards the Black-a-ven and the track we walked down.

 

A new notice to prevent motorists from passing the observation post .....

 

The road beyond the OP, with new barriers to dissuade motorists from driving any further .....

 

Passing the OP.

 

This boundary stone with ‘L’ on it is one of five in the area, of 19th century origin. The L iindicates Lydford (Forest of Dartmoor). Although now well within Okehampton Parish, the boundaries have been disputed and changed, this is an example. The other side has no apparent inscription.

 

Zoomed view to Yes Tor, with possible remnants of a snowdrift.

 

Large pond at SX 597 921. This may be one of the shell holes from the 18-inch (460 mm) naval gun removed from HMS Furious in 1940 and placed on a railway truck. It was fired from North Tawton station and the shells landed near OP22 where large craters can still be seen (Source: The Military and Dartmoor: Information for Walkers and Riders, Okehampton 10: Railway gun). Alternatively, it may be simply a dug pond.

 

Walk details

MAP: Red = GPS satellite track of the walk.


Ordnance Survey © Crown copyright 2005. All rights reserved. Licence number 100047373.
Also, Copyright © 2005, Memory-Map Europe, with permission.

 

This walk was accessed via Okehampton, following Station Road right up onto the moor, turning bearing left at the main entrance into Okehampton Camp, turning left at the wall around the Camp, crossing the small bridge over Moor Brook and following the main military road until reaching a large parking area on the right, just before a fork in the road. This area is marked by a yellow cross on the map.

Statistics

Distance: 5.26 km (3.27 miles).

 

 

All photographs on this web site are copyright ©2007-2016 Keith Ryan.
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