This walk: 2010-8-19. Saddle Bridge, Pelton wheel, O Brook, lichens, spearwort, Holne Moor Leat, Horse Ford, Monks' Path cross, clapper bridges, Skir Ford, Skir Gut / Skir Girt, Wellaby Gulf, PUDC stones, Horn's Cross, reeve, Double Dart valley, Holne Moor Leat, spider's nest in gorse.
Walk details below - Information about the route etc.
This walk followed "Walk 20: Saddle Bridge, Horse Ford, O Brook, Hooten Wheals, The Henroost, Skit Ford, Skir Gut or Girt, Skir Hill, Horn's Cross, Combestone Tor" in Walking on Dartmoor by John Earle.
A secret area under the supports to Saddle Bridge. Once, at this bridge, was a Pelton Wheel device (a water-operated turbine), driven by high pressure water from a piped source up the valley, to generate electricity for mines e.g. to raise ore at the Hooten Wheals mine, part of the Hexworthy Mine complex (source: Follow the Leat, by John Robbins, 1984).
A view of the O Brook, so-named from old names for "oak" or "twisted"?
A tree covered in balls of hanging lichen -neither tree nor lichen were identified.
Looking back down the O Brook valley towards Saddle Bridge.
Aquatic plant seen in the leat at SX 66458 71183. Possibly Lesser Spearwort, Ranunculus flammula.
Sign at SX 6640 7150, the source of the Holne Moor Leat .....
HOLNE MOOR LEAT
PLEASE DO NOT OBSTRUCT
THIS WATER SUPPLY OR
DAM THE RIVER ABOVE
THIS POINT FINE £100
DARTMOOR COMMONS ACT
There is a confusion of waterways at this point, where there seem to be branches taken from the leat.
The bottom of the area known as Horse Ford .....
A little higher up the Horse Ford area where horses forded the O Brook in the past. The area was re-sculpted following a flood in 1965.
Miner's cottages at SX 6567 7111, now in ruins.
Looking ahead to two clapper bridges, marked on the map below.
The main clapper bridge .....
A digging nearby.
Skir Ford, with the O Brook running left-right, "sometimes called Henroost Gully (you will see why)" - I am sorry to say that on this wet, misty day we failed to see why - no self-respecting chicken would have wandered this far from civilisation in this weather!
The impressive Skir Gut or Skir Girt, a tinners gully which developed several branches and parallel gullies at the far end ..... unforti=unately "green on green" doesn't appear that impressive in these photographs.
Another view of Skit Girt.
A view of the branches at the southern end.
Wellaby Gulf, view 1 .....
Wellaby Gulf, view 2, not somewhere we would struggle to again, we thought. This is a fairly shallow branched digging that is now largely filled in over time. this was 1.2 km from the the end of Skit Girt across long, very tussocky grass.
PUDC stone at SX 66729 70399, one face ..... Paignton Urban District Council. These stones mark the 700 acres of land bought for £11 per acre in about 1900 for the building of the Venford Reservoir, opened on 26 June 1907 .....
Again, the other side, showing RD / H, signifying the Hon. Richard Dawson, Lord of the Manor, Holne. This is on the side that is still Holne land.
PUDC stone at SX 66938 70692, one side .....
The other side, as with the previous stone.
Horn's Cross, at the crossing of the Monks' Path, a more northerly route than the Abbots' Way, and another old footpath running north-south from South Brent to Hexworthy and Dartmeet .....
Horn's Cross, from the opposite side.
The reeve that runs down Holne Ridge towards Combestone Tor .....
Looking in the opposite direction, towards Combestone Tor.
The main rock piles at Combestone Tor .....
As previous photo .....
A wind-shaped hawthorn tree near the tor .....
As previous photo.
Looking between rock piles down into the Double Dart valley (the Double Dart being below Dartmeet where the East and West Dart Rivers flow together).
Another look at Combestone Tor.
Looking from the road up the O Brook valley.
Holne Moor Leat crossing the road, looking north .....
Holne Moor Leat crossing the road, looking south.
Spider's nest in gorse.
An impressive piece of walling on the road down to Saddle Bridge.
Saddle Bridge ahead, the car park lay-by is on the left just over the bridge.
A final view of Saddle Bridge.
MAP: Blue = planned route, Red = GPS satellite track of the 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.
Ordnance Survey © Crown copyright 2005. All rights reserved. Licence number 100047373.
Also, Copyright © 2005, Memory-Map Europe, with permission.
This walk was accessed by taking the small road leaving the Two Bridges-Ashburton road for Hexworthy and parking beside the road at Saddle Bridge, marked on the map by the yellow cross.
Distance - 9.42 km / 5.85 miles
Duration 4 hr 6 min.