F11 - Full screen
F11 - Normal view

Home & Contents

"Alt" +
to go back pages


Previous walks

Stereo & Full Screen viewing




This walk: 2011-2-9. Longstone Leat, Tharashelcombe = Drasselcombe = Drizzlecombe, Ditsworthy Bungalow, Dartmoor's tallest menhir, Giant's Basin cairn, cist 1, cist 2, Drizzle Combe ford, Ailsborough = Eylesbarrow tin mine, stamping mill, smelting house, blast furnace, reverberatory furnace, flue, dressing floor, wheel pit, corn ditch, Outholme cist (cist 3).

Walk details below - Information about the route etc.


Longstone Leat - supplied Longstone Manor which was the seat of the Elford family from the latter part of the C15th to the middle of the C18th. Its head weir is at Plym Steps, 4.5 miles as the leat flows. Repaired recently and in 1984. Now only flowing from Thrashelcombe (= Drizzlecombe), supplying Sheepstor farms. In the background are the trees surrounding the Scout hut: where once stood Ditsworthy Bungalow, built by Percy Ware, 1933, son of Granny Ware, that was out of hailing distance! He died in 1947, aged 57, his wife, Elizabeth, lived in the small single storey wooden dwelling until the harsh winter of 1962-1963.


A view of the hill of Ditsworthy Warren, looking very featureless at this point! This is on the hill above the Scout Hut.


Longstone Leat.


An outlying stone of the Drizzlecombe antiquities.


Two menhirs at the end of stone rows and the Giants Basin (a cairn) at Drizzlecombe.


Drizzlecombe menhir - the tallest standing stone on Dartmoor, shown HERE on 12 June 2008, on a sunny day!.


Cist at SX 51922 67135, shown as "Cairn" on the map, actually a cairn with a very fine cist. Details: J. Butler Atlas of Antiquities III (1994) 49.19.Drizzlecombe stone rows and cairns, fig. 49.18, cairn 13 (page 139). This was cleared by Worth in about 1900, "with no result from excavation".


The tallest menhir and the Giant's Basin cairn at Thrushelcombe = Drusselcombe  = modern Drizzlecombe. An important burial and ceremonial site on the moor with three of the seventy-five known stone rows on the moor.


Christine taking a good look at the cist.


Showing the tilted capstone, as the Strollers leave the cairn.


Another view .....


And a final view.


Cist at SX 59230 67478. Details: J. Butler Atlas of Antiquities III (1994) 49.19.Drizzlecombe stone rows and cairns, fig. 49.18, cist 21 (page 142). This was first reported in 1907 and cleared by Worth in 1914 who found just a few fragments of charcoal.


Another view.


Crossing the ford across the Drizzle Combe stream at SX 5942 6765 .....


Another view.


Ailsborough = Eylesbarrow tin mine, established 1815 with the modern technology of the day, sinking many shafts and digging many adits for drainage.  Most profitable 1820-1831 and then known as Great Ailsborough by 1823. The price of tin had dropped by 1843 and in 1852, the mine closed having operated for 47 years. The mine workings cover a large area.


Stamping mill and smelting house no. 5. At the far end of this structure with the granite pillars was a dressing floor, in the central area was a wheel pit and stamps in the stamping mill, then there was a blast furnace and at the near end was the reverberatory furnace. This arrangement dates from 1822.

Wikipedia - blast furnace: In a blast furnace, fuel and ore are continuously supplied through the top of the furnace, while air (sometimes with oxygen enrichment) is blown into the bottom of the chamber, so that the chemical reactions take place throughout the furnace as the material moves downward. The end products are usually molten metal and slag phases tapped from the bottom, and flue gases exiting from the top of the furnace.



Wikipedia - reverberatory furnace: A reverberatory furnace is a metallurgical or process furnace that isolates the material being processed from contact with the fuel, but not from contact with combustion gases. The term reverberation is used here in a generic sense of rebounding or reflecting, not in the acoustic sense of echoing.  The reverberatory furnace can be contrasted on the one hand with the blast furnace, in which fuel and material are mixed in a single chamber, and, on the other hand, with crucible, muffling, or retort furnaces, in which the subject material is isolated from the fuel and all of the products of combustion including gases and flying ash.



This is the flue from the reverberatory furnace ...... behind us here are the possible remains of a collapsed chimney, just discernable beyond the nice folks in the next photograph .....


Someone arguing that here lies the tallest ever man on Dartmoor, buried in a special form of elongate cist .....


Pillars from the dressing floor building ......


The front-left area shows the remains of the old wheel pit.


Towards the left of this photo is the track heading towards Burrator .....


A gap in the corn ditch wall: this side was vertical to keep deer out of farm fields. On the other side was an easy slope up to the top of the wall so that animals could escape from the fields back onto the open moor ....


Sloping side to the wall on the left: vertical side on the right .....


Looking the other way .....


An interesting gate post with the hangers inserted in opposite directions: one would have to take a hinge off the gate in order to fit it - an anti-theft measure? 


Cist at SX 57995 68280, "Outholme cist". Details:  J. Butler Atlas of Antiquities III (1994) 47.10, fig. 47.7 (page 70).  Seen on 1st Oct 2009 & 4th Oct 2007. It is named after Outholme Farm which was some distance away: ruins of Outholme Farm were seen on 2nd June 2010.


Another view of the cist.


Featre in the nearby corn ditch wall, believed at SX 5809 6793 which is where we crossed a "modern" field boundary or possibly at SX 5807 6764 which must be the feature marked as "boundary work" which is presumably the bronze age Eylesbarrow reave: this runs from the top of Eylesbarrow hill to Ringmoor Cottage (with "modern" interruptions). The reave essentially marked the border between watersheds of the Meavy and Plym rivers leading to territories based on river valleys.


The trees of the Scout Hut appear, looming in the mist.


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 reached with some difficulty on this occasion due to a road closure at Sheepstor village. The simplest approach was via Dousland, Meavy, Ringmoor Cottage and Nattor. Parking was at the  P  symbol on the map.


Distance - 5.17 km / 3.21 miles



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

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