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This walk: 2011-4-13. Okehampton Training Camp, training of recruits in various aspects of battle fieldcraft, appreciation of Dartmoor - its archaeology and wildlife, military items and mementoes, ponies of various breeds, gorse blossom, Moor Brook, Halstock Bridge, Fitz's Cross, Fitz's Well, St. Michael's Bungalow, 105 mm pack howitzer.

I want to express our grateful thanks to Col. Tony Clark OBE for his kind hospitality and for regaling us with such an interesting short history of the military on the moor.

Walk details below - Information about the route etc.


Entrance to Okehampton Training Camp .....


Approaching the main gate and Reception.


Part of a short history of the military on Dartmoor .....


Moor Strollers listening attentively .....


After examining the early solid round with short projections around, we saw later stages in the development of field gun projectiles - this one has a rim around its base for engaging with the rifling of the gun barrel.


Various items that may sometimes be found on the moor after military exercises.


Assorted field gun rounds.


Teaching recruits something about archaeology on Dartmoor .....


And its wildlife .....


When they have an idle moment!


The commandant of the camp, Lt. Col. Tony Clark Retd. OBE explaining in more detail .....


The basic tenets of the ethos behind the army's activities on Dartmoor ..... the recruits must adhere to these, or else!


Another view of training items.


A raven, after an encounter with a taxidermist: part of the camp's display of wildlife that helps in training soldiers, marines etc. in appreciating Dartmoor wildlife.


105 mm Pack Howitzer, possibly the OTO Melara Model 56.


The path from the top of the camp out onto the moor, looking at West Mill Tor (centre) and Yes Tor (right).


The cross in the background is The Ten Tors Cross, unique on Dartmoor for its Maltese Cross shape and construction from concrete.


Walking away from the camp.


The path we were on is actually a public path to Okehamptonn, running through the camp (another photo below on our return to the camp main entrance).


General scene.


Bethany, Alice and Liz.


Shetland ponies, photographed through the wires in a fence.


Pony, what breed?


"Hey, what's all the noise about out there?"


Another type of pony, with longer legs.


As previous.


Miniature ponies(?) - with short legs.


As previous photo.


Departing pheasant.


Common gorse, Ulex europaeus.


Moor Brook, at SX 5993 9364, taken from Halstock Bridge - before the brook runs down into Halstock Cleave.


Fitz's Cross, beside Fitz Well. The Dartmoor Crosses web site says: "The shaft of this cross has obviously been broken off at some stage and the cross is quite a bit shorter as a consequence. There is a worn, but visible incised cross in the centre on one side. It has been suggested that the cross originally stood at St. Michaelís Chapel at Halstock, about ľ of a mile away. When the chapel fell into disrepair, in the 15th or 16th Century, the cross was brought over and erected in itís present position. This would be about the time that Sir John Fitz was living at Tavistock and was also Lord of the Manor of Meldon and the owner of Okehampton Park."  If you look carefully, you might make out a worn incised cross in the centre of the face.


Fitz Well - the well was covered by a local man, Sir John Fitz, in the 1500's. There is the local legend of Mr & Mrs Fitz becoming lost in the mist, drinking from the well, the mist clearing and they were then able to find their way onwards. Sadly, it is now reduced to a modern manhole cover. It is also said that Fitz was a "water fancier" and covered the supply so that it could be led to his fields etc. There is also a story that any young woman drinking from it would be married within a year. Originally, it appeared as shown on the Legendary Dartmoor web site (click the link).


St. Michael's Bungalow, named possibly after St Michael's Chapel that was once the church at Halstock: it was in ruins by the C16th.


Returning to the camp to pick up our cars .....


Here is a sign saying "Public footpath to moor via St Anthony's stile" - at the entrance to the camp: previously we saw the sign at the other end of the camp, as we left it.


A different form of sentry box at the gate?


General scene walking up through the camp.


Passing the Guardhouse .....


Guardhouse notice.


The block where we were entertained .....


Another view of the 105 mm Pack Howitzer (possibly the OTO Melara Model 56) ..... A pack howitzer is a relatively light howitzer that is designed to be easily broken down into several pieces, each of which is small enough to be carried by a mule or a packhorse (Wikipedia - Howitzer) .....



Its "workings" .....


Its "business end".


Walk details

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 approached by following Station Road up from the centre of Okehampton without deviating left or right until the camp was seen.


Distance - 5.2 km / 3.23 miles



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