This walk: 2012-10-5. Pump House, Hill 60 Quarry, Hollow Tor Quarry, Rundlestone Tor, North Hessary Tor, transmitter, trig. pillar, arrow boundary stone, DCP prison boundary stone, PCWW 1917 reservoir catchment area marker, TA stones, Sir Thomas Tyrwhitt's granite tramway sleepers, Cake Stone, explosive's store, West Mead Quarry, Red Cottages.
Walk details below - Information about the route etc.
This was a very low-cloud day, then the rain came started at around 12 o'clock when we were at North Hessary Tor.
The stream above the Yellowmead Farm track and pump-house car park.
Zoomed view to the old pump-house beside the B3357 main road - originally to do with "raw water", according to the sign.
Hill 60 Quarry at SX 56985 74773.
Approaching Hollow Tor Quarry, SX 5710 7455, elevation 470 metres (1541 feet) ..... worked for its granite until 1919 .....
Hollow Tor Quarry.
Hollow Tor, showing the "hollow" or gap in it.
Mother and calf.
Rundlestone Tor, SX 577 746.
North Hessary Tor transmitter - hard to see the mast today!
Showing North Hessary Tor with its triangulation pillar and the proximity of the transmitter.
Old prison boundary stone at SX 57731 74452. The stone bears a broad government arrow head, very near the top of the stone.
"There are two bound stones of coarse red granite ..... that are of interest, showing the grooves of feather and tare; one to the south of North HessaryTor at SX 5834 7372, the other to the north between the tor and Rundlestone Tor at SX 577 745. Each has an incised six inch arrow on its east-facing side. ...... Both are, however, on the Forest bounds and are thus misplaced as the original bounds granted to the prison did not extend that far westward ...... " Source: Dave Brewer, Dartmoor Boundary Markers, Halsgrove (2002), p. 260.
As previous, showing the proximity of the TV mast, the government/convict arrow is visible on the left face of the stone.
A Directors of Convict Prisons prison boundary stone at SX 57828 74308. Originally, the prison had 390 acres granted but this was extended by 1,000 acres in 1867 when the whole area was marked by these boundary stones. The Directors of Convict Prisons was a body founded in 1850 following the ending of transportation from 1840 and the phasing out of prison hulks in Plymouth, Portsmouth and other places. Source: Dave Brewer, Dartmoor Boundary Markers, Halsgrove (2002), pp. 260-262.
A montage of three photographs of the transmitter, at SX 5781 7420 (in case you have difficulty finding it!) - this is a 196 metres (643 ft) high guyed mast.
North HessaryTor behind some fences and mast-anchoring points.
Detail of an anchoring point.
Close-up of a section of the mast - how do they climb it?
PCWW incised on North Hessary Tor as a marker for the Burrator Reservoir water catchment area .....
Showing the scale .....
North Hessary Tor, SX 578 742, elevation 517 metres (1696 feet), plus trig. pillar - PCWW inscription is found on the west facing slope in the centre of the photo, at approx. eye level.
Interplay of tor and mast features.
The base of the trig. pillar.
Transmitter building seen from the top of North Hessary Tor.
Trig. pillar and transmitter.
Approaching our first TA (Tavistock/Ashburton) waymarker stone on the medieval/post-medieval packhorse track, at SX 57230 73785 - up the slope from Yellowmead Farm. Others were passed at, after: SX 57100 73841 and SX 56785 73923. These marked the path between Ashburton and Tavistock, two important stannary towns. Described by R Hansford Worth (1967), Worth's Dartmoor, David & Charles, Newton Abbot, pages 397-402. It seems probable that they date from 1699-1700, according to an item in the Receiver's Book of Plymouth Corporation. They probably date from before 1810 because they were split by the old style of slots (i.e. wedge and groove method) and not by drilling holes for the feather and tare method that was in use by 1820. There is an item in the Plymouth Corporation Receiver's Book 1699/1700 stating: "Item paid towards defraying the charges for putting vpp Moorestones on Dartmoor in the way leading from Plymouth towards Exon for guidance of Travellers passing passing that way the summe of £2-0-0." It is possible that wool was taken to the large mills in Ashburton, established in 1800 (Helen Harris, 1968, Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor, David & Charles, page 119).
Closer view, in the rain.
Three-sided granite structure, seemingly "worked", at SX 57008 73880, a fireplace or doorway? Although, there seems to be little other loose or surface moor stone in the area.
Another TA stone .....
"A" signifying Ashburton is behind us .....
"T" facing Tavistock.
(Royal Assent granted in 1821, opened 1823) - the old tramway from Foggintor Quarry .....
Foggintor aka Hill aka Royal Oak Quarry - started by the 1820’s from gathering moorstone for the building of Princetown Prison in1806 by Sir Thomas Tyrwhitt, owned by Pethick Brothers by 1900, in its heyday in the 1840’s it employed hundreds of men, it closed in 1906 and the operations concentrated on the more modern Swell Tor. Hill Cottages, at the quarry – by 1850 there were 10 or 11 cottages here, all had very productive gardens, washing lines and privies on the Big Tip.
Nelson's Column is made from Foggintor granite. It was also used for kerbs and drains in Plymouth, the breakwater, the defensive forts around Plymouth and the corbels for repairing London Bridge in the late 1890s. The quarries ceased working in 1937. Source: Crispin Gill (1970), Dartmoor - A New Study, David & Charles, page 131-133.
Another TA stone incorporated into a now-blocked gateway at SX 56660 74033 .....
The whole gateway, with an iron gate hanger seen on the left gate post. There is apparently another TA stone in a similar position at the opposite end of the farm property (Worth, map on page 399).
The heads of two old iron nails/spikes driven into the sleeper presumably to anchor either the rail or a chair that held the rail.
The Cake Stone, at SX 56711 74115 (Battenburg).
As previous photo.
The explosives store at SX 56447 74616, for West Mead Quarry, with Four Winds behind.
The entrance, with no metal used as a safety measure against sparks - sparks and gun powder do not mix well except explosively!.
Another view of the explosives store.
West Mead Quarry - SX 56505 74653 with the trees at Red Cottages in the background. The quarry was owned and worked by Eric Green and his brother until 1966. Eric started at the quarry when he was 16 and it was owned by an uncle. They worked eight-hours a day, using a 4 lb lump hammer. Latterly, they brought granite from Merrivale and worked it here, making headstones and kerb stones. Later, they bought a compressor to make the hard work easier. Eric Green maintained that granite DOES have a grain and that it always beds parallel to the ground, but that it can be split in most directions.
Ruined blacksmith's shop at the quarry.
Looking along the front gates of Red Cottages: there are four gateways along this wall into the old Red Cottages that once housed quarrymen, demolished in 1953 (the rubble being used in building the nearby North Hessary Tor TV transmitter) ..... I was informed recently that someone who lived here as a child was the wife of the author, Dave Brewer, who produced the book, Dartmoor Boundary Markers.
At Red Cottages, an old Christmas tree, perhaps - as is the large Norway spruce at Four Winds, planted by the schoolmaster when it was a school?
The stream from which the Longash leat is taken off, where it (i.e. the stream) passes under the main road (B3357).
MAP: Red = GPS satellite track of the walk.
© Crown copyright and database rights 2012 Ordnance Survey Licence number 100047373
Also, Copyright © 2005, Memory-Map Europe, with permission.
This walk was reached by parking in the old quarry at the entrance to the Yellowmead Farm track at SX 56742 74988 (between Merrivale and the prison rooad turnoff), between Tavistock and Two bridges, at the P symbol with the yellow cross on the map.
Distance - 4.78 km / 2.97 miles.
All photographs on this web site are copyright © Keith Ryan.