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This walk: 2013-9-4. Gutter Tor, Sheep's Tor, cirrus clouds, Longstone Leat, Down Tor, Sharpitor, Leather Tor, Yellowmead fourfold stone circle, Cuckoo Rock, PCWW 1919 markers, mine shaft, beech mast, Outholme cist, corn ditch, hillside tin working, Jobbers' Road, Higher Hartor Tor, soft rush, clapper bridge.

Walk details below - Information about the route etc.

Link to Google Satellite view of the area - including the GPS track of the walk (compare with the Ordnance Survey map plus track below)

Bing and Google maps side by side - but no GPS track.


Gutter Tor, SX 578 668, elevation 340 metres (1115 feet) from near the car park.


Sheep's Tor, SX 565 682, elevation 369 metres (1210 feet)


Gutter Tor, from the track.


Cirrus clouds, at 2,000-6,000 metres (6,500-20,000), cirrus = "filamentous", these probably originated from condensation trails from high-flying aircraft .....


As previous photograph.


Down Tor (SX 580 694, elevation 366 metres / 1200 feet), with the mast of the television transmitter at North Hessary Tor behind, in mist.


Looking back to the car park: this is immediately before Burcombe Bridge, (gate - old, where) and Ford.


Walking alongside the Langstone Leat - this supplied Longstone Manor.the seat of the Elford family from latter part of 15thC to middle of 18thC. Its headwear is at Plym Steps, 4.5 miles as the leat flows.  Now only flowing from Thrushelcombe, it was repaired recently and supplies Sheepstor farms.


Down Tor, again.


Leather Tor, (SX 563 700, elevation 380 metres or 1246 feet) with Sharpitor (SX 560 703, elevation 410 metres or 1345 feet) behind and left.


Yellowmead fourfold stone circles, SX 5748 6783, seen briefly from the BBC One Show hot air balloon in May 2012, (at 3:40 minutes) .....

While we are on YouTube, here's a long-lost, secret link to Percy, the sledging cat - I know that laugh at the end !!!


The monument was re-erected using its fallen stones by the Rev. Hugh Breton and his assistants in 1921. RN Worth was normally critical of such exercises as being "over-restorations" but in this instance, he "pronounced the restoration to have been very faithful" (from Eric Hemery (1983), High Dartmoor, Robert Hale, London, page 162) .....


An ambitious photo-montage as Jess (the dog) ran across every frame of five. PhotoShop Elements did a good job, can you see her in just two places?!    Click on the image to see a larger version.


Image © J Butler 1994. Reproduced by kind permission (ref. 29 Sept. 2012).

It is believed that there may have been a small number of stone rows emanating from the circles.  The inner slabs have been thought to have been retaining kerb stones for a cairn but nothing is known for certain. Source: Jeremy Butler, 1994, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities  Vol. 3 - The South West, 14 - Yellowmead Down circles, rows and cairns (fig. 47.11),  pages 74-76.


Another vew .....


As previous photograph ......


Another view .....


Modern contrails over ancient stones.


General discussion .....


Contrails > cirrus cloud forms?


Trying the dousing rods ..... some people had quite marked results .....


Another view, with Sheeps Tor behind .....


Last view.  Click on the image to see a larger version.


Longstone Leat again.


Sheep's Tor, with its climbing face.


Leather Tor, (SX 563 700, elevation 380 metres or 1246 feet) with Sharpitor (SX 560 703, elevation 410 metres or 1345 feet) behind and left.


Zoomed view to Cuckoo Rock  (SX 5847 6872) and Combeshead Tor, SX 587 688, elevation 371 metres (1217 feet) ..... once featured in Rock & Gem magazine?  Or was it Boulder Weekly? So-named because a local farmer said that the first cuckoo of the year always called fdrom this rock. I was told it was called this because it 'stuck out' like a cuckoo's egg in a nest.


A boundary stone marking the limit of the catchment area for Burrator Reservoir, marked with PCWW for the old Plymouth Corporation Water Works and the year 1919, this is unusual because they were mostly set up in 1917 .....


Another view ..... located at about SX 5754 6811 .....


Along the leat we go .....


AS previous photograph .....


Another marker stone, at about SX 57510 68160.


The walled mine shaft at the corner of Roughtor Plantation at SX 5776 6831 .....


The mine shaft is right behind them!


Beechnut, also known as beech mast - used to ne used for pigs that were set out in woods back in history. 


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.


Image © J Butler 1994. Reproduced by kind permission (ref. 29 Sept. 2012).

The cist has lost its fourth upright stone and its capstone. Source: Jeremy Butler, 1994, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities  Vol. 3 - The South West, 9, 10, 11 Eylesbarrow West huts, enclosures and cairns cairns (figs. 47.6, 7 & 8) pages 68-70.


Is it a bird, is it a fly .....


It is the Royal Navy Training Flight, three planes came over but I couldn't see the camera screen to capture all three sensibly.


Another view to Cuckoo Rock .....


Cuckoo Rocck - if you go here, take the time to go up to the large rock above it for a good view over Burrator Reservoir.


Outholme cist with Sheep's Tor behind.


Zoomed view to Gutter Tor.


A corn ditch wall: corn ditches originate from the time when Dartmoor was a royal hunting area and there was a need to keep the King’s deer out of the cultivated land. A stone revetted wall and external ditch faced onto the open moor which deterred deer and other animals from jumping over, whilst the sloping grassy bank on the inner face allowed those animals which had entered to exit again without difficulty.


Zoomed view to an old tinners' open-works, dug into the slope where the cassiterite lode was followed into the hill, probably dating from before the days of deeper mining. The old tinners would bring a water supply around a hill by digging a leat and start digging at the bottom of the hill where a tin lode was thought to be. The water was used to carry away topsoil and small waste to save carrying it by hand. 


The yellow brick road up Leedon Hill, a foothill to Eylesbarrow, where there was once a very active tin mine. The road can be seen to bend left (at a fork, unseen here) to the top of the hill. This part of an old (wool) Jobbers' Road (marked as "Old Jobbers Road" on a map from Napoleonic times!) that became the mine road. the main Jobbers' Road from Sheepstor village to Buckfastleigh turned off under Gutter Tor and went out via Huntingdon Warren. Source: Eric Hemery (1986), Walking Dartmoor's Ancient Tracks, Robert Hale, London, pages 60-73. The unseen fork that comes in from the right, would have been another Jobbers' Road from Tavistock to join the former at Plym Steps (Ibid, pages 74-78). On the right, on the skyline above, can be seen Higher Hartor Tor .....


Zoomed view to Higher Hartor Tor, SX 599 677, elevation 410 metres (1345 feet).


It's warm enough for me, mum.....


Now they've woken me up..


Soft rush, Juncus effusus (hover your mouse over the descriptions to the left of the image).


Clapper bridge over Longstone Leat, with Leedon Hill behind, leading up to Eylesbarrow.


Another view of the clapper bridge.


Walk details

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 driving over the Burrator Dam, out through Sheepstor village, turning left onto the dead-end road to the Scout Hut, parking at the yellow cross and the  P  symbol with the yellow cross on the map.


Distance - 5.12 km / 3.18 miles.


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

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