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This walk: 2012-7-5. Burrator Upper Quarry rock face, Click Tor, Burrator Dam, Leather Tor, stonecrop, memorial benches, Burrator Halt, GWR track bed (disused railway), foxgloves, Sheep's Tor, waterfall, Devonport Leat, pennywort, benchmark, selfheal (wild flower), Lowery Barn, abandoned quarry, clitter, sett maker's bankers, Lowery Crossing, carrion crow, yellow brain fungus, explosives store.

Walk details below - Information about the route etc.

Link to Google Satellite view of the area - the quarry car park is at the bottom edge of the map, (left of "Burrator Wood") and the lane with Lowery Barn on it is the north-south lane between two roads near the top of the map (above "Burrator Reservoir").

There was another walk along this route on 19th October 2011.

 

Upper Burrator Quarry car park rock face ..... this is something special .....

 

I remember 40 years ago (1970 et seq.) that there was a large plaque attached to this rock face saying what it was.  

From Devon County Council's "Geology in Devon" online publication: 

"The Upper Burrator Quarry offers an opportunity to view a rare exposure of the contact between the Dartmoor granite and Devonian rocks. Indeed, veins of pink granite can be seen penetrating these rocks which were once slates resulting from the deep burial and intense deformation of mudstone originally laid down in marine conditions. However, the high temperatures that resulted from the intrusion of the hot granite transformed them into recrystallised rocks known as hornfels. Minerals such as black tourmaline have been formed in the original slate."

Dartmoor granite is about 280 million years old, (= Late Paleozoic Era, Permian-Carboniferous Period) the Devonian rocks are about 370 million years old (= same era, Devonian Period).

An online DNPA reference about Burrator quarries states: 

"This site features rare exposures of the contact between the Permo-Carboniferous Dartmoor Granite and Devonian country rocks of the Kate Brook Formation. The contact is highly irregular and shows evidence of mobilisation of the metasediments and segregation of felsic and mafic constituents. The contact country rocks have been thermally metamorphosed to form hornfels with extensive tourmalinisation."

The area is a SSSI - Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The stone from the quarry was used to raise Burrator dam by 10 ft. in 1923-1928.

 

A close-up of the interface between the granite and the Devonian rocks, running from top-left to bottom-right. The Devonian rocks are on the left and the granite is on the right.

 

Click the photo to see a larger image.

 

Pillar beside the road at the entrance to the quarry car park (another photo almost at the end of the walk) - with the circular feature on the top of the pillar, this was probably a crane base.

 

Yennadon Crags / Cleag / Claig / Click Tor, at SX 5498 6794, above the quarry .....

 

View from the tor .....

 

Someone had planted some Sweet Williams here .....

 

View down to Burrator Dam with Leather Tor behind.

 

Believed White Stonecrop, Sedum album, alternatively, the reader is invited to decide from the following types: Australian Swamp Stonecrop, Biting Stonecrop,Caucasian Stonecrop, English Stonecrop, Greater Mexican Stonecrop, Hairy Stonecrop, Kamtschatka Stonecrop, Lesser Caucasian Stonecrop, Lesser Mexican Stonecrop, Mossy Stonecrop, Reflexed Stonecrop, Rock Stonecrop, Spanish Stonecrop, Tasteless Stonecrop, White Stonecrop. .....

 

Closer view.

 

Bench beside the small tor .....

 

The inscription.

 

Walking along the track, there appears a flight of steps up to the old Burrator Halt station .....

 

The remains of Burrator Halt, the steps are down to the right. A second flight of steps goes up to the left, behind the camera .....

Wikipedia - Princetown Railway: First proposed by the South Devon and Tavistock Railway Company as early as 1852 the line was authorised in 1878 and did not open until 11 August 1883. On opening, the line ran from Horrabridge through Dousland to Princetown. In 1885 the newly opened Yelverton replaced Horrabridge as the start of the line and four other stations were added to the line in the 1920s and 1930s, Burrator and Sheepstor Halt in 1924, King Tor Halt in 1928, and Ingra Tor Halt in 1936.

The line was operated by the Great Western Railway, but owned by the Princetown Railway until January 1st 1922 when the line became part of the GWR network. The line passed to British Railways (Western Region) in 1948 and closed on 3 March 1956.

 

The second flight of steps.

 

Looking along the track bed of the old GWR railway from Plymouth out to Princetown. This section did not follow the original route of the Plymouth & Dartmoor Railway because that horse-drawn tramway turned a much sharper bend near Dousland than could a steam train. The two tracks came together somewhere the other side of the B3212 road - click HERE to see a map at the bottom of this page that shows the route.

 

A view along the reservoir towards Leather Tor .....

 

Zoomed view.

 

A splash of colour from the foxgloves.

 

Looking down on the dam, with Sheep's Tor behind.

 

A bench along the track .....

 

The inscription.

 

Another bench .....

 

The inscription.

 

Sheep's Tor.

 

View to the pipe that gives rise to the Burrator waterfall.

 

Closer view .....

 

Dartmoor CAM movie. TIPS .....
  • once viewing, make movie viewer "Full Screen"

  • perhaps click the loop or "continuous play" icon (if there is one)

  • press F11 to make more "Full Screen", remembering to press it again to regain Normal Screen.

A movie of the origin of the Burrator waterfall .....

Click the photo to download

File size: 4.9 MB.
Time to download: e.g. 5 secs
Length 29 secs

 

 

"Water Gate" ..... SX 54987 68278 .....

 

A three-faced concrete "Water" boundary marker.

 

The present-day end of Devonport Leat .....

 

The leat water goes partly down the waterfall and partly down the "plug hole" to Dousland water treatment works .....

 

Rail chair spike holes in granite setts from the old railway (GWR or P&DR?) .....

 

The "plughole" .....

 

Dartmoor CAM movie. TIPS .....
  • once viewing, make movie viewer "Full Screen"

  • click the loop or "continuous play" icon (if there is one)

  • press F11 to make more "Full Screen", remembering to press it again to regain Normal Screen.

A movie of the water at the present-day end of Devonport Leat going down the plughole!

Click the photo to see the movie

File size: 4.4 MB.
Time to download: e.g. 3 secs
Length 25 secs

 

Valve in the leat, possibly to the waterfall ....

 

Another feature in the leat ....

 

"End of the line" - this is a digression, of course: the guitar in the rocking chair was Roy Orbison's, he died during the project and the others wanted him included in the video, his guitar and photograph are shown while his vocal contribution is playing. These are the Traveling Wilburys - vocal sections here (in order) by George Harrison (Beatles), Tom Petty (Heartbreakers), Jeff Lynne (ELO), Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan (playing but not featured on this song) and Jim Keltner (session drummer).

 

Not sure how this works - how does the water get higher than that in the leat?

 

A noteworthy filtering device.

 

The GWR track way ahead.

 

Devonport Leat crosses under the road at SX 5509 6879 .....

 

The road is down on the left, photo taken for the large old oak tree with its own sub-ecosystem .....

 

Almost epiphytic pennywort, in flower.

 

The leat coming from the other side of the road, from the north.

 

Benchmark at SX 55127 68719, see "Cut bench mark".....

 

Closer view .....

 

The benchmark is at the left end of what appears to be an old building (see next photo). Click the photo to see a larger version. There is a little distortion in the large photo, being two photos merged together.

 

Looking along the wall to part of an old end wall.

 

A splash of foxgloves .....

 

Closer view .....

 

Zoomed closer still.

 

Last time I was here the water was about ten feet lower - see 19th October 2011.

 

Believed Selfheal (Wikipedia link), Prunella vulgaris (Devon & Cornwall flowers link) - hover your mouse over the "captions" down the left side to see related photos of the same flower.

 

View down the reservoir to the dam .....

 

Zoomed view to the dam.

 

Lowery Barn, restored by DNPA. A large threshing barn, the farm here was improved by the landowner, Massey Lopes, in 1873, with a legacy for the purpose from his father, Ralph .....

 

A closer view ..... the "ML" stone occurs just under the top edge of the wall, halfway between the left end and the large empty upper window .....

 

ML = Massey Lopes

 

Showing the location of the stone .....

 

The date stone .....

 

Showing the location of the date stone at the top of the wall .....

 

Inside the far end section .....

 

Blocked window .....

 

View of the far end .....

 

Looking down inside from behind the barn .....

 

Looking in through the end gate .....

 

A row of corbels to carry floor joists .....

 

View down the track towards the reservoir .....

 

Nearby fir cone ..... Norway Spruce .....

 

Last view of the barn.

 

Devonport Leat at SX 5556 6937.

 

Abandoned quarry at SX 5555 6960, on the south flank of Peek Hill .....

 

Closer view .....

 

View from the quarry, with Sheep's Tor behind .....

 

Ditto, with a view to Sheepstor earth (left) and Burrator granite (right) dams.

 

The track that leads up to the quarry .....

 

Believed White Stonecrop, Sedum album, alternatively, the reader is invited to decide from the following types: Australian Swamp Stonecrop, Biting Stonecrop, Caucasian Stonecrop, English Stonecrop, Greater Mexican Stonecrop, Hairy Stonecrop, Kamtschatka Stonecrop, Lesser Caucasian Stonecrop, Lesser Mexican Stonecrop, Mossy Stonecrop, Reflexed Stonecrop, Rock Stonecrop, Spanish Stonecrop, Tasteless Stonecrop, White Stonecrop......

 

Close-up of a single flower .....

 

Looking at the wooded clitter in this area .....

 

Sett maker's banker no. 1, at SX 55532 69566, where granite setts (cobbles) were made for the streets of Plymouth etc. .....

 

Sett maker's banker no. 2, at SX 55509 69564 .....

 

Sett maker's banker no. 3 at SX 55479 69570 .....

 

Sett maker's banker no. 4, at SX 55461 69586.

 

Looking north along the GWR track at Lowery Crossing ..... Eric Hemery (1983), High Dartmoor, Robert Hale, London, page 123, describes this area as the crossing point of the GWR and the Abbott's Way .....

 

The site of Lowery Crossing: manned until 1927 by people who lived in a cottage on this site, just left of the (GWR) track. After they left, the gates were kept open for the train .....

 

Another view of where the crossing-keeper's cottage stood.

Lowery Cross is marked as being nearby on the map (NB - not Lowery Crossing). Dartmoor Crosses web site, for Sheepstor Village Cross, states (bottom line): "Nearby, at the top of the lane leading from Burrator Lodge to Welltown, at the junction with another hilly lane is a grassy mound. Although there is no cross there now, it is widely accepted that this was the site of Lowery Cross." This describes the junction at the top of the lane that can be seen crossing the old railway in the photo above, the site is at SX 5487 6920.

 

Carrion Crow, investigating where we ate our sandwiches at lunchtime, slim pickings there!

 

 

Another view of the crow.

 

Looking down on Devonport Leat.

 

Looking back at where the bridge crosses the road.

 

Seen in the woods - Eeyore's house?

Where do I find these things?

 

The track ahead.

 

Yellow brain fungus, Tremella_mesenterica, frequently found on dead gorse:  also known as the golden jelly fungus, the yellow trembler and witches' butter.

 

Pillar (crane base) at the entrance to Burrator Upper Quarry car park.

 

I wonder how many of these granite posts line the road? NB - they used to have two chains running between them, the fixings are still visible.

 

Water running down the spillways from Burrator Dam .....

 

Zoomed view .....

 

Dartmoor CAM movie. TIPS .....
  • once viewing, make movie viewer "Full Screen"

  • click the loop or "continuous play" icon (if there is one)

  • press F11 to make more "Full Screen", remembering to press it again to regain Normal Screen.

A movie of the water running over the top of Burrator Dam.

Click the photo to see the movie

File size: 4.4 MB.
Time to download: e.g. 4.5 secs
Length 26 secs

 

 

One of the old explosives stores left from the building of the dam, completed in 1898 .....

 

Explosives store door, made apparently of cement i.e. non-ferrous material to prevent the generation of sparks that could prove fatal.

 

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 following the road south from Dousland towards Meavy, turning left to wards Sheepstor and parking in the quarry car park marked by the yellow cross and the  P  symbol on the map. 

 

Statistics
Distance - 7.62 km / 4.74 miles

 

Addendum - The route of the Plymouth & Dartmoor Railway (i.e. horse-drawn tramway) in this area .....

The route is drawn from what can be seen on the map, shown in solid blue. Also, from the description by Eric Hemery (1983) Walking the Dartmoor Railroads, David & Charles, Newton Abbot, page 14. Where the route is extrapolated, it is shown as a dashed line, also in blue. From Dousland Plantation, it probably followed the route to the split in the dashed line as there is now a hedge along that line that follows the contours. After the split, I surmise that the line still followed the contours while climbing gently to the northern end of the dashed line. The steeper route is described somewhere but it would be quite steep for a tramway. 

Click HERE to return to where you were.


© Crown copyright and database rights 2012  Ordnance Survey Licence number 100047373
Also, Copyright © 2005, Memory-Map Europe, with permission.

Click HERE to return to where you were.

 

 

 

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