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This walk: 2012-1-4. Ringaston (Ring-of-stones) ring cairn, cist, Soussons Plantation, South Sands, forest tracks, orienteering, ridge and furrow ploughing, owl pellet, fallen tree, Red Barrows, Dartmoor Exploration Committee.

Walk details below - Information about the route etc.


"Ringaston" ring cairn, frequently used for gatherings of various sorts including the use of symbols and blackening of stones. Activities stopped by DNPA action in 1996. Soussons Plantation south cairn and cist, described by Jeremy Butler, 1991, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities II  - The North,  pages 18-20 (fig. 24.3). The name "Soussons" comes from "South Sands", an old name for the nearby farm and former rabbit warren.


Twenty-three earthbound stones surrounding the remains of a cist .....


Looking down on the cist, where just two side stones are left in place. The whole grave area is under water in this photo.


One forest track looks much like any other forest track!


A numbered check point used in orientation events .....


..... where race cards are punched on the post with a pattern/number made by pins.


More track!


As previous photo.


And again!




Let's play.....


Make up your own captions - we haven't had a competition for ages!

(1) Does my bum look big in this?
(2) The youngest swinger in town.


The ridges on the far slope derive from an old method of ridge and furrow ploughing: "Ridge and furrow topography was a result of ploughing with non-reversible ploughs on the same strip of land each year. It is visible on land that was ploughed in the Middle Ages, but which has not been ploughed since then. No actively ploughed ridge and furrow survives." This land is beside Soussons Farm house, an area that was once a Warren (the warrener is 1842 was Wm. Washington). The traces of the warren were obliterated by the Forsetry Commission, although the warren house is now a barn, and was occupied until the end of the 19th Century when there were two dwellings recorded here at South Sands.


An owl pellet.


A study in tree trunks!


There was a question as to whether these were Douglas firs? I thought I could see the leaves borne in pairs, which would make it a member of the pine family.


A fallen tree, snapped off quite high up the trunk, following some very strong wind.


A track scene.


Showing the furrows between the ridges of planted trees.


Soussons Plantation's Red Barrows, an area where no trees were planted around a line of four burial mounds. These are on the highest ground and would have stood out along the ridge before it was forested, or "became infested with trees", as described by Eric Hemerey. Barrows 1 and 2 were excavated by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee in 1902, who found charcoal and a flint flake. Barrows 3 and the diminutive no. 4 were dismissed as being unpromising. The cairns are described by Jeremy Butler, 1991, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities II  - The North,  pages 18-19 (fig. 24.2).


Standing on barrow 1, with the green barrow 2 in the central area of the photo. Barrow 3, beyond, is more yellow/brown in colour and barrow 4 is much smaller and displaced to the right in the distance (it is scarcely visible in this photo).


Another orienteering checkpoint .....


Sideview, showing the paper punch.

Here endeth the walk, but after most of us had gone to the Warren House Inn, a tree fell very close to the gate where we had entered the wood .....

The top of the tree and the gate .....


Photo taken within a few minutes of the tree hitting the ground .....


If it had been the tree at the edge of the wood, where the wind is stronger, it would have fallen much closer to our cars!


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 by driving through Postbridge from the Two Bridges direction and taking the Widecombe turning on the right just after leaving Postbridge.


Distance - 5.46 km / 3.4 miles.



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