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This walk: 2012-5-2. Bronze Age roundhouse/hut circle, Hanger Down Clump, feathers and tares, Butter Brook, plantation, reservoir, Tor Rocks, blowing house, mould stone, holey stone, tormentil, Tor Rocks Quarry, St. Petroc's Church Harford, Tristis Rock, Erme Valley, Sharp Tor, Three Barrows, Hangershell Rock, Puffing Billy track, Butterdon Hill 2 km stone row, Butterdon Rifle Range, foal.

Walk details below - Information about the route etc.

Link to Google Satellite view of the area


Remains of a Bronze Age round house, described by J. Butler (1993), Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities  IV, The South East. 3 Butter Brook Ford, pages 18-19. He has numbered the huts up to 11, with one of them (nearest the car park) having a double annex of which one part is labelled as one of the numbered huts. Another hut is across the Butter Brook and around the corner of the plantation; it can be seen on the map below.


Hanger Down Clump, at SX 621 585, zoomed and cropped view.


Alongside the brook, someone tried to cut this stone a long time ago .....


Remnants of the feathers and tares can be seen stuck in the holes.


The fast-flowing Butter Brook.


Looking up the brook towards the plantation, this forms a windbreak around the Butter Brook Reservoir. The reservoir was built in 1916 to serve the Ivybridge area.


Looking back at the old settlement with its hut circles (round houses).


Somebody was cutting this stone as well.


Tor Rocks (top left) with Hanger Down Clump on the skyline.


Tor Rocks.


The Butter Brook again, this time near an old tinners' blowing house at approx. SX 6420 5921, looking down the stream ......


Looking upstream .....


Gathering under the banyan tree at approx. SX 6420 5921, in the remains of the blowing house .....


A piece of stone that was being formed or actually served as a mould for molten tin .....


Holey stone - at a later period, the building served as a smithy when the nearby Tor Rocks Quarry was in operation during the building of the reservoir (1916) and this stone is where re-sharpened tools were tested, or perhaps someone was just practising their drilling technique? Source: Eric Hemery (1983), High Dartmoor, Robert Hale, London, page 260.


Tor Rocks, again.


Tormentil, Potentilla erecta.


Looking into Tor Rocks Quarry, SX 6411 5912, that was used only during the building of the reservoir.

About 100 metres south-west, at SX 6405 5904, is a second, smaller quarry that has an important Devonian/other era geological interface, perhaps similar in detail to the one in Burrator Quarry, seen on 19 Oct. 2011 (first two photos).


St. Petroc's Church, Harford, through the trees. It can be seen in detail (including the interior) on another walk HERE (down the page).


Tristis Rock, also known as Hall Tor, SX 6383 6014, on Burford Down, close to Hall Plantation. There must be a story to this rock?


"Are you sure that's not the Eddystone?" "Yes, its the new chimney at Langage Power Station at Plympton".


Looking up the Erme Valley .....


..... with Sharp Tor (centre, SX 6491 6172, elevation 414 metres, 1358 feet) with Three Barrows behind (top right).


Hangershell Rock, SX 6549 5935 .....


Angels of the South .....


"The Intrepid Three" return to the track after their visit to Hangershell Rock. This is the "Puffing Billy" track, and boy, were we puffing! The track runs from Cantrell, near Bittaford, up to Redlake. Photos from a walk to the end of the track can be seen HERE - my one and only 15-miler! 


Photo taken at approx SX 6560 5975,, looking south along the second longest stone row on Dartmoor. This is the Butterdon Hill stone row, 1.97 km in length and with about 990 stones (Butler 1993 Vol. IV, page 24) .....


..... and looking north, alongside and above the Erme Valley.

The longest stone row is north of here, starting at SX 63505 64435 (Butler 1993 Vol. IV, page 74) being 3.3 km long and with about 2,000 stones.


Looking along the track with the reservoir plantation down to the left ..... also down on the left was the old Butterdon rifle range. Some photos of firing positions, observation pits and range markers can be seen from a previous walk, 25 May 2011 (see the first six photographs).  No photos of the rifle range were taken today because it is difficult to see where it is and the whole Down is quite featureless. However, here is a previously unpublished plan of the range mainly from a GPS survey visit on 2 June 2011.  The red track is from an earlier visit, 27 May 2011, two days after the Stroll  .....


Butterdon  Rifle Range, with GPS marks for the left and right 50-yard range stones (which are flat in the ground) for the western-most 700-yard range, and, from memory, the GPS locations of the farthest marker stones for all four ranges plus a few others.  A detailed plan of the range was published by Dave Brewer, "The Butterdon Rifle Range" in Dartmoor Magazine, no. 45, Winter 1996, pages 10-11.


A frisky foal seen along the way.


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 from Plymouth via the A38, exiting at Lee Mill. The road to Cornwood is good until you leave Cornwood, then it becomes a single track road, with passing places. From Cornwood, it is three miles of narrow lanes to Harford. There is a similar approach from the eastern end of Ivybridge. On entering Harford  you need to turn left (from the Cornwood direction) after the church and drive up the narrow lane and go through the gate onto the moor, parking just inside the gate, at the yellow cross /   P  symbol on the map.


Distance - 5.28 km / 3.28 miles.



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