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This walk: 2012-8-2. Modern boundary stones, Brent Tor, disused South Devon & Tavistock Railway, clouds, Great Links Tor, Widgery Cross, Jersey heifers, dung bonnets, Wheal Betsy, South Common Plantation, Gibbet Hill, triangulation pillar, miners' gert, mine shaft, field cairn, goats, 13th Century Church of St. Michael de Rupe, St. Michael stained glass window.

Walk details below - Information about the route etc.

Link to Google Satellite view of the area


The bend left in the road where the car park is off to the right in this photograph.


Modern boundary stone beside the road at the car park (seen at the upper right edge) ...... MT = Mary Tavy ........


B = Brentor Parish.  From Brentor Village web site (under 'Boundary changes'): "..... boundary changes in 1987 saw the area east of the 'White Lady Waterfall' on the River Lyd transferred to Lydford parish and Blackdown, up to the road, transferred to Brentor from Mary Tavy parish."


A view of Brent Tor - much more below.


Take the National Cycle Route 27, passing Burn Cottage. The River Burn runs down on the left, and rises at the far end of this path, it runs through Mary Tavy and into the River Tavy.


Across this meadow, under the trees, is a disused railway, part of the South Devon & Tavistock Railway: "The northern section of the Branch, between Tavistock and Launceston, in Cornwall, was officially opened on Thursday June 1st 1865, although public services did not begin until Saturday July 1st.  It, too, was worked by the South Devon Railway.  Intermediate stations were opened that day at Mary Tavy & Blackdown, Lydford, Coryton, and Lifton."

History of Mary Tavy - The Railway Station: "The first line to reach Mary Tavy was Brunel's broad gauge railway in 1865. It was the furthest west that the railway had got at the time and was South Devon's northen extension from Tavistock to Lydford. It then headed west down the Lyd valley to Launceston and beyond. (These early trains ran on track that was just over 7 feet wide. Although designed by Brunel, the railway was run by the South Devon Railway until financial difficulties in 1876 lead to a takeover by the Great Western Railway. Brunel's broad gauge network was converted in 1892 to run on the narrower 'standard' 4ft 8.5 ins gauge introduced by Robert Stevenson.). When a rival railway company, the London and South Western Railway, extended their Okehampton line south to Tavistock in 1874, Mary Tavy got a second line but there was no station. Those that wanted to go to Okehampton by train would have had to change lines at Lydford where both railway companies had stations."

Another boundary stone can be seen in the mid-foreground .....


The (modern) boundary stone located at the eastern corner of the Burn Cottage property ..... MT = Mary Tavy .....


B = Brentor.


The stream at SX 5008 8249, the path runs left-right across this very shallow 'ford'.


A closer view of the old railway line.


The mix of clouds on a summer's day with heavy showers: medium level altocumulus (6,000-20,000 ft, highest here), fair weather white cumulus and low-level cumulonimbus (rain-bearing) .....


Stratocumulus (lower level cumulus but forming a layer) with higher level altocumulus.


Great Links Tor, SX 551 867, elevation 586 metres (1922 feet), with Widgery Cross (on Brai or Brat Tor) at right edge.


Jersey heifers.


Who are you looking at?


Dung Bonnets (Bolbitius vitellinus), a coprophilous fungus that breaks down dung. These are larger and more delicate than Dung Roundheads (Stropharia semiglobulata).


Top of the chimney of Wheal Betsy (our previous walk).


Wheal Betsy (chimney at right) and Cholwell Farm.


South Common Plantation, at SX 6659 8063, 5.4 km (3.4 miles) distant.


Another view of Wheal Betsy.


The summit of Gibbet Hill with its triangulation pillar and Brent Tor church in the distance.


Final view of Wheal Betsy.


The old mining gert just north-west of the trig. pillar .....


Another view in the miners' gert - a sheltered place for lunch!


A disused mine shaft .....


Montage of three photographs of the mine shaft, surrounded by a double fence - click the photo to see a larger version.


The shaft.


A view to Brent Tor.


Preparation for the Mary Tavy bypass? This looks as if the grass is cut as a firebreak or perhaps as cattle fodder, or both?


A seemingly recent field cairn acting as a Brent Tor pointer.


Goats near the car park. 


Click the photo to see a larger version.


13th Century Church of St. Michael de Rupe, on Brent Tor.


The notice beside the road.


The "tor" is not a tor in the usual sense of being denuded and eroded granite: it is the remnant of a volcanic plug of pillow lava (basalt) that came from a volcano on the seabed 300 million years ago.


Looking at Black Down, topped by Gibbet Hill - the area of the walk illustrated above.


View of the church and small churchyard.


The main door.


Looking at the altar and stained glass window behind .....


The window, showing St. Michael with the sword and scales of justice.


General view with the pulpit and reader's lecterns.


Base of the bell tower with its five bells, with two from the 14th Century.


Looking east from the churchyard, with a heavy shower in the distance.


East face of the church.


Memorial plaque fixed to the church wall - this must be a modern stone.


Steps up to the church gate.


The tower is at the north end of the building, the altar unusually at the south end (instead of facing east).


A last view of the 'tor' i.e. volcanic plug.


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 turning north-west in Mary Tavy beside the CJ Down garage, then following the road around to Furzleigh, turning right just before the cattle grid, then following the road to a sharp left bend. There is parking on the right, on the hard standing just beside the bend, at the yellow cross on the map. The 2nd yellow cross (at left edge) shows the car park for Brent Tor church.


Distance - 6.54 km / 4.06 miles.



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