This walk: 2012-9-12. Great Nodden, WD4 stone, Ger Tor, Sharp Tor, Hare Tor, WD5 stone, WD 6 stone, WD10 and WD11 stones, Bearwalls Farm, woodpecker hole, bat boxes, Widgery Cross, Arms Tor, farm buildings, butterwell, corn ditch, MOD lookout, St. Petrock's Church in Lydford, Lydford Castle, rainbow.
Walk details below - Information about the route etc.
This walk is not available to the public - it is on private land and needs the landowner's permission. It includes Bearwalls Farm, where the fields are in constant use and the old buildings are in regular use by the military for training purposes.
The farm is one of five abandoned in the area and was subject to a detailed survey that is now archived on the National Archives/MOD website - HERE. This survey recounts the entire history of the farm and the people who lived and worked there, complete with old photographs.
Zoomed view to Great Nodden aka Plum Pudding Hill, SX 539 874.
WD 4 stone (War Department), at Prescombe Corner, SX 52191 83430. These stones demarcate the Willsworthy Firing Range and are described by Dave Brewer (2002) Dartmoor Boundary Markers, Halsgrove, pp. 211-216. For those interested, they number from 1-47, and for those who wonder where the WD40 is, it is at Buddla Corner, north side, SX 5288 8162 .....
Zoomed view to Ger Tor, SX 5467 8309, elevation 430 metres (1410 ft).
Zoomed view to Sharp Tor, SX 550 848, elevation 519 metres (1702 feet, left). and Hare Tor, SX 550 842, elevation 531 metres/1742 feet (right).
WD5 stone at Sounscombe Head, SX 52198 83624.
WD 6 stone, on the Sounscombe Brook, near SX 5215 8378, this was some way from the track across rough ground and I wasn't going there! The location in the Brewer book is SX 5215 8370.
An unusual sight - two War Department boundary stones at close locations - WS 10 and WD 11, at Lissicombe Head (east side), SX 52375 84153. Perhaps one or the other is relocated?
WD 10 stone on one side of the gateway .....
WD 11 stone on the other side of the gateway.
Gate into Bearwalls Farm.
An old storage shed?
Surprisingly good quality fields won from moorland some time in the past ..... Widgery Cross, on the top of Brat or Brai Tor, SX 5396 8558, elevation 452 metres (1482 feet) .....
Zoomed view, this is perhaps the only cross made of separate blocks of granite (seen in detail near the bottom of this page).
An impression of crossing the fields.
This could almost be a caption competition!
Great Nodden (left), Arms Tor and Brat Tor (right).
Passing from one field into another.
At the Bearwalls Farm entrance into the buildings area: the building in view was a former cow shed .....
Former cow shed with old linhay beyond .....
View of the linhay.
The farm house .....
Looking into the yard .....
Aspect of the dwelling house .....
Steps up to the granary .....
Looking through a slit window into the shippon .....
Looking back at the dwelling house (the plan of the buildings) .....
The butterwell, where cream and butter could be kept for several days, there was a water pool inside and it was shaded (presumably, in times past) by the trees .....
Another view of the butterwell.
Bat boxes near the butter well.
Corn ditch boundary of Bearwalls Farm on the eastern edge of Down Field.
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. Source: http://www.dartmoor-npa.gov.uk/aboutus/news/au-geninterestnews/au_crosspr10
Corn ditch running down into the valley towards the Walla Brook.
Widgery Cross again.
Looking down to the farm buildings from one of the newtakes: the house and outbuildings were surrounded by a plantation for shelter etc.
MOD lookout and stable in Bearwalls Newtake, seen previously on 1st September 2010 .....
As previous photo .....
As previous photo .....
As previous photo.
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 parking at the P symbol on the map with the yellow cross, on the A386 Tavistock-Okehampton road at the entrance to the Willsworthy MOD Training Area. Please check the firing notices before entering any training area.
Distance - 6.29 km / 3.91 miles.