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This walk: 2013-11-6. Plaque and log seats in the car park, St. Pancras Church, Widecombe-in-the-Moor sign, Widecombe Fair characters, East Webburn River, Chinkwell Tor, Rugglestone Inn, slotted gate post, Beatrice Chase (Olivia Katherine Parr), Venton, Higher Venton Farm, Dunstone Court, Dunstone Cross, Dun Stone, pennywort, village green.

Walk details below - Information about the route etc.

Link to Google Satellite view of the area - including the GPS track of the walk (compare with the Ordnance Survey map plus track below)

Bing and Google maps side by side - but no GPS track.

Other walks in the area: 2009-11-5 (1) 2009-11-5 (2),


Plaque in the car park wall .....


One of two seats in the car park, made by chainsaw.


St. Pancras Church at Widecombe-in-the-Moor, known as "The Cathedral of the Moors".


The monolith near the church, designed by Lady Sylvia Sayer, erected by Mr Hamlyn of Dunstone Manor, in 1948, showing the characters of the Widecombe Fair song about Tom Cobley and his grey mare (Widecombe's own web site) ...... the surround of about 1500 granite setts were provided by the National Park Authority in 1985/1986 to protect the ground around the sign from tourist damage.  The setts came from the Courage Brewery in Devonport.  Source: Elizabeth Prince & John Head (1987), Dartmoor Seasons, Dartmoor National Park Authority, Devon Books,  page 17 .....


Photo taken in Nov. 2009, showing the characters in the song "Widecombe Fair" - Wi� Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney, Peter Davy, Dan�l Whiddon, Harry Hawk, Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all .....


The plaque on the monolith.


The East Webburn River at SX 7204 7650 with a view to Chinkwell Tor (highest, SX 729 782, elevation 456 metres (1496 feet) with Honeybag Tor, SX 728 786, elevation 445 meters (1459 feet), beyond.


The Rugglestone Inn, passed on the way and returned to later!


The sign.


Slotted gate post at SX 72077 76372, normally there were five bars between the posts which gave the origin to the "five-barred" gate.


Olive Katherine Parr (the writer Beatrice Chase) lived here in the hamlet of Venton - the link to Legendary Dartmoor gives a lot of detail of this remarkable woman's career .....


Her Catholic chapel where there was a shrine to the soldiers of the First World War. She is reputed to have started the putting of flowers on Kitty Jay's grave and with reviving Widecombe Fair in the 1930s.


Stained glass windows in the chapel, said to be the inspiration of her second book, "Through a Dartmoor Window", published in 1915.


The cross on the chapel.


Sign seen along the road ..... - freshly clicked?


Some of these hazel trees appear to have been coppiced a long time ago.


Stone gate post being enveloped by a tree.


A slotted gate post used in building a wall.


A view of the now-dilapidated swimming pool built by Beatrice Chase.


Tree on a small island in the stream .....


Stone bridge (a clapper?) overlain with tarmac .....


Closer view.


The family Hamlyn coat of arms above the entrance to Dunstone Court, the local manor house ...... the area was recorded in the Domesday Book .....


The farmhouse .....


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

A movie panning in front of Dunstone Manor.

Click the photo to download

File size: 4.8 MB.
Length 28 secs



Dunstone Cross ..... now re-erected on the village green after spending 100 years in the vicarage garden .....


Another view .....


The plaque in the cross.


The Dun Stone, where manorial rents were paid by tenants in former times, lasting into the 1920s. There are recesses where money could be left in vinegar in times of plague etc.


Pennywort - Umbilicus rupestris - Navelwort or Wall Pennywort (Crassulaceae).


Seen along the way - at Lower Dunstone?


Looking down on Higher Dunstone .....


Zoomed view.


Coming down a sunken lane/footpath with water around our feet - it was raining a little!


Growth on a tree .....


This was hard to the touch - it wasn't a anything like a puffball fungus: this is likely to be a "tumour" or "tree burr", caused by an irritant that triggers unusual growth somewhat similar to a cyst in other organisms, possibly to enwrap and isolate the trigger, or caused by reaction to an insect interference or as yet unknown causes. It is akin to witches broom and oak apples etc. in that it is an abnormal growth reaction to a stimulant.


Widecombe-in-the-Moor village green - in 1466 Edward II decreed "That every Englishman should have a bow of his own height of yew, ash, wych, hazel or amburn; and that butts should be made in every township, which the inhabitants were to shoot at every feast-day under the penalty of a halfpenny when they should omit that exercise."   Source: the Legendary Dartmoor link.



Another view of the green.


Zoomed view of the church tower and its clock and pinnacles. 


The famous Widecombe palm.


Merry Christmas?


Duck outside the door into The Ruggleston Inn - I'm not so sure the ducks were enjoying the rain - they seemed to be keeping under cover of the seats etc.



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.



The walk was accessed from the A38 from Plymouth using the Sigford exit after Ashburton (better to use the next, Newton Abbot, exit) and following the signs to Sigford, then via these junctions: Hooks Cross (do not turn right for Sigford), Owlacombe Cross, Halshanger Cross, Cold East Cross. Hemsworthy Gate and Harefoot Cross junctions, continuing ahead to Widecombe to the car park on the right on entering the village: at the  P  symbol/yellow cross on the map.


Distance - 5.01 km / 3.11 miles.



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