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This walk: 2014-9-3. Stanlake Plantation, Devonport Leat, Stanlake Farm, Stanlake Settlement, doll's head, Raddick Hill, Iron bridge, Aqueduct, River Meavy, Hart Tor Brook, Black Tor Waterfall, blowing houses, mortar stone, old photo, Black Tor, double stone row, corn ditch wall, cist.

Walk details below - Information about the route etc. In this walk, the photos and route are mostly from the recce and include two small extras (Black Tor Ford and capped boreholes).  On the day, we went straight from the waterfall to the tor missing these out to save a little time.


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

Previous walk in this area: 15th April 2009. 





Miss turned up with her poorly foot and there were discussions about making her a litter .....




Setting off.



Leather Tor, SX 563 700, elevation 380 metres or 1246 feet. seen from "behind" with regard to the main road.


Stile into Stanlake Plantation.


Leather Tor again.


The stile we used .....


Nearby open gateway into a cleared area of the plantation.


View down to Devonport Leat.


An outdoor dining area!


Devonport Leat, looking towards Burrator Reservoir.

The leat was inaugurated in 1801, in the reign of George III. Built because Plymouth would not share water from Plymouth Leat (Drake, 1591). “Plymouth Dock” was growing and needed more water - "Dock" became "Devonport" in 1824. Three rivers were used to source the leat rivers – Cowsic, West Dart & Blackabrook. 28 miles long originally, running to a reservoir in Moricetown, Devonport Park, Granby Street.  The Parliamentary Bill received Royal Assent Dec. 1792.  Contract awarded July 1793. The leat flowed into town until Burrator Reservoir opened 1898. Still flowing to a SWW Works at Dousland with excess water going into a waterfall in to the reservoir.


Looking towards Stanlake Farm.


C;a[[er bridge over a now nearly defunct track .....


1. Public footpath Stanlake Farm
2. Public footpath Leather Tor Farm
3. Public footpath Crossgate


Sluice, SX 56760 70468.


Alongside the leat, the track to Stanlake Farm.


A fallen tree (type of willow, grey willow = sallow?) has sprouted a lot of side branches. 


An RAF Hercules work horse transport plane passes overhead.


Dartmoor ponies by the gate out of the plantation, outside which is Stanlake Farm .....


Stanlake (or Stenlake) Farm, first recorded in 1281 AD with Richard de la Stenylake. Two (or three?) farms – Lower, Middle, Higher, East & West.  Vacated 1920’s.


Black rock with white veins in the leat, most likely the ubiquitous tourmaline - probably iron-rich and hence the black colour, veined with quartz. This might be the black rock at Black Tor Falls?


Walking alongside Devonport Leat, on the downhill side initially where the ground is better ......


As previous photograph.


Clapper bridge over the leat at SX 57060 71040, leading to the Stanlake Settlement ..... this is overgrown with bracken, Bronze Age, 38 huts, 2.8-7.4 m diameter + medieval longhouse from 1281 - the original Stanlake farm ..... the settlement is described in Jeremy Butler, 1994, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities  Vol. 3 - The South West, 45.6 Stanlake (fig. 45.4), pages 40-41.



Image © J Butler 1994. Reproduced by kind permission (ref. 29 Sept. 2012).




Looking at the steps in the bed of the leat - these ensure a gentle falling of the water on it's way now to Burrator Reservoir.


Tinners' dumps in the Meavy valley.


The famous doll's head, embedded in the wall of the leat. The origin is unknown but it is believed that it was put there by a French prisoner of war during Franco-British Napoleonic was that started in 1803.  The French POWs started building the Princetown church in 1810 - they were repatriated in 1814.  The head was argued over as being a Red Indian with a war bonnet of feathers and a Turk's head, wearing a turban.  It is believed now to be a simple doll wearing a bonnet, tied on by ribbon under the chin. There were also American POWs in the Prince's Town from the Anglo-American War of 1812.


Zoomed view .....


Photograph of a resin cast made from a latex mould of the doll's head - the mould was made in the 1970's.



Devonport Leat tumbles down Raddick Hill (right), over the Aqueduct or Iron bridge (crossing the River Meavy) and around the 90-degree bend (left).  At this point, an iron pipe adds water from the Meavy and Hart Tor Brook .....


Closer view.


The Iron Bridge aka Aqueduct.


Structure bringing water from Hart Tor Brook into the flow of water from the River Meavy before it goes into Devonport Leat - there is a series of bypass channels to allow excess water to escape back into the River Meavy.


Part of a water bypass system.


View of Black Tor Falls with a blowing house on each side of the river .....


The blowing house on the right bank i.e. the north bank in this case .....


The waterfall ....


Zoomed view of the second blowing house, across the river: on the other side of the lintel is an inscription ..... (see below, after crossing the river) .....


The falls .....


As previous photograph .....


Group at the waterfall.


Double mortar stone from presumably a twin tin stamp driven by a water wheel to crush tin ore for smelting .....


The mortar stone in the ruins of the first blowing house, showing its proximity to the waterfall .....


Another view of the second blowing house (from inside), complete with a fireplace?


View down the Meavy valley, from the second blowing house .....


"XIII" ..... on the outside of the blowing house .....


The "XIII" can be seen in the centre of the lintel .....

...... and, just for the heck of it ..... I remembered this from our 1970s walks .....


Lucy (age 3, left) & Matthew (age 5) photographed on the lintel in 1978 or 1979,
about 34 years ago (in 2014).




Black Tor Ford, about 100 metres above the waterfall, with a capped borehole just across the path?  Hart Tor in the distance, SX 581 720, elevation 390 m (1279 feet).


Another capped borehole(?) en route to Black Tor.


"Pony & Tor" .....


Black Tor, SX 573 717, elevation 360m (1181 ft) .....


The Logan Stone, at SX 57322 71818 .....


As previous photograph.


Showing the logan stone and Black Tor.


Black Tor.


Gateway into the outer newtake wall of Stanlake Farm, showing Black Tor and the logan stone in the background.


Leeden Tor to the west, SX 563 718, elevation 389 m (1279 feet).


Leeden Tor (left) with Ingra Tor (right), SX 555 721, elevation 339 metres (1112 feet).


Inside the gateway is the blocking stone of the Black Tor double stone row - except that one row has been incorporated into the field wall. The rows are described in Jeremy Butler, 1994, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities  Vol. 3 - The South West, 45.14 Black Tor double stone row and cairns (fig. 45.11, 11.1, 11.2), pages 47-49.


Section showing this to be a corn ditch that originates 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:


A better view of part of the double stone row.


As previous photograph. .....


Image © J Butler 1994. Reproduced by kind permission (ref. 29 Sept. 2012).




A winter feeding station for livestock, with Black Tor behind.


Leather Tor (left), Sharpitor (right) and Stanlake Plantation, the north-west corner area of the forestry area at Burrator Reservoir.


"Definitely my wall".


Cist at SX 56430 70853, described by Jeremy Butler, 1994, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities  Vol. 3 - The South West, 45.13 Sharpitor North-east double stone row and nearby cairns (fig. 45.9, 10), pages 46-47. 


Image © J Butler 1994. Reproduced by kind permission (ref. 29 Sept. 2012).




General view of the cist and it's cairn.


Final view before the car park!


Walk details

MAP: Blue = planned route, Red = GPS satellite track of the walk.

© Crown copyright and database rights 2014.  Ordnance Survey
Licence number 100047373
Use of this data is subject to terms and conditions.
Also, Copyright © 2005, Memory-Map Europe, with permission.


This walk was reached via the B3212 from Yelverton/Dousland towards Princetown, with parking at the  P  symbol on the map, actually on the north side of the road.


Distance - 5.44 km / 3.38 miles.