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This walk: 2016-10-25. A DPA event at Burrator Discovery Centre, followed by a 2-hour, 3-mile walk - Princetown railway track bed, Burrator dam and reservoir, Sheep's Tor,  Devonport Leat, Honey Fungus,  Sulphur Tuft fungi, sluice, clapper bridge, Lowery Barn, ruins of Lowery Farm, Cross Gate Cross, cormorant, artistic mask on tree. 

Walk details below - Information about the route etc.

Previous walk/s in this area:  4th November 2009 22nd July 2011, 19th October 2011 5th July 2012, 25th February 2015 and 13th October 2015.

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

Old maps
OS 6-inch map 1888-1913 - showing "Old Tramway" marked, near Dousland, this being the old horse-drawn tramway (the Plymouth & Dartmoor Railway) of Sir Thomas Tyrwhitt, opened in 1823.


Burrator Discovery Centre - based in the old green shed across the road from Burrator Lodge.  You can't miss the totem pole, this depicts a selection of Burrator scenes - there are detailed photographs  HERE .....  


Conker Men glue drying on the log burner in the Centre.


Making a Conker Man .....


Making a Conker Man .....


Making a Conker Man.


Conker Man in the making .....



Off to the log burner to dry the glue.


The waterfall area, where the overflow from Devonport Leat forms the waterfall.


Looking down on Burrator dam, from the old railway track.


The first part of the walk followed the track of the old GWR Princetown Railway, opened on 11 August 1883, running from Horrabridge, linking with the South Devon and Tavistock Railway, taken over by GWR, to Princetown.. 

This is not the track bed of the original horse-drawn tramway of Thomas Tyrwhitt that was the old Plymouth and Dartmoor Railway. that opened in 1823. Part of the route of this railway can be seen marked in blue on the map below, at the left side. This line approached from Dousland and almost doubled back on itself to run on the west side of Yennadon Down.  The tight turn was possible with the small horse-drawn wagons but not with the new steam locomotives which required a much larger turning circle.


The dam, from above.


Looking across the lake to Sheeps Tor,, SX 566 682, elevation 369 meters (1210 feet).


The end of the still-flowing Devonport Leat, completed 1801. Most of the water flows into the grille under the small platform (at the left) into the pump house and then to Dousland Water Works.  It then supplies Dousland, Yelverton, Walkhampton, Horrabridge and Princetown.


Believed Honey Fungus, Armillaria mellea, a wood rotting fungus .....


As previous photograph.


Walking alongside Devonport Leat .....


Tree stump and Sheep's Tor again .....

The idea was to count the annual rings - my guess is close to fifty-five.


Sulphur Tufts, Hypholoma fasciculare, another wood-rotting fungus .....


Closer view.


Watching a sluice divert excess water directly down to the reservoir.


Crossing the leat by means of a clapper bridge.


The recently consolidated and newly-roofed Lowery Barn, part of Higher Lowery Farm. "Two tablets under the eaves, ‘ML’ and ‘1873’, indicate that this was another of the many holdings in the locality owned by Sir Massey Lopes of Maristow." Source: Mike Brown (2001) Guide to Dartmoor, CD-ROM, Dartmoor Press, Grid Square 55 69.. 


Pointing out items of interest  .....


Inscribed stone high on the wall of Lowery Barn, which was improved in 1873 (seen on the date stone at the top of the wall) by the landowner, Massey Lopes. .....


The date of the renovation .....


Inside the barn .....


Showing the projecting granite corbels that supported the beams for the upper floor .....


Looking at the recently-discovered chute around the back of the barn, for unloading carts of produce e.g. root vegetables such as turnips and potatoes.


In the ruins of Higher Lowery farm, SX 5577 6945 .....


"I'm not really looking ......."


"Only if I must".


Sitting on a nearby wall.


Cross Gate Cross, beside the leat.  From here, we walked down through the trees and through the ruins of Vineylake Farm.


Cormorant, drying itself - moments before the photograph was taken it had been standing with wings out-stretched.


A mask from an art class, tied to a tree along the lake-side walk back to the Centre.


Walk details

MAP: Blue = Plotted route of the walk.
The section of blue track at the left of the map indicates part of the route of the old horse-drawn tramway built by Sir Thomas Tyrwhitt, that was opened in 1823.

© Crown copyright and database rights 2016  Ordnance Survey Licence number 100047373
Also, Copyright © 2005, Memory-Map Europe, with permission.

This walk was reached by Turning of the Yelverton / Princetown road in Dousland down beside the Burrator Inn and then left to Burrator. There is parking by the dam.


Distance - 4.58 km / 2.85 miles



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