Author Topic: Dartmoor advice  (Read 909 times)

pdstsp

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1045
Dartmoor advice
« on: 18:00:01, 28/04/19 »
Afternoon all - I'm after a bit of advice.


Mrs pdstsp, me, and the two dogs are aiming for a week in the Dartmoor area on September.  This will be a mix of walking, some bronze age site visiting (Mrs pdstsp is doing a PhD on Bronze age farming), and a bit of general tourism.  I have never visited the area, other than passing through, and am going to try to book somewhere self-catering but wondered which is the best area to stay.  I know a few members walk here regularly - any chnace of a recommendation or two please?


Paul

ninthace

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3902
Re: Dartmoor advice
« Reply #1 on: 18:27:11, 28/04/19 »
There are loads of places. I have only stayed in Chagford and South Zeal when we were house hunting.  I can give a recommend to the Oxenham Arms in South Zeal.  Not saying is it old and characterful but the ceiling in the restaurant is held up by a genuine standing stone which may appeal to your good lady.  Dickens stayed there while he wrote the Pickwick Papers.  It is one of the pubs I will detour for after a walk  - the other is the Tors Inn in Belstone.  https://www.theoxenhamarms.com/   https://www.theoxenhamarms.com/history
Solvitur Ambulando

pdstsp

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1045
Re: Dartmoor advice
« Reply #2 on: 19:06:17, 28/04/19 »
Thanks ninthace - I think I'm just keen to make sure I don't book somewhere at the "wrong side" of the Park - my knowledge of this area is pretty minimal.  If it's all good, I'll book the nicest looking cottage. O0

archaeoroutes

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1246
Re: Dartmoor advice
« Reply #3 on: 19:11:16, 28/04/19 »
Have a look at http://www.archaeoroutes.co.uk/purchase/vol2.php. I'm not touting my book - if you click on the Viewranger bit you'll be able to get an idea of some of the best walks on Dartmoor for ancient sites, hopefully helping you choose an area.
I'd be looking around Widdecombe (near Grimspound - the most impressive Bronze Age settlement) or over towards Princetown (near Merrivale - a massive Bronze Age ceremonial complex).
Walking routes visiting ancient sites in Britain's uplands: http://www.archaeoroutes.co.uk

pdstsp

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1045
Re: Dartmoor advice
« Reply #4 on: 19:41:01, 28/04/19 »
Thanks archaeroutes - that's brilliant - I'll get some research done.  Looking forward to this trip - as Mrs pdstsp is keen to understand the landscape we tend to walk into sites, so our two interests overlap, which is great.

ninthace

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3902
Re: Dartmoor advice
« Reply #5 on: 20:10:45, 28/04/19 »
If you want them - I can give you traces for 3 routes that involve Grimspound.  I have something for Merrivale too but it has a lot of later archaeology in it too.  Most routes on Dartmoor seem to have sites at some point - stone circles, stone rows, hut circles, kists and the like.
Solvitur Ambulando

archaeoroutes

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1246
Re: Dartmoor advice
« Reply #6 on: 20:25:49, 28/04/19 »
An interesting thing to look into is the great arc. If the stone circles are plotted, they seem to follow an arc.
Whilst this kind of thing is often drawn to fit the known data, in this case it was done before a 'new' one was found near Sittaford Tor (not the Grey Wethers, but a recumbent one).

TBH, the Moor isn't that big and there are decent roads. I do day trips to anywhere on it from Somerset. So unless you pick somewhere buried deep ina mire of tiny wiggly roads, you'll be fine.
Walking routes visiting ancient sites in Britain's uplands: http://www.archaeoroutes.co.uk

pdstsp

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1045
Re: Dartmoor advice
« Reply #7 on: 20:46:32, 28/04/19 »
Thanks both of you - great information.


If you want them - I can give you traces for 3 routes that involve Grimspound.  I have something for Merrivale too but it has a lot of later archaeology in it too.  Most routes on Dartmoor seem to have sites at some point - stone circles, stone rows, hut circles, kists and the like.


Yes please ninthace - sounds really useful.


An interesting thing to look into is the great arc. If the stone circles are plotted, they seem to follow an arc.
Whilst this kind of thing is often drawn to fit the known data, in this case it was done before a 'new' one was found near Sittaford Tor (not the Grey Wethers, but a recumbent one).

TBH, the Moor isn't that big and there are decent roads. I do day trips to anywhere on it from Somerset. So unless you pick somewhere buried deep ina mire of tiny wiggly roads, you'll be fine.


Thanks archaeroutes - really appreciate it.


Got to love the knowledge in this forum!!


Paul

ninthace

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3902
Re: Dartmoor advice
« Reply #8 on: 22:00:04, 28/04/19 »
I have sent you a PM with some links.  They are all mine so I can send files.
Solvitur Ambulando

pdstsp

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1045
Re: Dartmoor advice
« Reply #9 on: 22:38:44, 28/04/19 »
Thanks so much ninthace, I'll pick them up tomorrow, been a bit tied up with family stuff tonight.

BuzyG

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1266
Re: Dartmoor advice
« Reply #10 on: 00:35:44, 29/04/19 »
Bit late for a long post now.  So much Bronze age stuff up there.  Off the top of my head though I would head towards the Tavistock side of the moor.  Lots of good sites nearby.  Plus you could head over to bodmin moor.  Some equaly great bronze age sites there including a fine henge and very well documented. O0 


I will give it a little more thought tommorow, if I get a moment.

BuzyG

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1266
Re: Dartmoor advice
« Reply #11 on: 00:16:00, 30/04/19 »
A few local Bronze age sites that I can vouch for as well worth a look. 

Starting a little further west near Victoria just of the A38.  Castle Dina's, SX945623

A little further NE off the A30 and not too far from good food at the Jamaica Inn is Hawks tor Henge.  Can't remember the official name of the site. The only known Henge in Cornwall. And a decent size stone circle within it.  SX143752. There is another smaller stone circle nearby too, but I have not visited that one myself..

And the best site in Cornwall and Devon, for my money, Minions.  Includes the three well preserved stone circles known as the Hurlers. SX238713. 
Close by there is an resovior that I think is also Bronze age. SX255720
Also the Rillaton Barrow where the gold cup was discovered as recently as 1837.
There is simply too much archiology in this small area for me to post here. 
The visitors center has masses of info and it is all free to park and enter.

A couple of pubs and a tea room provide a spot of refreshment in the village.
I was there last Friday doing a spot of rock climbing in the cheese ring quarry..

I will try and post up some places you might enjoy on Dartmoor next time I'm on here.
« Last Edit: 00:20:52, 30/04/19 by BuzyG »

pdstsp

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1045
Re: Dartmoor advice
« Reply #12 on: 09:06:05, 30/04/19 »
Thanks BuzyG - much appreciated.

Jac

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1661
Re: Dartmoor advice
« Reply #13 on: 09:58:12, 30/04/19 »

Been wracking my brains for something different. As others have said, the whole area is just awash with bronze age remains and I am sure your wife will already have a list of stone rows, standing stones, settlements, field systems etc she would particularly like to visit. What
particular aspect of the bronze age is your wife researching?[/color][/font][/size]
The most incredible recent discovery was the cist on Whitehorse hill and though the objects retrieved from the cist are not now on show ( I saw them when they were at Plymouth museum - truly incredible preservation and amazing for so many reasons) I really enjoyed walking up to the site where the cist has now been reinstated. https://www.archaeology.co.uk/articles/cist-whitehorse-hill.htm
We walked directly from the end of the road which goes round Fernworthy reservoir (not the official carpark). It's a bleak walk so quite atmospheric though maybe not one for a really foul day.

We discovered our 'own' little cist (marked as a burial chamber on the OS SX725869) A lonely little monument not on a PRoW but the farmer happened to be there and was happy for us to walk across to it.


Re location for self catering, Moretonhampstead might be handy as being having easy access to the moor plus an excellent local butcher/deli, local organic green/grocer and good small co-op. I often stop off to shop there when travelling between Exeter and the moor.



So many paths, so little time

pdstsp

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1045
Re: Dartmoor advice
« Reply #14 on: 10:05:06, 30/04/19 »
Thanks Jac - more useful advice there which I really appreciate.  Mrs pdstsp is actually researching Bronze Age agriculture, though she is specialising in the area, basically, North of the M62 corridor, so we have spent quite a bit of time in the North of England, Scotland and on the Northern and Western Isles - Dartmoor is a bit of a change - I think she wants to expand her knowledge base, which suits me as it's an area I just don't know at all.  Luckily there's lots of knowledge on here!!


Paul