This walk: 2014-3-26. Higher Cherrybrook Bridge car park, Lych Way, "Hairy Hands" of Dartmoor legend, Bellever Tor, Bronze Age settlement, hut circle, chainsaw art, cairn cist, Longaford Tor, Dartmoor ponies.
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)
Lych Way or the Way of the Dead, a 12-mile track along which the dead were carried from the ancient tenements of Dartmoor to be buried at Lydford. Eventually, permission was granted in 1260 for burials to be made at Widecombe. Photo taken inside the gate up the track from Higher Cherrybrook Bridge car park.
Lych Way again, deeper into Bellever Forest.
At this point, the legend of the Hairy Hands of Dartmoor was told, about a ghostly hand taking the reins of horses or steering wheel of vehicles near here, when suddenly it appeared - or was it just Jim's combover?!
No - it had fingers, definitely the hairy hand!
Looking east along ther Lych Way, across the open area between Lakehead Hill and Bellever Tor .....
Bellever Tor, SX 644 764, elevation 443 metres (1453 feet).
Zoomed view, showing its structure as an avenue tor, where the central rock has been eroded away.
Showing the path ahead for this walk, along the right side of the open area. Ahead may be discerned part of the structure depicted in the following diagram .....
The walk passed along the north-west edge of an extensive Bronze Age settlement, described by Jeremy Butler (1991), Atlas of Dartmoor Antiquities, Vol. 2, 27.9: Bellever Tor North and north-east settlements, pages 44-45. The settlement can also be seen on the Google map of the walk.
A hut circle just outside the main enclosed settlement, probably at SX 64383 76840 - although this is actually within an enclosure, much of which runs inside the Sitka spruce plantation.
Chainsaw art at SX 64316 76737, a little away from the forest margin ..... by POD or JL?
Another item of chainsaw art, close to the forest edge.
Cairn kist at SX 64108 76472 ± 4 meters: in the consideration of ancient monuments, this item is described as a cairn cist at Bellever Tor, identity 2.B O.S. No. SX67, NW43, GR 64087646. It is described by Jeremy Butler (1991), Atlas of Dartmoor Antiquities, Vol. 2, 27.20.1: Bellever Tor cairns (fig. 27.14. cairn 1), pages 52-53 .....
Only the relevant part of the figure is shown here - the cairn is "1" in the overview figure, next to the plantation. It is described as being first recorded in 1890, already dug into. Only a few stones (three) of the retaining circle are identifiable. There is possibly another stone in an inner circle next to the cist.
Closer view of the kistvaen ("stone box") .....
A photograph of the same 'spot' that was taken before afforestation ..... with Powdermills in the background .....
Photograph showing the scale of the location.
Zoomed view to Longaford Tor, SX 61565 77931, elevation 507 metres (1663 feet).
At this point, Miss told us the story of the origin of this recent path from the forest edge up to the tor.
Zoomed view to bellever Tor, with better lighting than the earlier photographs .....
Same view .....
Another zoomed view.
Two thoroughbred Dartmoor ponies, all one colour, no 'paints' .....
As previous photograph.
I wonder if it moves .....
Does it move? Does it jiggery!
The gentle art of stone dismounting.
Photo from last week's walk, from Quick Bridge, where a sheep was freed from a stock fence; photo by JP.
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 driving from Two Bridges towards Postbridge and parking at the small quarry car park at Higher Cherrybrook Bridge, marked by the yellow cross and the P symbol on the map.
Distance - 5.96 km / 3.70 miles.
All photographs on this web site are copyright ©2007-2016 Keith Ryan.