This walk: 2018-11-25. Bra / Brai / Bray / Brat / Broad / Widgery Tor, Arms Tor, Widgery Cross, large building or enclosure, River Lyd ford, stepping stones, footbridge, Black Rock, Black Pool or Hunter's Pool, Capt. Hunter Memorial Plaque 1918, Wheal Mary Emma tin mine, Doe Tor Falls, Doetor Farm, millstone, abandoned trough, possible cider press edge runner. D365-G4.
Walk details below - Information about the route etc.
Weather-worn bench (SX 52918 85436), up from the car park, looking at Bra (Crossing p.60) / Brai / Bray / (Brat) Tor directly ahead (SX 539 855, elevation 452 metres /1482 feet). To the left is Arms Tor (SX 541 862, elevation 457 metres / 1499 feet) with a small "pimple" to the right of the summit - marked by the "v" - which is a part of Great Links Tor (see next two photographs). To the right is Sharp Tor (SX 55002 84871, elevation 519 metres / 1702 feet).
Zoomed photograph of the summit of Arms Tor, 1.4 km (0.86 miles) distant, with a part of Great Links Tor in the distance (at right) .....
Part of Arms Tor (left, 1.4 km / 0.86 miles distant) with part of Great Links Tor with its triangulation pillar visible, this is 2.43 km / 1.51 miles distant.
Widgery Cross on Bra / Brai / Bray / Brat / Broad Tor, erected by painter William Widgery, 1822-1893, to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887. William had a son who was also an artist, Frederick John Widgery, 1861-1942 .....
The cross is unusual for a cross on Dartmoor in that it is not hewn from a single piece of granite but built in ten courses of granite blocks, standing 13-feet high. It is inscribed “W. Widgery, Fecit, Jubilee VR" on the east side at the base.
Panorama of tors from SX 53052 85453: Great Nodden (Noddon - the rounded "Plum-pudding Hill", Crossing p.182) 24° / Arms Tor 50° + hint of Great Links Tor 56° in the rightmost pimple / Brai Tor (Widgery Cross) 81° / Sharp Tor 105° / Doe Tor 115° / Hare Tor 119°.
This is said to be a large building on the left bank of the River Lyd downstream from the ford (see below) on the left bank at SX 53230 85473, of unknown function? Possibly associated with the Wheal Mary Emma tin mine downstream, or is it (more likely?) a farming enclosure? It doesn't appear on the tithe map from 1848 so it probably has nothing to do with farming, although it is reported that the mine was active in the 1860s. It also does not appear on the OS 25-inch map from 1884 although it is on the Revised 1904 version.
Zoomed view to the ladder stile at SX 53080 85708, near the stepping stones across the River Lyd .....
High Down Ford (Crossing p.60), stepping stones and footbridge over the Lyd at SX 53162 85723 .....
Arms Tor, with a pile of Great Links Tor (on the right) peeping over the slope of Arms Tor.
Looking back at the ford etc.....
I waited to see if she would use the stepping stones!
Looking across the river at Black Rock, SX 53242 85388, looking for the seat with the Capt. Hunter memorial plaque above it. Be aware - there are two seats, look near the right edge of the photograph for the digitally lightened area with a seat. While I have the correct seat centred in this photograph (slightly "lightened"), I could not find the plaque! I was at the wrong seat in the photograph immediately below - your memory can play tricks sometimes. Also be aware that approaching this site on a cold frosty morning is very hazardous coming down the slopes from above, also when the ground is wet, they are steep ..... it is safer to approach down the river bank from the stepping stones .....
Zoomed photograph of the wrong seat! ..... the rock is not granite but hornfelsed slate and hornfelsed siltstone of the Liddaton Formation (metamorphised by the nearby granite intrusion) - see the BGS Geology of Britain map viewer .....
The right seat, with the plaque ..... overlooking Black Pool or Hunter's Pool in the River Lyd ...... see below for closer photos taken by detouring down the river bank from High Down Ford.
A section of Doe Tor Falls, SX 53242 85388, these are a series of small falls, mostly hidden by overgrowing gorse.
Doe Tor Bridge (a "modern" bridge), at the entrance to Doetor Farm. The stile to the left of the gate is now almost unusable due to gorse; the falls are above and below this bridge.
Entering the enclosures of Doetor Farm from the north .....
Items from the MOD Report on Doe Tor Farm .....
A perfect prehistoric flint scraper
found in 2001 proves man's presence here 4,000 or 5,000 years ago, p.12.
First reference to buildings here is in a deed from 1740, known as Dotter Green and Tin Mill. Abandoned 1955, p.12.
Dowbrokke tinwork recorded in January 1598, p.12.
The farm and its enclosures are bounded by the Doetor Brook on the north, the Wallabrook on the south and the River Lyd on the west, p.8.
An edge runner stone, probably intended as an apple crusher, was sited against a hedge about 150 metres below the farmhouse, until stolen in 2005. This stone had an unfinished square hole cut centrally, p.9
Tin mill somewhere, possibly at OS NGR 25332 08525, p.13.
After crossing a field diagonally and just entering the yard, with the ruined outhouse (left), on the way to the farm buildings .....
The ruins of the "Outhouse" have a low-level recess in the wall to the right of the leftmost pillar .....
Recess in north wall of the outhouse.
Part of the Calf house / Shed .....
I think this is probably the lean-to kitchen ..... the gate onto the open moor is seen at top left .....
This is the lane out onto the moor (through the gate) ..... now used perhaps for "penning" animals for veterinary purposes ..... the top left area are the ruins of the Shippon ..... the ruins at top/right are the Calf House / Shed .....
Not too certain what this photograph shows, it is not part of the dwelling house ..... Doe Tor in the distance .....
Zoomed view of Doe Tor from the house .....
Part of the vegetable or of the flower garden ..... it is said that "there is a millstone built into the walls here somewhere" ..... is it towards the right in this wall?
There is a good description of the farm on Legendary Dartmoor - Doetor Farm.
A closer view of a roundish stone.
Dartmoor CAM movie. TIPS .....
A movie of Doetor Farm on a dull reconnaissance day.
Click the photo to download
Corrections to the commentary on the video .....
1. the open area after passing alongside the house steps is obviously
the "body" of the house
2. "something unexplained" - this is the lean-to kitchen
3. the shippon is to the west, not east
4. the calf house is where it is first mentioned.
An abandoned stone trough, at SX 53755 84874, on the near slope of the tor ..... about 125 metres from the farm .....
How do you spot this among all the clitter? Yet, it is visible on Google Earth.
Black Welsh Mountain Sheep - makes a change from Dartmoor Greyface, Dartmoor Whiteface and Scotch Blackface!
The gate at the "far" corner of the farn ruins - this site is securely animal-fenced, so don't damage it - there are gates!
A rock pile on Doe Tor.
Photograph taken before re-entering the gate, looking back at the trough - but I can't see it!
There are descriptions of a cider crusher edge runner stone that was leaning against the bottom hedge of the farm, about 150 metres from the ruined house. The stone was flat on one side (towards the centre of the device) and cirved on the other (to run against the outer curve of the circular trough). It is also reported that this was stolen in 2005. The stone above (see next photograph) could almost be another edge runner, but without the unfinished square hole in the centre. This is located at SX 53506 84983 .
A horse-powered cider press in action, where the edge-runner can be seen
crushing the apples to squeeze out the juice for making cider.
Photo used with permission kindly granted by the Shropshire Star newspaper from this web page.
A mining pit, seen beside the path down to the River Lyd and the Wheal Mary Emma tin mine ruins .....
A zoomed view across the Lyd and the Wheal Mary Emma tin mine ruins ..... believed working in the 1860s ..... looking down on the River Lyd across to the main ruins on the right bank. The banked-up track can just be seen; below this was the dressing floors with two round buddles beside which is the outline of a large filled-in wheelpit that would have housed a 30-40 foot water wheel - a stone-lined tunnel runs from beneath this to the river bank below the scarp. This was known as an exit lobby. Source: Mike Brown (2001) Guide to Dartmoor, CD-ROM, Dartmoor Press, Grid Reference 533 852. According to the Heritage Gateway Advanced Search, shaft and two buildings are recorded on the other side of the track running up from the ford.
There was a footbridge across the Lyd here, at Wheal Mary Emma mine, photographed circa 1920, now there is just the ford - for the young and fit, I discovered, despite what that family of four told me! The small stone near the near bank was under water and looking green and slippery. The photograph of the footbridge can be seen in the MOD Report on Doe Tor Farm, plate 10, on page 36.
Looking downstream from the ford ..... some bracket fungi can be seen halfway up a tree on the left bank .....
Bracket fungi, possibly Fomiptopsis betulina (formerly Piptoporus betulinus), Birch Bracket Fungus, Birch Polypore, Razor Strop Fungus. From Wikipedia: "The fungus was carried by "Ötzi the Iceman" – the 5,300 year old mummy found in Tyrol, with speculation that the fungus may have been used as a laxative to expel whipworm."
Zppmed view to the ruin of a mine building and filled in shaft, with waste tips.
The group on the way back to the footbridge after looking briefly at tinning remains (pits) after leaving Doetor Farm - the sun was starting to shine!
Looking south-east across the footbridge by the ford and stepping stones .....
Hare Tor (left, large and distant) and Doe Tor, with three rock piles and a firing range flagpole.
Snack time on the range.
Looking downstream on the River Lyd from the stepping stones at High Down Ford, towards Black Rock and Hunter's Memorial (not seen in this photograph) .....
The plaque ..... and transcription .....
IN LOVING MEMORY OF
CAPTAIN NIGEL DUNCAN RATCLIFFE HUNTER: M.C. (AND BAR)
WHO WAS KILLED IN ACTION AT BIEFVILLIERS
NEAR BAPAUME ON 25TH MARCH 1918 AGED 25 YEARS
HE LOVED THE MOORS OF DEVON AND ON HIS LAST VISIT
TO LYDFORD HE WROTE THE FOLLOWING POEM
"ARE WE NOT LIKE THIS MOORLAND STREAM
SPRINGING NONE KNOWS WHERE FROM,
TINKLING, BUBBLING, FLASHING A GLEAM
BACK AT THE SUN; E'ER LONG
GLOOMY AND DULL, UNDER A CLOUD,
THEN RUSHING ONWARDS AGAIN;
DASHING AT ROCKS WITH ANGER LOUD,
ROARING AND FOAMING IN VAIN!
WANDERING THUS FOR MANY A MILE,
TWISTING AND TURNING AWAY FOR A WHILE.
THEN OF A SUDDEN OVER THE FALL
AND THE DARK STILL POOL IS THE END OF ALL
IS IT? I THOUGHT, AS I TURNED AWAY,
AND I TURNED AGAIN TO THE SILENT MOOR.
IS IT? I SAID, AND MY HEART SAID "NAY"!
AS I GAZED AT THE CROSS ON "WIDGERY TOR".
Commemoration day and new plaque dedication, 28th March 2008
A parting view from the Down: from left: Brai Tor & Widgery Cross, Sharp Tor and Hare Tor (with Doe Tor just in front and to the right of it).
Useful MoD Reports about farms and general aspects of this part of Dartmoor
Defence training estates - Dartmoor training area surveys - these MoD Reports are very detailed .....
MAP: Red = GPS satellite track of the walk.
© Crown copyright 2016 Ordnance
Licence number 100047373
Also, Copyright © 2005, Memory-Map Europe, with permission.
This walk was reached by turning up the lane at the "crossroads" on the A386 beside the Dartmoor Inn at Lydfford. This is a rough lane where you go through a gate that leads onto the moor where there are three sizeable parking areas. These are marked by the yellow cross symbol on the map.
Distance - 4.77 km / 2.96 miles