Sunday, 21 December 2008

A trip to Dartmoor

We decided to take a trip up to Dartmoor today, even though the weather was a bit grey, the moor was beautiful as ever, with lots of ginger bracken, red berries shining on the Hollies, and the sheep on the distant hills like grains of rice. We saw lots of ponies too, and this rather lovely one, obviously in foal.
This is called the `Watching Place` which I always find a bit chilling, its set at a crossroads, as often crosses were, the actual name of the cross is Beetor Cross, but one of the myths as to the other name is that this site is where in medieval times the local lord of the manor erected his gallows, and any relatives or friends of the condemned person, would watch and wait for the Lords permission to remove the corpse.
We drove on to Buckland in the Moor, a lovely little `chocolate box pretty` village. We stopped and looked round this nice church St. Peters, which has wonderful views from the graveyard across the Webburn valley. Inside there is a beautiful rood screen, intricately carved, and outside an unusual clockface..
Instead of the usual numbers, it reads `My Dear Mother`. It was donated to the church by William Whitley in 1931 as a memorial to his mother who died shortly before. He also donated three bells, and every quarter of an hour the chimes play `All things bright and beautiful` but unfortunately, we didnt hear this, much as I would have liked too.
At the bottom of the hill from the church, I found this delightful little stream gushing over the smooth boulders, and gurgling under the road, with crystal clear icy water. The rocks and boulders surrounding the stream were dressed in wonderful emerald green mossy coats, and tucked up in drifts of crispy brown beech leaves....Dartmoor indeed is a very magical place...

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