|Lonely there, betwixt moor and sky,|
Where great grey clouds go drifting by,
And the Peewit utters her plaintive cry,
The Windy Post stands silently.
We decided to head up the moor again today when I finished work, and although the bay was covered in thick sea-mist when we left we were hoping it was clearer up there....we needn`t have worried as it was beautiful, lovely sunshine and warm..
We followed a path across Walkhampton common, studded with stones and edged with gorse bushes,
crossing a meandering little stream that flowed smoothly over the moor..
It skirted the granite wall around Vixen Tor which was covered in clumps of heather some still in flower
And in the corner was a delightful band of ponies, grazing and drinking from the stream...there were several foals, but this brown one was so cute, with its pretty face and curly little tail...
The path wound slowly uphill, running between banks of ferns and straggly gorse bushes, we had lovely views back to Vixen who peered regally back at us, and beyond the dark shoulder of the moor..
Edging the footpath was a lovely old worn boundary stone with the initials of Walkhampton incised on it..
At the top of the hill we came across a tiny quarry...Heckwood..the large granite stones strewn around were long abandoned and covered now in ferns and vegetation..
But some showed signs of the skill of those long dead quarry men...this beautiful granite stone had been shaped and worked around the edge carefully, I wonder what it was intended for, and why it was never used.
On the other side of the path from the quarry, was this delightful `dingly dell` the oak tree was gnarled and twisted and hung about with a mossy over coat, and from its boughs long pale green beardy moss hung in tatty wisps fluttering in the breeze..beneath boulders strewn the ground, covered in green velvet moss, and ferns sprung up in the crevices between...it was enchanting..
We carried on along the path, it was very hot now, ahead was Pew tor with a path to the left that would take you to Sampford spinney, a tiny hamlet, or to the right back to Walkhampton common.
We followed the right hand path, which wound over the moor, with lovely views of distant tors and past ponies grazing and ferny hollows, I was delighted to see this pleasant little leat with the sun shining on the ruffled water, clumps of tussocky grass lining the edges and a tiny clapper spanning it.
Evenually the path dropped down and ahead was The Windy Post or the Beckamoor cross..this is my favourite cross on the moor, it is everything an ancient cross should be, beautiful shape, nicely weathered, and at a rather drunken angle due to constant attention of horses and cattle.
Beside it flows the Grimstone and Sortridge leat, gurgling merrily between ferny banks..
Its flow has been divided by the little cross, half runs through a bull`s eye stone which carries the water to nearby farms..
And the other half flows over huge granite stones and continues its course across the moor...it was a lovely end to the walk to see the little medieval cross again, which was a marker for the route between Buckfast and Tavistock Abbeys.