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Dartmoor - Two Bridges Round to Beardown Man

Dartmoor - Two Bridges Round to Beardown Man


Postby garyhortop » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:00 pm

Date walked: 19/11/2012

Time taken: 4

Distance: 15 km

Ascent: 388m

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This was the walk that I had aimed to do a few weeks back but was thwarted by the weather! The forecast for Sunday was much better and I had also the common sense this time to carry the bad weather gear for the dogs so hopefully no problems this time! Also a word from the wise...part of this walk is in the Merrivale firing range - so check firing times before walking this especially if its NOT a weekend!

The walk starts at the quarry car park at Two Bridges and follows the main footpath way marked to Wistman's Wood. You follow this track until you get just beyond the small cottage of Crockern and then you head up east onto Crockern Tor. I think I may have mentioned in the last report that this is the site of the ancient Stannary Parliament that was led by the local owners of the tin mines and was said to have held more power than London! Apparently they could overturn decisions made in London as the Tinners at the time had all the money (and therefore all the power!). You also get a good view from here across to Princetown and North Hessary Tor. In fact on this walk the mast serves as good focal point for navigation - not that it was really needed today!

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1. Princetown & North Hessary Tor


Once on the summit there is an obvious north/south ridge that you then follow towards the summit of Longaford Tor in the distance. The ground underfoot was still exceptionally wet and as it turned out this was a sign of things to come!!

After a nice wander you reach Longaford Tor!

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2. Longaford Tor


And from here you can peer down into the valley where Powder Mills is situated. If you look closely at the houses you will see that they have no rooves on! Apparently they were originally built with Thatch and the theory was that if the powder went up (and it did on a regular basis) you simply blew the roof off and could replace it easily.....though not sure what happened to the poor S**s working in the hut at the time!!

The other funny story and local legend attached to this area is that the valley that Powder Mills is situated in is the home of the Dartmoor Hairy Hand!! Legend has it that campers have been woken by scuffling noises outside of tents at night and even car drivers have been forced off the road by the hairy hand! There is even a bit of a poem that goes...

Long and Hairy Fingers
Probing through the night
Seeking flesh to grapple
Searching left and right
Feeling for a handhold
On maiden's thigh
So stay inside my darling while the hairy hand goes by!

You can make your own mind up!

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3. Powder Mills and Bellever Forest


So.....back long the ridge towards Longaford and Higher White Tor! (a bit sharpish just in case the hand was following!)

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4. Longaford & Higher White Tor


From Higher white Tor I headed down to Lower White Tor where you get a view across to Brown's House.

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Browns House


I then more or less straight lined across the moor to Brown's house where it really started to become boggy with every step hard work as you were more or less sinking to shin depth with each step!

There is also a bit of a story attached to Brown's House. Apparently Mr Brown was so fearful that other local men would try and steal his new wife away from him that he built his house here in this pretty desolate and remote spot of the moor. Quite what kind of life poor new Mrs Brown had I can only imagine!! I have to say that this is a pretty remote and desolate spot to live your life out!!

From here though you get a view back down the valley to Higher White Tor and on up into Rough Tor.

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Higher White Tor from Brown's House

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Beardown Tors from Brown's House

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Rough Tor


What follows was much squelching and squishing across more bog towards the river and the bit I was dreading which was to find a place to cross. Also a word of warning here......it had been so wet that when I reached the river and began to make my way up towards the wall to find a crossing place I stepped down off a grass step and broke through the surface of the bog....up to my crotch! Apart from being cold and a bit uncomfortable it took me a good 5 minutes to get out! Everytime i moved it seemed to hang on tighter and there was really very little leverage to help myself out. I had visions of sitting there waiting for help or trying to phone for help...but got there in the end, if a bit wet afterwards! So...make sure someone knows where you are going or if in pairs or more follow the person in front and if they disappear don't step in that spot!

I eventually found a place to cross...
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Managed to cross the river this time!


I then followed the stone wall up the ridge to the summit of Rough Tor - again very, very boggy!

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Longaford Tor from Rough Tor


Next stop was then across more bog to Devil's Tor!
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Next Stop Devil's Tor


This yomp is then rewarded by reaching Devil's Tor and the largest single standing stone on Dartmoor - The Beardown Man. It is also unusual as it is alone and unlike many other standing stones on the moor does not seem to be associated with a stone row or tomb. It also notionally marks the cross over point form the South Moor to the North Moor. You also get some really good views of the moor from here.

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Beardown Man on Devil's Tor

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Backbone of Great Mis Tor from Devils Tor (zoom)

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Beardown Man (Pole for scale)


From here there is a sort of a ridge line you follow to Lydford tor and yes you guessed it more bogtrotting and from Lydford Tor you get some good views across to the three tors of Beardown Tor.

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3 summit Tors of Beardown Tor from Lydford Tor


Following a bit of a path...and more bog you get clear of the bog at last on the shoulders of Beardown Tor and again are treated to some good views of the moor.

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Beardown Tor (West Summit)

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West Beardown Tor Summit


From Beardown Tor you can see the route you need to follow heading down towards the Beardown Farm plantation. I had a slight issue here as when I got into the plantation and reached the gate at the south of the plantation I was stopped from going through by a large herd of young heifers! I just decided I couldn't juggle nervous dogs and cows at the same time! I retraced my steps and went around to the eats of the plantation and picked up the leat that runs along the valley. Glad i did so as this was a little treat to follow through the plantation..quite pretty really!

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Pickle admiring the Leat and Longaford Tor

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Leat through Beardown plantation


The leats leads into the farm whereupon you join the main track to the road (waymarked). You can get back to the quarry via a nice path along side the river but I had to avoid this as the water was too high and it seemed to be spooking Pickle a bit! So it was along the road and back to the quarry via Two Bridges....

026.JPG
Old bridge at Two Bridges


In hindsight I think this walk could also be done as two ridge walks that would negate the need to cross the river and might also avoid the bogs...might have a go at this another time! Nice trip though even If i did get a wet a***e! :shock:
Attachments
006.JPG
Back to Longaford and Beardown Tors
garyhortop
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Re: Dartmoor - Two Bridges Round to Beardown Man

Postby SusieThePensioner » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:09 pm

I'm glad you managed to complete this walk, Gary, and really enjoyed your report; such a lot of interesting information :thumbup: Great photos as well :D
garyhortop wrote:and broke through the surface of the bog....up to my crotch! Apart from being cold and a bit uncomfortable it took me a good 5 minutes to get out!
A tricky moment for you and glad you got out safely :shock: You need to swap "bog" experiences with jonny616 :lol:

Have to say, my Dad(originally from Exeter) was always regaling us with stories when we walked on Dartmoor that frightened me :? Even when Jeff and I walked there I felt uneasy so we tended to walk on Exmoor a lot more :lol: :lol:
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Re: Dartmoor - Two Bridges Round to Beardown Man

Postby garyhortop » Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:08 pm

SusieThePensioner wrote:I'm glad you managed to complete this walk, Gary, and really enjoyed your report; such a lot of interesting information :thumbup: Great photos as well :D
garyhortop wrote:and broke through the surface of the bog....up to my crotch! Apart from being cold and a bit uncomfortable it took me a good 5 minutes to get out!
A tricky moment for you and glad you got out safely :shock: You need to swap "bog" experiences with jonny616 :lol:

Have to say, my Dad(originally from Exeter) was always regaling us with stories when we walked on Dartmoor that frightened me :? Even when Jeff and I walked there I felt uneasy so we tended to walk on Exmoor a lot more :lol: :lol:


Thanks Susie.....and I do recall Jonny's experience with bogs!!!

There are quite alot of legends and stories relating to Dartmoor and I think many of these relate to the fact that it has been occupied or inhabited for such a long time. I always try to find out a bit about the area I am walking and there are a few reference books around and the odd website that helps with this as well - so hopeful;ly it makes the walk and the report a bit more interesting!! :D I'll try not to scare you too much (or myself for that matter! After all I do most of my walking only accompanied by the dogs! ) :shock:
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Re: Dartmoor - Two Bridges Round to Beardown Man

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:46 pm

Never mind the Beast of Bodmin I want photographic evidence of the Dartmoor Hairy Hand :lol:
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Re: Dartmoor - Two Bridges Round to Beardown Man

Postby garyhortop » Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:44 pm

johnkaysleftleg wrote:Never mind the Beast of Bodmin I want photographic evidence of the Dartmoor Hairy Hand :lol:


Well JK....you had best look closely at future posts!! I will set up my hide and see what I can find!! :wink: :D
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Re: Dartmoor - Two Bridges Round to Beardown Man

Postby willywalker247 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:06 pm

Geat report Gary. Wish i had been with you, pulling you out of the bog would have been a hoot!.next time i walk with you please feel free to lead :lol: :lol:
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Re: Dartmoor - Two Bridges Round to Beardown Man

Postby garyhortop » Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:39 pm

willywalker247 wrote:Geat report Gary. Wish i had been with you, pulling you out of the bog would have been a hoot!.next time i walk with you please feel free to lead :lol: :lol:


Thanks Chris...strangely enough when i was sat there pondering how to get out I was thinking shame Chris isn't here.......and then i thought again.....he just stand and be no help whatsoever!! Don't worry...i can remember the spot...will save it for our next Dartmoor wander! :wink: :D
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Re: Dartmoor - Two Bridges Round to Beardown Man

Postby houdi » Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:23 pm

You're a brave man to tackle Dartmoor after all the rain we've had down here. I've been giving it a miss in preference for coast path walks. I always hate that farm at Beardown. Everytime I've passed through it's been like a quagmire, even in summer.

Incidentally, Rough Tor makes me laugh as it's hardly a tor, never mind a rough one. Not quite so bad as Kitty Tor though!
Last edited by houdi on Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dartmoor - Two Bridges Round to Beardown Man

Postby ChrisW » Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:24 pm

Great report Gary, really entertaining too...like the hairy hand story and Mr Brown keeping his mrs away from others but sinking in the bog up to your crotch is bloody awful :shock: glad you managed to haul yourself out and kudos to you for carrying on regardless :clap: Great hike on a lovely day in wonderful scenery .....I love it :D
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Re: Dartmoor - Two Bridges Round to Beardown Man

Postby garyhortop » Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:39 pm

houdi wrote:You're a brave man to tackle Dartmoor after all the rain we've had down here. I've been giving it a miss in preference for coast path walks. I always hate that farm at Beardown. Everytime I've passed through it's been like a quagmire, even in summer.

Incidentally, Rough Tor makes me laugh as it's hardly a tor, never mind a rough one. Not quite so bad as Kitty Tor though!


Thanks Houdi...not sure whether its brave or just a bit dim!! Coastal walks sound like a good idea to me and I am beginning to think that I might need to start carrying a snorkel on Dartmoor with all the rain we have had! Beardown Farm was a quagmire as well!!

Must try and meet up for a wander sometime.......but perhaps when it actually stops raining (for more than half hour!) or the moor freezes solid! :D
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Re: Dartmoor - Two Bridges Round to Beardown Man

Postby garyhortop » Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:41 pm

ChrisW wrote:Great report Gary, really entertaining too...like the hairy hand story and Mr Brown keeping his mrs away from others but sinking in the bog up to your crotch is bloody awful :shock: glad you managed to haul yourself out and kudos to you for carrying on regardless :clap: Great hike on a lovely day in wonderful scenery .....I love it :D
....


Cheers Chris......it was chuffing cold....and took me a while to get out! I had to carry on...couldn't fail to do this one a second time......and more importantly it was a good way of warming up! Watch out for the hairy hand though...you never know where it will turn up!! :D
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Re: Dartmoor - Two Bridges Round to Beardown Man

Postby Phooooey » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:27 pm

Great report ! Not too easy to run away from The Hairy Hand when your thigh deep in bogland. :lol: I bet Pickle is a match for any beasty up there though especially in the snazzy tartan coat. :wink:
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