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SHEEPS TOR—                          - CRAZY WELL

and was the hiding-place of Walter Elford, the Royalists, lord of the manor, when pursued by the Parliamentarians

during the Civil War. From the summit of the Tor is obtained a grand panorama of the country which separates this height from Plymouth Sound and the wooded slopes

of Mount Edgcumbe, while northward stretch the rolling heights of Dartmoor.

The descent from Sheeps Tor on the north side is most easily accomplished by bearing well to the right, so as to avoid the clatter of rocks which strew the westerly as well as the easterly slope.

Then a path through a farm yard leads on the right into a lane which skirts the head of the Reservoir.

Crossing the stream by a bridge , we have the twin peaks of Lether Tor before us and beyond that the Princetown Road.

 There are some remains within easy distance of the road, a group of hut circles and a stone avenue, a rock basin and other hut circles on and around Black Tor. To Crazy Well Pool , Nun’s Cross and Childe’s Tomb.

Instead of making direct for Princetown, it is better to take the lane past Kingset to Crazy Well Pool or Classenwell , which, though of small extent , had the distinction before Burrator Reservoir was made of being the only lake on these wide-stretching uplands.


the Reservoir it really has no claim to the title, for it is only an old mine-digging filled with water. It lies in a deep hollow to the south of the Devonport leat  or water-way , and has very abrupt sides, so th at it is difficult to see, and the seeker for it is as likely as not to come upon it in quite unexpected fashion.

At one time fabulous stories of its depth were current, but it has been ascertained that this does not exceed 15 ft.

About a mile and a half from this pool is Nun’s Cross or Siward’s Cross , which dates from the eleventh century, though it has been overthrown and broken and was restored about the middle of the last century. It is seven feet high and bears on one side the inscription Crux  Siwardi , and on the other letters which Mr. Crossing deciphered as BocL o n d , and so concludes that it possibly


marked the boundary of the lands held b y Siward, Earl of Northumberland in the time of Edward the Confessor, as well as being one of the guide posts of the ancient

Abbots Way.

A mile and a half again to the east, in the Swincombe valley, below Fox Tor, is Childe’s Tomb, an ancient kistvaen, which is also one of the notable features of the

Moor and is associated with the romantic story of Childe

the Hunter. Lost in a snowstorm on the Moor, Childe

slew his horse and crept inside the animal's carcass for

warm th and shelter. B ut the storm got worse and

Childe was frozen to death. Before he died, however, he

dipped his finger in blood and scrawled his will on the

stones :—

Whoe’er it be that findeth me,

And brings me to my grave,

The lands that now to me belong

In Plymstock he shall have.

The monks of Tavistock were first upon the scene,

much to the disappointment of the monks of Buckfast, who tried to intercept them and seize the body of the luckless Childe. However, they were outwitted b y the Tavistock monks, who threw a bridge across the T a v y and so carried off the body, and it is to be presumed inherited the estate. Anyone so sceptical as to doubt

the story may go to Tavistock, where he may find Guile Bridge to this day. What part Childe’s Tomb played

in the tragedy is not very clear. The monument as it

now exists was restored b y the Dartmoor Preservation

Association a few years ago, it having been despoiled

early in the last century b y the builder of a neighbouring

farmhouse, now in ruins.

To Meavy, Marchant’s Cross and Drizzlecombe.

Meavy village, which lies in the hollow about a mile

from Yelverton, is on the banks of the river whose

waters are so largely diverted to slake the thirst of

Plym outh. It has an ancient Church (St. Peter’s) in

 S H A U GH   B R ID G E to Shaugh Bridge, close to the confluence of the Meavy

with the Cad, their united waters forming the Plym (the

sponsor of Plym outh). Bridge and stream are almost

hidden b y overhanging trees. The present structure

replaced an older one swept aw ay b y a flood in 1826.

The scene is a favourite one with artists, and the bridge

was a resort of Carrington, “ the poet of the Moor : ”

Oft, as noon

Unnoticed faded into eve, my feet

Have lingered near thy bridge, romantic Shaugh,

While as the sister waters rushed beneath

Tumultuous, haply glanced the setting beam

Upon the crest of Dewerstone.

Near the bridge are two or three houses where tea m ay

be obtained. Crossing the river b y a bridge made from a

baulk of timber which has partly slipped from its position and needs to be warily traversed, we follow through

the wood a pathw ay which leads to a woodman’s cottage.

Then turning to the right we have a level track for some

distance. When there is again a choice of w ay we take

the rather stony path on the left and at the top again

turn to the right, and after passing some disused quarries

bear to the left. There is a more direct road which

involves very rough scrambling through the wood.

In any case it is necessarily a bit of a climb to the brow

of the huge ivy-grown mass of granite known as—

The Dewerstone.

This crag was another favourite haunt of Carrington,

who styled it “ The Monarch of the Moor.” A flat

stone on the summit is inscribed, “ C a r r i n g t o n , O b i i t

S e p t e m b e r i 8 , m d c c c x x x .” The names of some D evonshire artists have recently been added. There are traces

of an old camp in two walls built across the headland,

the sides facing the river being rendered impregnable

b y nature. Crossing the remains of this ancient fortification, we come upon Wigford Down, on which are some

hut circles, kistvaens and barrows. Here also are the

quarries from which the china clay which is worked near

Shaugh Bridge is raised.