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2022 Dartmoor Photowalk 03 Childe's Tomb & Fox Tor

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2022 Dartmoor Photowalk 03 Childe's Tomb & Fox Tor

23 Jan 2022 10:15AM   Views : 307 Unique : 157

This week Mrs T and I went out to Childe’s Tomb which sits on the outer edge of Foxtor Mires just underneath Fox Tor. We had originally planned to do this last week but given the proximity to the infamous Foxtor Mires and the heavy fog we postponed the trip, this week though the weather was significantly better. Foxtor Mires is thought to have been the inspiration for Grimpen Mire in the Sherlock Holmes novel Hound of the Baskervilles.

Childe's Tomb.

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Fox Tor.

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I was undecided which route to take out to Fox Tor, one would have started at Whiteworks and crossed the top of Foxtor Mires arriving at Childe’s Tomb first then up to Fox Tor, this would have been ok if the weather had been drier of late but as we have had some heavy rains I decided to go the higher ground route via Nuns Cross Farm, up to Fox Tor first then down to Childe’s Tomb. The track out to Nuns Cross Farm convinced me I had made the right decision.

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Once underway we could see the other starting point beside Whiteworks, it looked wet.

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It wasn’t long before we caught sight of Nuns Cross Farm, I have been there many times have but never approached from this direction.

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Out from the farm and over the Leat Bridge the track was fairly easy to see and follow.

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More evidence of the wetness of the route.

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Form the Leat I took another shot of the farm again not an angle I have done before.

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Not only was the route wet but the night temperatures had frozen a lot of the surface water which would help firm up the boggy ground.

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There was a point where we needed to jump off the track we were on as it wasn’t going to Fox Tor. I had a jump off point planned that was supposed to take us past a stone cross which was marked on the OS Map, perhaps it was a cross once but I thought I was looking at a Boundary Stone, anyway it was in the right place and had a convenient Quad Bike track to follow.

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When we got up close it was clear that it was actually a cross but long since broken, the broken bits are at the base.

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From here we could see across to the rocky outcrop that is just before Fox Tor and actually at this elevation hides it from view.

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As we made our way across the high ground on this Quad track we could see Foxtor Mires in the basin below us, for sure a forbidding place if the visibility is poor.

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On the approach to the rocky outcrop I looked across towards Whiteworks and noticed this odd boulder in the foreground, was it questioning my sanity?

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We pressed on to that rocky outcrop.

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Once we had reached the outcrop we could see both Fox Tor and Childe’s Tomb (left of frame in the distant low ground).

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A short walk and we were on the slopes of Fox Tor.

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Fox Tor isn’t a big Tor particularly when approached as we did from high ground, it does however have some nice rock formations.

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It also has a commanding view over Foxtor Mires and Childe’s Tomb (half right of frame just beyond the Dry Stone Wall).

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We made our way down through the clitter to the gate at the bottom of the Tor.

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From here we could clearly see Childe’s Tomb which has an interesting legend associated with it. It is said that John Childe, a wealthy Saxon Lord aka Childe the Hunter was out hunting one winter’s day when he got lost in a blizzard in freezing temperatures. In an attempt to stay alive he is said to have killed and disembowelled his horse to shelter inside its body. It wasn’t a successful plan and he died, however, he left a note saying whoever found him, if they buried him in their grounds they would inherit his fortune (he owned the lands that were Plymstock). He was apparently found by Monks form Tavistock who buried him in the Abbey grounds and claimed their prize. The original tomb was erected on the site of an old Cyst where he died, this has been scavenged but reclaimed to some degree and it now sits on the edge of the very Mires that were his undoing.

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After photographing the tomb (and wishing the light had been better) we set off to find some shelter for lunch.

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From where we had lunch we could see that the wall system that actually runs all the way up to Nuns Cross Farm so we decided to follow it back along the low ground.

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The wall followed a cross grain crossing several streams as it made its way to Nuns Cross, fortunately though whoever built it had kindly built in “Clapper Bridges” to make crossing the streams a bit easier.

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As we made our way back I looked over to the Mires, they were catching some nice light.

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We weren’t the only people out today, there was a Hunt in the area, they must know the Mires well to ride them.

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They managed to startle some Ponies.

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Eventually the wall/track led us to the Leat that we had crossed to leave the farm complex.

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Once again Nuns Cross Farm was in sight.

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Those startled Ponies seemed to have taken refuge there.

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Finally, no trip to Nuns Cross Farm is complete without a photo of the cross, again not an angle I have shot before.

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That’s all for this week folks, as always comments welcome.

Tags: Landscape and travel Foxtor Mires Dartmoor Photowalk Childe's Tomb and Fox Tor

Comments


23 Jan 2022 5:34PM
Although these Dartmoor walks can be hard at times, they can be very interesting!! and you don't know what you will find on the way out there, There are some lovely pictures taken here, but i do like the one that looks like it has a question mark in it!! like i said well worth the walk!! Wink

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