Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Dog and a compass

It was getting dark fairly early last night as a thick mist had settled on Princetown but the dog still needed a walk. I could have done what any other 'sane' dog owning person did last night, and take the dog for a quick spin around the block or for a run around a field: oh no I had to go for an exploration. My interest in bronze age sites has grown over the years, and living on Dartmoor provides a whole variety of places to visit: beaker sanctuaries, reave systems, standing stones, hut circles, cists and cairns a plenty. So last night I tootled off on to the moor with compass in hand and my spaniel fleeing around in about 10 metres visibilty. I wanted to find a little row of stones and associated cairns that I had never visited before, to be truthfull I dont think many people visit this particular site as it is small and tucked away off the beaten track. 

What a fantastic little stone row, very small but clearly of importance to those who prepared it. It reminded me of the tiny double row on the site of Higher White Tor, long forgoton and walked past by most. I walked to it's terminal stone which was intersectd by a spring and small stream of water. Shooing away the dog I took a few photographs and  naviagted to some of the cairns that were within a few hundred metres but cloaked in fog.

While I stood at this site, which would be about 3,500 to 4,000 years old, and the fog weaved its way around the darkening landscape, I thought: shouldn't it feel spooky? But it doesnt and didn't. For all the legends and myths that surround Dartmoor, the hairy hand, Cutty Dyer, pixies, 'The Hound' etc, at the end of the day they are just that! Myths, legends, stories! (which reminds me, Dartmoor Brewery has a new beer called 'Legend' which the Plume has just started serving)..... Where was I.... oh yes, stories thats all. The most ghastly thing on that moor last night was probably me.

And besides which, I had a dog and a compass to protect me.

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