Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Haytor Rocks and Quarries - Lush Beauty in Dereliction

Crossing back over the moor from Bovey Tracey I decided to revisit Haytor before the inevitable crowds turned up on a rare sunny morning in Dartmoor's summer.  Where is our summer?  Did I miss it?

We scrambled up and onto the summit to sample the fierce winds blowing.  The smell of fresh bracken in the air was amazing.

Hayer Rockface and clouds

The quarries around the back of Haytor are fascinating.  Opened around 1820 by George Templer to produce fine grained 'blue' granite for building London Bridge.

You can walk through the quarry and out the other side.  The pits are filled with water, lily pads and rushes and look beautiful.  Even the old rusty derrick from a crane looks charming.

Haytor Quarry and Lily Pads

Haytor Quarry Pond and Crane Derrick Base
Hayer Quarry and Foxgloves

Hayer Granite Tramway - Templer Way
Out of the quarries you encounter the granite tramway than transported the granite to Teigngrace (8.5 miles).

Follow the tramway round to Holwell quarry and you pass a superb granite apple crusher that has come a cropper during transport, and the quarry itself which has stunning views over the Becka Brook valley towards the famous Hound Tor.

Best of all is the quarryman's beehive hut hidden on a ledge just beyond the quarry floor and tramway.  Truly a hidden gem.

Beehive Quarryman's Hut at Holwell Quarry

Saturday, 4 June 2016

White Tor and Langstone Stone Circle on Dartmoor

Weather doesn't get much better than this; a pleasantly warm air temperature, light breeze and fabulous sky.  Dartmoor looks like a picnic rug in this.  It's all deep blues and greens, not much yellow or brown in May and early June.  Wondrous.  I've even kept my photographs in colour to prove the point. (mostly)
So, up the Smeardown Down track and a quick glance back at the green and pleasant land.

Then on to Setters Tor.

Another glance back along to Boulters Tor.

Finally a sunny stroll to the Langstone Menhir and Langstone Stone Circle.

These were both used as target practice during the Second World War.  The menhir has bullet holes in it still and the stone circle (previously restored in the 19th century) has been shattered; bits of standing stones lie around broken stumps.  Heartbreaking.