This walk started at the top of Southcombe Hill above Widecombe in the Moor. In recent
years this spot has been given many names such as Wind Tor Car Park. The correct
name is Two Crosses. Many years ago the parish length-man used to cut two crosses
in the turf to mark this spot where three Manors in the parish met. I suggested to
the Widecombe and District Local History Group that there should be a stone there
suitably engraved. They agreed, I gave the stone and the Dartmoor National Park Authority
did the engraving. It was placed on site in June 2008
From Two Crosses we set off up the track and onto the ridge, a fairly long uphill
pull to Hamilton Beacon then on past Two Barrows, Single Barrow to Broad Barrow (705798).
One of the sad things that we have noticed this year is that the heather is dying.
In several places on the moor there are vast swathes of dead heather. I’m told that
it could be caused by the heather beetle whose attacks on heather tends to kill the
older bushes. Perhaps more
vigorous swaling is required. Certainly in many places the gorse has reached a great
and dense height with saplings of rowan, birch and thorn growing out of it. With
the lack of stock to graze and other traditional farming practices the face of Dartmoor
is changing, and not for the better.
From Broad Barrow we walked along the track untill we overlooked Grimspound . We
then took the right hand track which dropped down to Natsworthy Gate(721802) passing
the stone that commemorates three airmen whose plane crashed there in the Second
World War . It was twelve noon and flying around near the woods there was a bat catching
flies. I don’t think I have ever seen a bat out at that hour of day as active as
Then across the road and along the lane to Jay’s Grave passing the huge oak chair
that has been put in the field there as some sort of modern day sculpture. I like
it, it’s fun. It stands on the high ground overlooking the valley that runs down
to Widecombe. We saw it with Honebags Tor behind it.
Kitty Jay hanged herself many years ago, and because her death was a suicide she
couldn’t be buried in consecrated ground. As no parish wanted her either, she is
buried at the end of that lane on the parish boundary. There are always fresh flowers
on the grave and nobody knows who it is that puts them there. Spooky eh?
Then along the road to Hound Tor(743790) and down through Bonehill to Widecombe.
After refreshments it was up the hill to Two Crosses.