Mandy’s Haytor Circular – Sunday 5th January

Fifteen Ramblers undertook the very first Club walk of 2020.

Mandy welcomed all to the New Year and advised us that the route was a little different to advertised due to ground conditions and an off road event near Ilsington, but she had another cunning plan!

Plan B was essentially a circular route very much on open access land of Dartmoor for almost the whole 11 miles. We saw Haytor from all elevations as we completed the circuit.

Coffee Break was taken above Yarner Woods close to a line of Beech Trees. By coincidence we saw Bill the Conservation Officer in his land rover just after tea.

Lunch was at Becka Brook before the climb up to the medieval settlement and almost to the top of Hound Tor.  The rest of our walk was across Hound Tor Down, Bonehill Down, Top Tor, Hemsworthy Gate and Saddle Tor. It certainly proved to be an excellent workout after the seasonal break and was enjoyed by all.

The History of Hound Tor Medieval Village – the location of today’s group photo.  The site goes back to the Bronze Age  when this land was farmed. Outlines of the medieval fields can be still seen from vantage points on top of the tor.  The village which was excavated in the 1960’s, consisted of a cluster of rectangular longhouses and barns which date back to around the 13th C. With population growth in the medieval period it became necessary to farm marginal land so this site was chosen. There were four large longhouses and other buildings A family would live at one end and the animals would be sheltered from the elements at the other The village was abandoned in the 15th/16th Century, the villagers leaving little behind in terms of implements. Please see our gallery for an archive picture and an aerial view.

We stopped on the way back at Ullacombe Farm shop for our usual light refreshments.

Adam S