Saturday, 13 June 2009

Dartmoor Day 3

My third and final day in Dartmoor, after a full English breakfast and lots of fresh fruit, we checked out of the hotel and headed for Hound Tor. This is of course famous because it is said to be the devil and his hounds which are turned to stones. Some rocks do indeed resemble the heads of large hounds. When we visited it was enshrouded with mist. Although some intrepid tourists had still come to see it. On the way we stopped to visit Kitty Jay's grave.

The story of Kitty Jay is that she was a farmer's daughter who committed suicide and was therefore buried at a crossroads, probably with a stake through her heart. Her grave always had fresh flowers appearing on it, a phenomenon that took place until a couple of years ago and was said to be the work of an invisible hand.

After this we walked to the Bowerman's nose, also enshrouded in mist. The Victorians believed this to be a rock idol, an artificial carving of a pagan god. It is now generally considered to be a natural rock feature although it does closely resemble a human figure, the 11th century hunter, Bowerman, who was according to legend turned to stone by witches.

We finished the day by a visit to Grimspound, this is a prehistoric settlement used for farming not defensive purposes, it was enclosed by a wall and contained stone huts. It in a very special and peaceful setting. We walked back to the Warren Inn from here and I bought the guidebook about Grimspound and the Inn itself.


  1. Enjoyed your Dartmoor posts, Benjamin. Have you checked out the Song 'Kitty Jay' by Seth Lakeman? Absolutely captures the atmosphere of the place, I think.


  2. No, Thanks for the link. I've heard of him but not had a chance to listen to his stuff so will check it out.

  3. Thanks Su, I liked the video. I'm now going to buy at least one of his albums. I think it's very important to get a sense of place when you visit somewhere like this, I bought lots of guidebooks and now I can have a soundtrack too!
    I agree the song totally captures the atmosphere of the area.