to Plymouth. DARTMOOR. 17. Route.- 143
A walk may be taken through the Meadow Pleasure Grounds, on the
banks of the Tavy, to (3/4 M.) Fitzford, with a statue (by Boehm) of Sir
Francis Drake (1540-96), a native of Crowndale, 1 M. to the S. of Tavistock.
A coach plies daily in summer from Tavistock to (18 31.; 3 hrs.)
Liskeard (p. 150; fare 3s.), passing Gunnislake (near the Morwell Rocks,
p. 14S), St. Ann's Chapel (near Calstock, p. 148), and Callington (Golding's
Hotel). Near the road, about 4 M. from Tavistock, is the Devon Great
Consols Mine, which formerly yielded 1000-1200 tons of copper ore per
month, but is now worked mainly for arsenic. From Callington motor-
omnibuses (fare Is.) run several times daily to (1 hr.) Saltash (p. 148).
Tavistock is one of the chief starting-points for excursions in
Dartmoor Forest, a few of the most interesting points in which are
described below, while others have been already mentioned.
Dartmoor Forest, so named from the river Dart, is a high-lying
moorland district, about 25 M. long from N. to S., and 12 M. wide from
E. to W. The mean elevation is about 1500 ft. It has been described
as 'a monstrous lump of granite covered with a sponge of peaty soil',
and one of its most characteristic features are the 'Tors', or huge blocks
of granite that crown most of the hills. Numerous small streams rise
on Dartmoor, and their pretty wooded valleys often afford a pleasing
contrast to the barren scenery of the higher parts of the Foresi. These
streams, with their numerous little falls and 'stickles' (rapids), are
generally well stocked with trout. The moor also offers much to interest
the antiquarian, as it abounds in menhirs, stone circles, and other relies
of the ancient Britons, though many supposed ancient monuments are
now regarded as cattle-pens and deserted mining-shafts of no great age.
The air is bracing and the climate in summer is often pleasant and
invigorating; but rain is very prevalent at all seasons. Dartmoor ponies
are a sturdy and sure-footed race. The pedestrian will find abundant
opportunity for his prowess, hut should be on his guard against bogs
and mists. It is prudent to keep pretty closely to the beaten tracks, and
a good map and pocket compass are indispensable to all who are not
accompanied by a guide. The best carriage-roads are those from Tavistock
to Ivy Bridge, and from Horrabridge to Chagford, Moreton Hampstead,
and Ashburton, intersecting each other at Two Bridges (see below). The
visitor to Dartmoor will find good headquarters at Princetown (p. 142),
Dousland (p. 142), Two Bridges (see below), and Chagford (p. 136), while
Okehampton (p. 141) and Ashburton (p. 140) or Ivy Bridge (p. 140) are
conveniently placed for its N. and S. districts respectively.
One of the commoner excursions from Tavistock is to the top o
Brentor (p. 142), which lies about 4M. to the N.; but this ascent is belter
made from Lidford (p. 141). — Walkers may follow the ridse from (3 31.)
Mary-Tavy (p. 142) to (5V2 M.) Hare Tor and (272 M.) the Great Links Tor
(p. 141), whence they may descend to the W. to (2 M.) Bridestowe (p. 141),
or go on over Yes Tor (see p. 144) to (6 M.) Okehampton (p. 141).
From Tavistock a road leads due E. through Dartmoor, soon passing
a number of tors. The first on the left is Cock's Tor (1470 ft.), beyond
which are the Staple Tors. Opposite are Feather Tor and the curiously
shaped Vixen Tor. About 1 M. beyond (47i M.) Merrivale (inn), to the
S. (right) of the road, are some interesting stone circles and avenues.
About this point, too, we may turn to the left to visit the (I72 M.) Great
Mis Tor (17G0ft.), which commands an admirable view. The road to
Princetown (8 M. from Tavistock) diverges on the right after 3/t M. more
and passes the prison (see p. 142). Our road leads in a straight direction to
(274 M.) Two Bridges (Hotel, R. 2s. 6d., D. 3s.), a pleasant stopping-place for
the pedestrian or angler. Just above the bridge is the "Cowsick Valley, one
of the most lovely bits of Dartmoor. A little to the N. is Crockem Tor, on
which the Stannary Parliaments (p. 142) were originally held. Not far off
is Wistman's Wood, a singular group of ancient dwarf-oaks, the only relic
of the'Forest'. The road here forks, the N. arm leading to Chagford and
Moreton Hampstead, the S. arm to (12 M.) Ashburton (p. 140), on the S. E.