Eighteen of us gathered at Cold East Cross (formerly Ham Hill Cross), ready for the walk to Buckland Beacon and the Commandments Stones, and also, incidentally the 1935 Jubilee Stone. From the start of the walk – on a grey, mizzly day to start with. The walk started with seeing parish boundary stones incised with A (Ashburton), B (Buckland) and EPB – Edmund Pollexfen Bastard, Lord of Buckland Manor. One of the EPB stones was missing the year seen on the others, 1837.

 

 

View from Cold East Cross to Teignmouth

View from Cold East Cross to Teignmouth

 

We saw the Teign estuary in the distance, about 12 miles away.

 

EPB 1837 stone

EPB 1837 stone

 

These stones, erected by Edmund Bastard to mark the boundaries of his manor, also function (in this srea) as Ashburton / Buckland parish boundary stones.

 

A / B stone

A / B stone

 

The stone above, caught in good sunlight on a reconnaissance walk, shows the “A” very well. From memory, this is the second stone encountered and is the one where EPB is incised on a rough face where there is no trace of the year.

 

Old (small) and newer Ashburton / Buckland parish boundary stones

Old (small) and newer Ashburton / Buckland parish boundary stones

 

Approaching Welstor Newtake wall, built in 1771, there is a pair of boundary stones, one “recent” i.e. 1837, and one very ancient.

 

Buckland Beacon in view

Buckland Beacon in view

 

An early view of Buckland Beacon, above.

 

Sheep creep and pine trees behind

Sheep creep and pine trees behind

 

The line of Scots pine trees, with their paired needle leaves, suggests that they were planted by someone and that possible someone lived in this srea a long time ago. There is no sign of any dwelling today.

 

Having crept through the sheep creep

Having crept through the sheep creep

 

The sheep creep enables easy access to examine the trees and the dry stone wall with some huge stones used  in its construction.

 

The group of pine trees

The group of pine trees

 

The view inside the newtake demonstrates a good area of turf but the low-growing Western gorse and bracken are really colonising the area.

 

Overview of the Commandments Stones on Buckland Beacon

Overview of the Commandments Stones on Buckland Beacon

 

The Commandments Stones are very low on the flank of the Beacon ……

 

Closer view of the Commandments Stones

Closer view of the Commandments Stones

 

W Clement, who cut the 1547 letters, lived for a few eeks in a nearby cow shed, somewhere near a stream.

 

Some detail

Some detail

 

The whole text that is on the stones can be seen via the link to other photographs at the end of this post.

 

View to Buckland Court

View to Buckland Court

 

 

 

 

View to Leusdon Church

View to Leusdon Church

 

Leusdon Church is quite easy to see but closer to the Beacon, and in line with it, the tower of Buckland Church is seen almost obscured by a tree.

 

Warren House Inn, 6 miles distant, with Fernworthy Forest behind

Warren House Inn, 6 miles distant, with Fernworthy Forest behind

 

It came as something of a surprise to realise that the Warren House Inn was visible for Buckland Beacon.

 

Looking back at Buckland Beacon with some people to show scale

Looking back at Buckland Beacon with some people to show scale

 

From the Beacon, after coffee, we proceeded to Welstor, trying to See Welstor Rock – which we did from further along the path.

 

Welstor or Welstor Rocks?

Welstor or Welstor Rocks, with Buckland Beacon behind

 

Welstor above, Welstor Rock below …..

 

Welstor Rock or Welstor?

Welstor Rock or Welstor?

 

Ten years ago there waere paths to the Rock but now they seem to have become lost in the gorse – there is no sign of a path on Google Earth.

 

Ripening blackberries

Ripening blackberries

 

There were blackberries on the brambles to be seen later in the walk.

 

Welstor Common Rifle Range building

Welstor Common Rifle Range building

 

We paused briefly at the building on the Welstor Common Rifle Range. On the old 1886 25-inch Ordnance Survey map, “Targets” are shown in this area, in the top right corner of the map.

 

Quarry, labelled on an old map as "Old Sand Pit"

Quarry, labelled on an old map as “Old Sand Pit”

 

This is “behind” the building and its activities have no doubt obliterated some of the rifle range features that were here.

 

Maidenhair spleenwort on old mortar

Maidenhair spleenwort on old mortar

 

The spleenworts is found in the mortar-filled joints between the blocks in the old building.

 

 

The group on Welstor Common Rifle Range

The group on Welstor Common Rifle Range

 

The group photograph shows the tip of the fir tree growing in the old sand pit.

 

 

Old gateway at the 200-yard markers

Old gateway at the 200-yard markers

 

The rifle range only functioned for about ten years. In 1935, Ashburton Golf Club started up in this area. It is hard to believe that all the vegetation seen here was once unknown!

 

 

Gate hanger

Gate hanger

 

Old gate-post means old gate-hanger.

 

Path back to the car park

Path back to the car park

 

The path above leads straight down the golfers’ fairway, perhaps.

 

Sheep creep and step stile along the way

Sheep creep and step stile along the way

The wall contains a very impressive step stile …..

 

Step stile

Step stile

 

A closer view.

Satellite map + GPS track of the walk

More photographs on the Dartmoor CAM web site