Wayward Wanderers Walking Group

Chagford - 15 November

November 16, 2009, prb, Comments: 0

A Short walk

Fortunately the torrential rain of the last week ceased on Sunday - at least until the end of the day - and we were able to run the scheduled walk as planned.  Not only that but the weather was actually quite good - fine with sunny intervals interspersed with some ominous but luckily fairly isolated dark clouds.  Furthermore the gales of Friday and Saturday had died right back and wind was not a problem at all.

The walk was a popular circular route around the  moorland town of Chagford.  Did you know it was also a stannary town - a centre of a local tin mining industry?  In these towns refined tin was assessed, coined and sold - the principal use of tin in those days being for coins.

According to Wikipedia King Edward 1's 1305 Stannary Charter established Tavistock, Ashburton and Chagford as Devon's stannary towns with a monopoly on tin mining in Devon, a right to representation in the Stannary Parliament and a right to the jurisdiction of the Stannary Courts.  Later, in 1328, Plympton was added.   Four tin-bearing areas in Cornwall were also designated stannaries. 

That helps to explain the background to some of the ancient stout stone buildings one can see in and around the centre of Chagford. 

The walk started near one of these, the Three Crowns Hotel, before heading along New Street in the direction of the impressive dome of Meldon Hill.
 We, however, declined to ascend that peak, but instead chose to strike off to the left, climbing up the side of the almost- as-daunting Nattadon Hill.  This pull up exposed the lack of fitness most of us had succumbed to as the recent wet weather had kept us indoors.   Still, height means views and those available on this clear afternoon were no exception.  

From the top, a short stretch of lane walking took us to a point where we entered an area of open land and then a sunken track running gently downhill.

There followed a gentle passage on lanes and across fields and paddocks........

............ before we joined the River Teign at Rushford Bridge. 

Here we linked up with the Two Moors Way, walking westwards roughly parallel with the river, ........

...........noticing that the water was rushing angrily over the weir partway along this length. 

Shortly after passing an impressive three storey terrace building on the other side of the river, possibly of industrial origin, but now looking to be in residential use, we came to the ancient and narrow stone Chagford Bridge.  This completed the off-road part of the walk, the remainder comprising a steady climb up along the road eastwards from the bridge back into the town.

Although only a little over 4 miles in length this walk is full of interest and has a lot to recommend it.  This time of year it is difficult to fit anything much longer in, and return to the cars after dark.

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