Dartmoor Book

Dartmoor Days

A photographic and informative flavour of Dartmoor National Park, the largest and wildest landscape in Southern England, describing its abundant wildlife, scenery and archeological remains.

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Dartmoor Days Front cover

Dartmoor Days back cover

I hope you enjoy this collection of photographs of Dartmoor. My photographic work takes me to many places through out the world, but I grew up on Dartmoor and I always love to come home to its ever-changing landscape.

Dartmoor was designated a National Park in 1951. It is probably best known for its ponies and the infamous prison, but he moorland landscape, with its deep valleys, imposing granite tors and rapidly changing weather, give it a uniqueness that is seldom rivaled.

It has a greater concentration of ancient monuments than anywhere else in Europe. The ancient wooded river valleys, combined with the heather and gorse, which covers the open moor provide a rich habitat for a diverse range of wildlife.

Brentor Church
Brentor, which rises 1,300 feet (396 metres), is an isolated volcanic outcrop on the western edge of the National Park. The church on its summit, built in the 12th century by the monks of Tavistock, is a prominent landmark.

 

Farmer feeding his hens
Spinsters Rock

Dartmoor has been farmed for over 5,000 years. Working and reworking the land, farmers have created and maintained the Dartmoor landscape. Spinsters Rock is a Neolithic burial chamber.  It collapsed in 1862 and legend suggests that it was re-erected by three spinsters one morning before breakfast!

Haytor Rocks.Dartmoor’s upland landscape is dominated by its craggy granite tors, thrusting up from beneath the earth’s surface and weathered by years of wind, rain, fronts and snow.
Haytor

 

Wistman's Wood
Wistmans’s Wood. Ancient gnarled oaks growing and surviving amidst the granite boulders in Wistman’s Wood provide an ideal ecosystem for mosses, liverworts and ferns.

 

Ponsworthy.  The population of Dartmoor today is around 34,000. The majority live in the large towns and villages surrounding  the moor, although the smaller more remote communities continue to thrive despite the changing fortunes of farming on which they once relied.
Ponsworthy

 

Uncle Tom Cobley at Widecombe Fair
Widecombe in the Moor Sunrise

Today Widecombe in the Moor is famous for Uncle Tom Cobley  and its annual fair.The name Widecombe probably comes from ‘Withy-combe’ a place where ’withies’ or willow was grown. Widecombe was also once well know for its breed of ‘Whiteface’ sheep.

Ponies trotting over Pil Tor
Rainbow

In the autumn the ponies are rounded up in the annual drift. They are brought down from the moor.