Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Hound Tor, Medieval Village and Jay's Grave - Dartmoor National Park

View from the top of Hound Tor, with the remains of the medieval village in the valley
The Dartmoor National Park is about forty minutes drive from home and every now and then we like to get out into this fantastic natural wilderness and ancient landscape. So donning walking boots, rucksack we, like many Easter visitors, headed up to Hound Tor for a bracing walk between the towering rocks and a wander round the remains of a medieval village, thought to have been abandoned in the 15th century.

Where we were in the park, Hound Tor, Widecombe and Princetown

Jackdaws were calling and on the lookout for any food dropped by walkers

I have always been a bit of a bird enthusiast and the quiet whisper of the breeze was interspersed with the calls from Buzzards, Sky Larks and Jackdaws.

Hay Tor on the horizon
The view looking towards the south coast

Dartmoor is a great place to come and get centred. The stunningly beautiful Devon countryside, fresh air and wide open space is positively uplifting and I never tire of its splendour.

A buzzard on the wing left above the rocks on the lookout for rabbits


The 13th century village was excavated in 1960 and is thought to have been a settlement dating back to the bronze age.

This looks like the floor plan for a typical Devon Longhouse, home to a family and their animals

The mosses and lichen on Dartmoor are beautiful and delicate

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would easily have found inspiration walking round here

The walk back from the village up to Hound Tor

A victim of the "Beast of Dartmoor perhaps?

After grabbing a hot mug of tea at the trailer in the car park we headed off to Princetown and a view of Dartmoor Prison, which has a long history of housing some of Britain's most dangerous criminals, and serving as a holding centre for prisoners of war during the Napoleonic period, with French and American prisoners being held with little hope of escape across the open moor.

French Prisoners of war being transported across the moors on the 24th May 1809 - E.P Coles
On route we paid our respects to Jay's grave, the grave site of Kitty Jay, who after a tragic life (It's the rich what gets the pleasure, it's the poor what gets the blame, as the old music hall song goes) committed suicide and thus not being able to be buried in hallowed ground lies in a simple grave beside the road. Flowers are said to be laid daily on the grave, by person or persons unknown.


Flowers and stones in the shape of a heart bedeck Jay's Grave


We finished our day with dinner at the Old Inn at Widecombe on the Moor and after all that fresh air I slept like a log.


  1. Beautiful country, Jonathan. Thanks for the travelogue.

  2. Hi Jon, thanks for your comment. It really is beautiful and leaves you appreciating nature and the great outdoors.Plus all that fresh air gives you a great nights sleep.