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  • Writer's pictureJodie Newton

A short walk with beautiful views

Wind Tor and Hutholes medieval village

Here at mum on Dartmoor HQ things are still a little off kilter. Richard is recovering slowly following his fall and subsequent surgery for a broken shin and ankle, which has obviously put him out of action for hikes this summer.

We also have a new addition to the family. Back in September we lost our beautiful 15 year old Labrador Rosie. We were heartbroken but knew that another dog would fill the void at some point.

Having previously owned a Deerhound lurcher and loved their laid back attitudes, we decided to keep an eye out for another.

So nine months on from loosing our lovely old lady, we now have "Neville" an Exmoor Lurcher puppy.

He is wonderful but can currently only walk short distances until he's grown a little (which he seems to be doing at an alarming rate 😆).

As such I've been studying my map looking for shorter walks, which I can navigate without my right hand man but with my right hand pup (and the three kids).

This half term I decided that at least one walk on Dartmoor was needed to blow out the cobwebs and chose to visit Wind Tor SX707 757.

Wind Tor lies on Dunstone Down, just South West of Widecombe-in-the-Moor.

There is a small car parking area at Dunstone Down, just off the road running between Widecombe-in-the-Moor and Jordan. Wind Tor is a very short walk over the road and on the path south from there.

It is an easy, flat hundred yards or so.

The four of us pottered along the path and enjoyed the peace and quiet, whilst Neville was exploring the smells with all the joy new experiences bring to a young puppy.

He was gleefully wolfing down a delicious variety of moorland excrement as we tried desperately to grapple mouthfuls of cow dung from his puppy chops.

Wind Tor was clearly visible from the path, even though it's not a large Tor and there were more than a few Dartmoor ponies grazing on the surrounding grasses.

We kept Neville on a short lead and kept our distance from them.

Wind Tor may not be as impressive as some of the larger Tors but made a beautiful spot for a little letterbox hunting and would be a perfect place for a quiet picnic.

There are glorious views from the Tor over to Hameldown Ridge, Bell Tor, Chinkwell Tor and Honeybag Tor.

Hunting for letter boxes on Wind Tor

Whilst you are at Wind Tor, why not wander across to Hutholes. It's a fascinating place.

Nestled between Rowden Ball and Dunstone Down is the ‘deserted medieval village’ known as ‘Hutholes'. It was an ancient manor dating back to medieval Dartmoor. If you go back to the road by the carpark known as Southcombe Lane and follow it until you reach a crossroads, walk straight over to Hutholes Lane. Travel downhill for about 200 metres and you will spot the signpost in the hedgerow on the right-hand side SX 701 758

Hutholes was the old manor of Dewdon which originally appeared in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Depdona. Hutholes was once the field name in which the settlement lies.

There are at least three longhouses and one of the smaller buildings contains a corn drying kiln.

The houses would've originally been made of turf and gradually replaced by stone. The excavation of the remains of the long-houses and their associated barns, corn-driers, gardens and some of the open fields have given insight into the ecology of a community dependent on farming at altitudes between 1100 and 1300 ft above sea level.

Hutholes is a very special place to my family and a wonderful spot to sit and contemplate what life would've been like all those years ago, trying to eek out a living on the moor.

Obviously it's a brilliant jumping point for a bit of a medieval history lesson and I'm informed that there more resources available at the Princetown visitor Centre.

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