By: Blonde Two
There can’t be many Dartmoor walkers who haven’t taken a trip up to Bellever Tor. It’s distinctive shape allows it to stand out from the nearby Bellever Forest and there are easy paths up from a variety of directions. On a clear day, I can see Bellever from home and that is a good 45 minute drive away.
The Bellever area, though, offers much more than just a brisk trot (trotting is not compulsory) up a hill. To visit Bellever is to take a trip back in time. Tin mines, cairns, hut circles, a leat, newtakes and the eighth tallest menhir (standing stone) on the moor – Bellever has it all.
Blonde One and I have had many walks with many different groups of youngsters around the Bellever area. We have been assessed on our navigation, got (a little bit) lost in the dark, told jokes (on Laughter Tor of course) and dealt with a rock wedged foot (all was fine in the end). But for some odd reason, until Friday, I had never been to pay my respects to the Loughtor Man.
Mr Loughtor is worth visiting. Originally standing at the end of a double stone row (much of the stone in the area has been moved around over the centuries) he is a proud eight foot seven inches tall. It is difficult to visit a menhir without wanting to touch it, I wonder how many people have done exactly the same thing.
One thing you ladies might like to note is that there are no Dartmoor menhirs named after the fairer sex. Three are called “man”, “Beardown”, “Loughtor” and “Harbourne” and I am certain that “Drizzlecombe” refers to the rain rather than to a weeping woman. We could speculate as to the reason for this but, let’s be honest, I don’t imagine it was a girl who put them there in the first place.
Reference and thanks:
Legendary Dartmoor – http://www.legendarydartmoor.co.uk