Dartmoor conjures up plenty of different things to many people. Many think of ponies and cream teas, others imagine vast tracts of wilderness and marsh. To those who know it, the 'moor' is 368 square miles of intrigue and fascination but be warned, it's a moreish place and once you have fallen under the magic of 'Old Dartymoor' you will never want to leave it.
Over the past 12 centuries man has hunted, farmed, mined, quarried and existed on and around Dartmoor. From the early Mesolithic hunter gatherers to the present 'moorman', people have left their marks on its landscape. Dartmoor has been described as the 'last wilderness' and often when walking deep in that 'wilderness' it is easy to imagine that you are the first to set foot on its virgin soil. Don't even go there, just stop and take a good look and it's guaranteed that within eyesight will be the mark of someone who’s being there before you.
It may be a solitary standing stone on the horizon, built by the 'Men of Bronze' or it may be a small heap of stones left there by the old tinners, but somewhere in the ranges there will be something. Every tor, mire, stream, gully, wood or valley will have a name, although many of them won't be on the modern map and lots have been lost in the mists of time but they will all have a name showing evidence of the presence of man. Therefore if a person has been associated with the area for so long it is inevitable that there has been a wealth of tradition, archaeology, history, folklore and legend left for us to explore today.
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