Prehistoric Dartmoor around Fernworthy Reservoir

Fernworthy is a great place to discover some of the prehistoric relics on Dartmoor. Located a short drive from the small Dartmoor town of Chagford it is easily accessible even if the roads are a little narrow even by Debvonion standards.

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There is a large car park and parking is cheap at £2 for 2 hours or £4 all day. There are also toilet facility’s but you can’t always bank on them being open in the winter.

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The construction on the reservoir was started in 1937 and completed in 1942 by damming the upper reaches of the River Teign Vally to supply drinking water for Torbay and holds 380 million gallons of water.

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It is also a fly fishing only lake naturally stocked with Brown Trout and self-service permits are available from the hut near the car park. The season is 15 March to 12 October so no point turning up with your rods at this time of year. As a lad, I learned to fly fish on the lake with my Dad so it holds a few nice memories.

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There are a number of walks around the reservoir including some that are sutabale for wheelchairs and buggies But the ones that get you up into the forest are a bit more uneven, rough, and being churned up by the logging lorries at the moment.

So onto the first bit of prehistoric construction with the Fernworthy stone circle. Not quite Stone Henge but the same idea this Bronze Age Stone circle has 27 Granite slabs the tallest being just over a meter and is about 20meter in diameter.

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Another walk through the forest and I’m out on the open moor again this time it's off to the Grey Wethers.

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This unusual double stone circle is another Bronze age job about a mile from three edges of the forest just below Sittaford Tor the northern circle has 20 stones and is 32m in diameter and the southern one is slightly bigger at 33m and has 29 stones most of the stones are between 1 and 1.5 meters tall.

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the northern circle has 20 stones and is 32m in diameter and the southern one is slightly bigger at 33m and has 29 stones most of the stones are between 1 and 1.5 meters tall.

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Back into the Plantation and the last main Bronze Age relic in the forest is Assycombe stone row. The 120 meters double stone row runs uphill to a cairn at the top end.

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It may have been a cyst at some stage as there are taller 2-meter standing stones and what could have been a large capstone off to one side.

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There is also a hut circle off to one side at the lower end.

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Well, Hivers I hope you enjoyed the walk around some of the prehistoric monuments on Dartmoor. The circuit through the plantation took around 15k to complete so it was a good day's walk It’s slow going across the open moor but mostly forestry fire roads within the plantation but still a good 5 hours including a stop for some Lunch.

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and a well earned pint at the Warren Inn on the way home.

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