Postbridge CP - Broad Down - Longaford Tor - Powder Mills

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Postbridge CP - Roundypark Kistvaen - Broad Down - Longaford Tor - Powder Mills

This walk starts beside the East Dart River and at one point takes you relatively close to the West Dart Valley, the two rivers joining much further down at Dartmeet.

The walk also offers you the chance to visit two very different styles of Bronze Age graves (called kistvaens). The first is a small and coverless kistvaen, robbed long ago but also the source of a very unusual object when it was excavated over 100 years ago. An archer's wrist guard was found in it and no other similar wrist guard has ever been found on Dartmoor. It is currently stored in Plymouth Museum and the kistvaen is named as the Archer's Kistvaen because of that. Not far from the first kistvaen is a second, much more substantial one. It was renovated by a Dartmoor antiquarian over a century ago and it is huge compared with the Archer's Kistvaen. It is also located right beside a circular Bronze Age enclosure; because of its shape it is named as the Roundypark Enclosure.

Water power was a prime source of energy on Dartmoor for centuries and the watercourses used to carry the water from the rivers by gravity to where the power was needed are called leats. At one point the walk leads you right through a gunpowder-making plant which had three huge mills used in the production process. The water power for them came from two sources, one a leat from a brook which ran through the factory and the second, larger leat from the East Dart River some two to three miles away. The walk takes you alongside and across the larger leat four times, which incidentally was a high capacity leat and is known to this day as the Powder Mills Leat. The long-defunct gunpowder plant stopped making gunpowder approaching 150 years ago when dynamite was invented.

At the highest points of the walk, plenty of tors are visited as are the headwaters of a number of brooks and in consequence at least one bog has to be carefully negotiated and a couple of others carefully skirted.

England - South West England - Devon - Dartmoor

Features

Great Views, Hills or Fells, Industrial Archaeology, Moor, Public Transport

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