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Widecombe History Group Walk July 1999
A very interesting guided walk was undertaken by 20 members of the group under the leadership of Len Copley on Saturday 10th July from Cadover Bridge - Trowlesworthy Warren Trowlesworthy Tor - Cadover Bridge.
We met at the main car park and then drove up the old road to a site near the river Plym. Sand Martins were busily feeding their young in the sandbanks in the side of the river. We followed the track towards Trowlesworthy Warren and on our left the considerable tin workings were pointed out. As we reached the crest of the track the "pillow mounds", artificial rabbit burrows, were clearly visible as were prehistoric "round houses". Farther up the hill a leat was crossed and at intervals across the leat single granite stones could be seen, it was explained that when the leat was built, it was through the middle of a working warren and permission was only granted under the condition that these were so positioned, so that the rabbits had places to cross the leat. A wonderful compromise had been reached!
On the top of Trowlesworthy Tor some very interesting granite stones were shown to the walkers, several large rectangular stones, (8 - 10 feet long and up to 4 feet square) and a most unusual cylindrical stone of 'pinkish' granite, (4 - 5 feet high and 3 feet in diameter), now known as "The What’s-it"! In the early 1800's there were three towns where we now call Plymouth,
they were Plymouth, Plymouth Dock and Stonehouse. Plymouth Dock successfully applied to parliament in 1825 for independence and became known as Devonport. These stones were cut with the intention of being used as a massive flag pole base to be erected at Devonport to commemorate its independence from Plymouth but the necessary public funding did not materialise so they still remain at Trowlesworthy Tor. However at the beginning of World War 1 due to pressure from the Admiralty the three towns became one known as Plymouth and the stones remain there today where they were being worked but not completed!
The vermin trap near the tor (see July minutes), was shown to the group, the stone rows, stone circles and early hedges/banks still quite visible. We returned back by the leat, butterflies, damselflies and a few fish were seen, just to mention some of the wildlife of the area. The possible remains of a granite pig trough was to be seen in the track as we made our way back to the cars and a well earned ice-cream. An interesting and enjoyable excursion.
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