Widecombe in the Moor , Dartmoor , Devon

Widecombe in the Moor Travel Blog

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Widecombe St Pancras church

Dartmoor to me is a magical special place of natural beauty, it does have parts that are bleak and almost lonely, probably the  truth is that the vast majority of readers of this will not visit for various reasons and its for those who will never make it that this blog is done .

Today i could hardly find a dozen or so ponies and some of those i did find were in remote places and started to move away as they were approached .Anyone wanting to see pony pics should check my other Dartmoor blog which has many such pics which are an accumulation of dozens of visits .

I also wanted some bird pics , but the truth is that my canon 5 meg 4 X optical zoom is not suitable and the birds just will not keep still or were too far away , the routine was that I would see a bird ,slip off my bike , get camera out and by the time I had powered on and focussed the bird would move off  about 20 yards  and the whole process would then repeat again .

In just this one day the following have been seen :Sparrow ,Blackbird,Robin ,Magpie,Buzzard,Nuthatch,Jay,Pied Wagtail,Yellow Wagtail,Woodpecker,Blue Tit , Jackdaw, Rook,Wheatear,Meadow Pipit ,Skylark ,Chaffinch and Pheasant and a few i cant identify .

church 10 commandments
This is not including some caged birds i saw which will get mentioned (and pictured) later .

Widecombe in the Moor is only a few miles from Hay Tor , there is an old church ; St Pancras which dates from the 15 century , it was open and i had it all to myself , so peaceful and quaint , there is some olde english  (in olde english ‘f’ is also used instead ‘s’) writing on a wooden panel on the wall about when a fireball hit the church in October 1638 and on the opposite wall are two tablets containing the 10 commandments .If the pic is enlarged the tale is just about readable .

 http://www.legendarydartmoor.co.uk/saxon_well.htm

 

There is an old well , a little way down the hill which is said 'never to dry up' , it is saxon which will probably mean dating from at least 1100 ad , there is a legend that the water from it cures eye problems .

saxon 'holy' well widecombe , said to 'never dry up'. The waters however are reputed to have healing qualities, especially for eye complaints. I opened the little door , and closed it after the pic .

 

 

There are a few souvenir shops in the village , a little bit tacky , there is a post office  a pub and a couple of cafes .Every year there is a fair  near the village and a song associated with the village is 'Uncle Tom Cobley and all..' , the song goes that Uncle Tom Cobley and about 5 others borrowed a grey mare to go to Widecombe fair and the weight was too much and the poor old thing collapsed and died , this would have been in the 1800 s probably ,the song is/was taught to  us as  infant school pupils  .

 

There are lots of Bed + Breakfast, Hotels in the area and also some Youth Hostels , the main industry of Devon is tourism and farming , but parts of it are pretty remote and not well-served by busses , visitors really need to have a car to be able to see much of the area , i did about 50 miles just going around and thru dartmoor on this day .

Church wall board , the blade in the bottom of the pic is from an old plough which is on display .

Some years ago i stayed in a B + B overlooking Widecombe and in the evening the owners came and sat for a chat in the lounge with me , they were from London and had sold up and moved to dartmoor to run the place , they said that the locals called such people (and anyone from outside the area ) 'blow - ins' :-)

Dartmoor and most of Devon appears to be somewhat stuck in the past and at least 10 years behind the rest of the country (which is nice).

From a visit last year , two dartmoor ponies preening each other outside Widecombe church .
After  8 pm im the evening there will be little open in the way of shops , you will be very hard-pushed to find an internet cafe anywhere.The life style is slower and a little more innocent than the brash and loud cities.

 

Overlooking the village green is a café called ‘café on the green’ , it has been refurbished  but about 10 years ago it was run by 3 or 4 sisters who (I think) were spinsters  and also somewhat eccentric .The seats inside the café  (used to be) were made of a whicker/cane  material and were quite bulky , with four of them around a table there used to be hardly any room to get around inside without bumping into them .

One of the ladies would sit at a pay till by the door and she would not take money directly when customers went to pay but used a little wooden stick  with a cloth ‘scoop’on it  which she stretched out to you to put the money in and she would put your change into the scoop and pass it back.   

They had several small dogs which sometimes roamed around inside the café , I have seen them ‘cock a leg’ and pee over the chairs .

Widecombe from a distance , on the left hand side , behind the fir trees is where i stayed b+b years ago and learned about the 'blow-ins'.

As I said , the place is under new management now , I don’t want any complaints from the new owners  ;-)

Many retiring people in the UK sell up and move to Devon , often to the Devon coast for the healthy environment , the locals call them 'the greys'.I am not a 'spring chicken' myself and if i should be so lucky in about 15 years time then i could want for nothing more than to live in such a place .

Some painters and artists live in the area for the inspiration the area gives

 

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Widecombe St Pancras church
Widecombe St Pancras church
church 10 commandments
church 10 commandments
saxon holy well widecombe , said…
saxon 'holy' well widecombe , sai…
Church wall board , the blade in t…
Church wall board , the blade in …
From a visit last year , two dartm…
From a visit last year , two dart…
Widecombe from a distance , on the…
Widecombe from a distance , on th…
St Pancras church wallboard details
St Pancras church wallboard details
Widecombe National Trust centre  w…
Widecombe National Trust centre …
St Pancras stained glass  window ,…
St Pancras stained glass window …
St Pancras church boss chart .
…
St Pancras church 'boss' chart . …
Widecombe national trust visitors …
Widecombe national trust visitors…
widecombe infoboard
widecombe infoboard
Church graveyard , looking uphill …
Church graveyard , looking uphill…
St pancras chruchyard , most grave…
St pancras chruchyard , most grav…
Widecombe in the Moor
photo by: redzzed