Last night I joined Mike from the Moorland Guides of Dartmoor and Beyond for a walk with the Widecombe History Group, with the topic being quarrying and the general history of Haytor, which was being lead by a Dartmoor National Park Authority archaeologist. The weather when we all gathered at the car park above the visitor centre away from the main road, was pretty bad in all fairness with thick fog, wind and rain. Most of the members of History group were not that keen on walking in these conditions and with not being able to see that far there was little point in heading out with the group, so we knocked it on the head.
Mike and I, on the other hand, agreed that it would have been a waste of a trip to not go for a walk of some kind. We ended up walking out from the car park towards Smallacombe Rocks and the Hut Circles, Mike went through some of the finer details of the history of Hut Circles. From the Smallcombe we paid a little trip up to Holwell Quarry, were Mike went through the history of the quarry. The quarry was pretty big (not that we could see all of it with the fog) and could be good for some climbing, I will have to go back for another look on that though. Mike went on to talk about how he has made a quarrying and carpenters kit, hopefully next time I see him I will get to have a look at it. Moving to Haytor rather quickly as the weather really beginning to come in, me and Mike made our way in to Haytor quarry, were we found a half constructed arch which neither of us had seen before. The craftsmanship and time involved must have been massive and this arch was just left, half complete in the quarry it is a sad thing to see. We also talked about the wastage from all the quarries, in particular Foggingtor Quarries which has a massive slag heap, if you have been to Foggingtor you will know what I am on about, next time I am up in that area (probably very soon) I will get a few pictures. From this quarry we headed back towards the cars via the Templar Way to head, I will hopefully be leading some of my own walks in the here future. For those walks keep an eye on Facebook and Twitter.