Walking through the Past - Exmoor & Quantocks

Walks visiting ancient sites on the moors.

Dartmoor

Dartmoor is a region of high moorland. It contains some pockets of primaeval oak woodland. The most famous features are the granite tors. The highest being High Willhays at 621m.

The Neolithic activity appears to have been restricted to the edges of the moor. There are many stone circles and a few long cairns. Dartmoor plays host to vast areas of unspoilt Bronze Age settlements and farms. These range from clusters of huts surrounded by boundary walls and fields to pounds with major stone ramparts. There are numerous stone alignments and circles and hundreds of cairns of all sizes. The longest stone row in the world is on south Dartmoor.
Towards the end of the Bronze Age hillforts began to be built round the edges of the moor. A few Iron Age settlements can be found. The Romans appear to have left the area alone, apart from a few mining operations.
The moor was reclaimed by farmers during the Medieval period. There are several warrens containing scores of pillow mounds. Miners spread across the area looking for tin. A Stannary parliament sprung up to govern the tin miners. The Black Death had an impact on miners and farmers, leaving several deserted villages.

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