Marvellous stuff, love it!
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2012 21:16:29 -0400
From: Sher Leetooze <sherleetooze(a)interlinks.net>
Subject: Re: [DEV] Blackdown, Mary Tavy, Peter Tavy, Tavistock
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That area is sparsely settled/populated - in years gone by it was just the
same. Mary Tavy village and Peter Tavy village are a few cottages
straggling along a country lane with a church anchoring everything in
place. Blackdown isn't much better though it is on the main road up from
Tavistock. There is a great pub there and a bus depot. Horndon is more or
less a bunch of falling-in farm buildings, all used to be miners cottages
and a church/chapel all cuddled up at a crossroads.
The area is right on the edge of the moor which is no good for farming,
really. Cattle grazing, yes. The real life of the place was the mining
which has long gone. My husband's cousin grew up there and used to play in
the mine entrances - silly little beggar! I bet his mother never
knew! There's a really good pub in Peter Tavy where local folk can be
found. We also went to the Elephant's Nest out passed Horndon. It calls
itself a 16th Century pub - its not. It is a bunch of old miners cottages
all bunged together from around the area, and these hardly go back to the
16th Century - possibly early 1800's that's all!
Very quiet area. Very rural. The people who live there are very gentle, I
think because of their harsh moorland surroundings. Lovely views - my
gosh, beautiful - wonderful to wake up to each morning, I would think. The
people in the villages keep themselves busy. We get the Peter Tavy Piper
every few weeks - the village newsletter - and there's always something
going on there.
Andy, the cousin I mentioned, told us about his grandmother feeding the
convicts who escaped from Dartmoor prison all those years ago. They would
come across the moor and the first place they came to was gramma's house at
Zoar, Mary Tavy. She always treated them "properly", says Andy.
We knew the people who lived in Zoar Chapel - a Bible Christian Chapel that
had been turned into a private dwelling - my gosh wasn't that house a
restful place. There is a little bedroom upstairs with a wonderful view
out over the moor - it was Mina's favourite room in the house. She's gone
now, and her husband George has sold the place and moved closer to his
Roger Meyrick, a local historian, took us up on the moor and showed us the
ancient parish boundary. We walked the boundary - series of flat stones
now, no wall left - and not very even - nearly fell off trying to step from
one to the other, but we walked the boundary just as our forefathers had
done for centuries! It was a wonderful day, as Roger tried to remember all
seven tors that you could see from the boundary stones. He did it too,
turning and pointing to each one as he recited their names. From way up
there you could see the ancient stone enclosures on the far hills from
stone-age man - these were cattle pens, or so they believe. The place has
had human occupation for millenia!
Well, I don't know what else to tell you about the place other than its