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A Book of the West/Volume 1/10



Geological structure of Dartmoor—Granite—"Clitters"—Building with granite—The bogs—The rivers—Rock basins—Logan stones—Kaoline deposits—Hut circles—Cooking-stones—Pottery—Pounds—Grimspound—Position of women in early times—Approximate period to which the relics belong—The cromlech—The kistvaen—The stone circle—The stone row—The menhir—Cairns—Modes of interment among the pagan Irish—Stone crosses—Tinners' burrows and stream works—Blowing-houses.

THE great irregular tableland of Dartmoor, an upheaval of granite over a thousand feet above the sea, and in places attaining to above two thousand, occupies two hundred and twenty-five square miles of country. Of that, however, less than one half is the "Forest" and belongs to the Duchy of Cornwall. Around the forest are the commons belonging to the parishes contiguous to the moor. The moor is almost throughout of granite. At the outskirts, indeed, gabbro and trap exist, that have been forced up at the points where the granite has burst through the slate, and these later uprushes of molten matter have greatly altered the granite in contact with them, and have produced an elvan.

The most extraordinary difference in kinds and composition exists throughout the granitic area. Some granite is very coarse, full of what are locally called "horse-teeth," crystals of felspar, other is finely grained. Some is black with schorl, some, as that of Mill Tor, white as statuary marble. Granite was not well stirred before it was protruded to the surface. The constituents of granite are quartz, felspar, and mica; the latter sometimes white, at others usually black and glistering. The felspar may be recognised as being a dead white. The black shining matter found near where are veins of tin, is schorl.

It is the opinion of modern geologists that the granite never saw daylight till cold and consolidated, and that granite when in fusion and erupted to the surface resolves itself into trap. The pressure of superincumbent beds prevented perfect fusion. In its altered condition when perfectly fused it may be seen in Whit Tor, near Mary Tavy.

But, it may be asked, what has become of the beds that overlay the granite? They have been washed away. In Exmoor we do not meet with the granite. It had heaved the slates, but not sufficiently to so dislocate them as to enable the rains and floods to carry them away and reveal the granite below. If Dartmoor granite could but have retained its covering matter, the region would have been indeed mountainous. In Shavercombe, a lateral valley of the upper Plym, may be seen traces of the original coverlet of slate, much altered by heat.

The granite looks as though stratified, but this is deceptive. It is so unequally mixed that some flakes or layers are harder and more resistant to atmospheric forces than are others, and where the granite is soft it gives way, presenting a laminated appearance. Moreover, the granite is full of joints. Where these joints are vertical and numerous, there the rocky masses break into fragments. Believer Tor is a good instance. This imposing mass looks as though, when rising out of the Flood, it had shaken itself, like a poodle, to dry itself, and in so doing had shaken itself to bits. Lustleigh Cleave is another instance. Every tor is surrounded by a "clitter" (Welsh clechir), and these clitters are due to the disintegration of the granite in horizontal beds, and then on account of their joints horizontal and diagonal, falling into confused heaps. Where the joints are not numerous and not close together, there the rocks cohere and form tors. In many, as Vixen Tor and Mis Tor, the pseudo-bedding lines are very distinct. Where the soft beds are infrequent, there the granite forms great cake-like blocks as in Hey Tor. The tors are, in fact, the more solid cores as yet not overthrown by natural agencies. Such a core is Bowerman's Nose, and around it is the "clitter" of rock that once encased it.

Granite is very pervious to water, as everyone knows who lives in a house built of it by modern architect and masons.

The ancients were not such fools as we take them to have been. They did condescend to consider the capabilities and the disadvantages of their building material before employing it. The "old men," when they constructed a wall of granite, always gave it two faces, and filled in with rubble between. By this means the rain did not drive through, although they did not employ mortar; and the ancient tenement houses on the moor are dry as snufif. But the modern architect insists on having the walls built throughout with lime, in courses, and the rain enters by these as by aqueducts. Then, to remedy the evil, the whole face of the house is tarred over or cemented, with what result to the prospect may well be conceived. The granite, though pervious, is so to a very limited extent when compared with limestone, and through a granite country there are no springs that issue from subterranean reservoirs. All the rain that falls on the surface runs off superficially, but not all at once, for on the granite lie enormous beds of peat, the growth and decomposition of moor plants through vast ages. These beds of peat are like sponges; they absorb the rain, retain it, and slowly give it up during the summer. In limestone districts the making of a river goes on within the bowels of the mountain, but in a granite district it takes place on its outside. Remove the beds of turf and peat, and there will be torrents after a shower, and then dry torrent beds.

To north and south of the equator of the moor lie vast tracts of bog in which the rivers are nursed, and without which they could not be. No visitor can realise what Dartmoor really is in the economy of nature as the mother of the Devonshire rivers till he has visited either Cranmere Pool, or the ridge on the south, where are the meres from which spring the Avon, the Erme, the Yealm, and the Plym.

The granite being of unequal hardness, its constituent crystals become separated by the action of the weather into an incoherent gravel, which in Cornwall is called growan. The process may be seen in full activity on any tor. Sometimes water lodges on a slab, and finding a soft spot begins to decompose it; then, when this is the case, the wind swirls the water about, and with it the grit is spun round and round, and this continues the work of disintegration, and finally a rock basin is produced.

Of these rock basins some fine samples exist: that on Caistor Rock has had to be railed round, to prevent sheep from falling in and being drowned. Mis Tor has another, the Devil's Frying-pan. There are plenty of them to be seen in all conditions, from the rude beginning to the complete bowl.

At one time it was supposed that they were Druidical vessels employed for lustration, and archaeologists talked long and learnedly concerning them. But what is quite certain is that they were produced by Nature unassisted.

When a hard bed of granite lies on one that is very soft, the latter becomes disintegrated and eaten completely away. The hard bed is left either balanced on one point or more, or else has its centre of gravity so placed as to precipitate it from its position. Plenty of rocks may be seen in all these conditions. If it should chance that a rock remains poised on one point, then possibly a little pressure at one end of the slab will set it in motion. This, then, is known as a logan, or rocking stone, which antiquaries of old pronounced to have been employed by the Druids as oracles, or for purpose of divination. All this was bred out of the phantasy of the antiquaries. There is absolutely not a particle of evidence to show that they were supposed to be mysterious, or were employed in any rites, and it is also absolutely certain that they were formed by the hand of Nature alone.

There are many logan rocks on Dartmoor. One is on Black Tor, near Princetown. It is instructive, as it not only shows the process of weathering which made it what it is, but it has on top of it a rock basin that decants by a lip over the edge of the stone when the latter is made to vibrate.

The "Nutcracker" stone near Amicombe Hill above the West Ockment rolls in a high wind like a boat that is anchored. There were two very fine logans on Staple Tor above Merivale Bridge, but quarrymen wantonly destroyed the whole of one of the steeples, together with the finest logan on Dartmoor that was on it. The other remains. On Rippon Tor is one, another in Lustleigh Cleave.

The felspar dissolved by the rain was carried away, and has been deposited in many places, filling up an ancient lake-bed and forming Bovey Heathfield, coating plains and hills with a deposit white as snow; this is kaolin, and is worked as china clay at Lee Moor and in Shaugh. The water flowing from the works is like milk, and, curiously enough, cows relish it.

Having got rid of the rock basins and logan stones as pseudo-antiques, we will now address ourselves to those which are genuine.

A Book of the West - RIPPON TOR, LOGAN STONE.png


Such are the menhir, the kistvaen, the so-called "sacred" circle, the stone rows, the hut circles, barrows, and cairns. All these abound on Dartmoor. Nowhere else in England can be seen such an extent of land undisturbed by cultivation, and carrying on its surface so many hoary monuments of a prehistoric population. It may be premised that all kinds of theories have been floated as to their purport and as to the period to which these relics belong, and the loudest and most positive have always been those who had no experience with spade and pick, which can alone solve the problem of their object and age. Systematic and persistent investigation into these monumental remains has been carried on for six years by a committee acting under the authority of the Devonshire Association for the Advancement of Science, Literature, and Art, and five reports of their proceedings have been already published in the Transactions of the Association.

It may be said that, at all events with regard to the hut circles, their position in the order of civilisation has been made out almost to a certainty, for something like a hundred and fifty of these have been carefully examined. With these accordingly we will begin.

They are strewn in thousands over the surface of the moor, and such as remain are but the merest fraction of those that must have existed formerly, for incalculable numbers have been destroyed by those who have made enclosures.

The hut circle is all that remains of the primitive dwelling of a people that were pastoral, and were clothed mainly, though not exclusively, in skins.

The foundations of the circular dwellings are formed of blocks of granite, sometimes set vertically and sometimes placed in horizontal layers, enclosing a space from eight to thirty feet in diameter. The roof rested on the circular wall, which was never over four feet high, and was doubtless of wood covered with rushes, heather, or skins; a low doorway facing south or south-west gave access to the interior; and a hole in the apex of the roof served as chimney. The thorough exploration of the floors of these huts has resulted in the discovery of fire-places, cooking-holes, and raised platforms of stones forming seats by day and beds at night, not so uncomfortable as it sounds, when covered with rushes and dry fragrant heather.

That the inmates played games is probable, from the number of small rounded quartz pebbles found that may have served for a game. Cooking-pots rudely made by hand of coarse earthenware, imperfectly baked, have been found, standing in the cooking-holes made in the floor, with the "cooking-stones" in and around them. These are river pebbles of dense, hard granite, which were placed in a fire and heated to such a pitch that dropped into the pot containing water they brought it to the boiling-point, and maintained it, by fresh additions, until the cooking operation was complete. These pots were fragile, and like modern crockery ware got broken; in one prehistoric cooking-vessel it took the form of a fracture in the bottom—perhaps due to the careless dropping in of the cooking-stones by some inexperienced or impatient cook—but body was equal to the occasion, for the bottom was neatly mended with china clay. These vessels, or as much as stood in view above the floor of the hut, were usually ornamented with patterns of the herring-bone type, or merely with dots and lines conveying no idea of consecutive pattern. Their interiors are much blackened with cooking, and imprisoned in the shreds there may yet be found, by the expert analyst, oily globules, remains of prehistoric fat from beef and mutton. Cooking was performed in holes in the ground as well as in pots, just as modern savages cook at the present time. Hot stones in a pit, green grass, meat, more hot stones, and the whole turfed in, and you have a result which an epicure would relish. Some patience is necessary, perhaps twenty hours for a whole pig.

There is a curious passage in the life of S. Lugid, of Clonfert, who died at the beginning of the seventh century. When a youth he served in the monastery, and as his biographer says, at that time it was customary to warm water by dropping into the vessel a ball of iron that had previously been heated in the fire. Lugid had to put such a ball into the drinking-vessel of the abbot, S. Coemgall, and he took it out of the fire with a pair of tongs, but Coemgall for some reason drew his hand back, and the ball fell on the table instead of into his cup, and it was so hot that it burnt a hole through the board.

Most of the cooking-pots found in the Dartmoor hut circles have rounded bottoms, and are of too poor a paste to resist the direct action of the fire. An example of one such, removed from the hole in which it was, is preserved in the Plymouth Municipal Museum.

One cooking-pot was found with a cross at the bottom of thicker clay, the object being to strengthen it, as experience showed that these pots always yielded first at the bottom. Some of the largest hut circles, those presumedly used in summer, had their kitchens separate from them, smaller huts, where the floors have been found thick with charcoal and fragments of this wretched fragile pottery.

The larger huts had their roofs supported by a central pole, and the socket-hole in which it stood has been found in some of them. In many huts also a flat, smooth stone bedded in the floor has been noticed, presumedly employed as a block on which to chop wood or fashion bone implements.

It is remarkable that one specimen only of a spindle-whorl has been discovered. No metal objects have so far been found in the Dartmoor hut circles. Implements of flint, sandstone, and granite abound; they are mostly scrapers, borers, knives, and rubbing or smoothing tools; a few arrow-heads have turned up, but these are mostly outside the huts, probably shot away in hunting.

The examination of the graves discloses the same kind of pottery, but with better finish and more elaborate ornamentation. Implements of stone and some bronze objects were yielded by the graves, and the evidence of the exploration of the Dartmoor remains has thus far connected them with the period of culture known as the late Neolithic and Early
A Book of the West - BROADUN POUNDS.png


Bronze Age, which means that the folk were still using stone for their tools and weapons, but were just beginning to employ bronze, an alloy of copper and tin. It is not surprising that bronze has not hitherto been found in the dwellings; it was far too valuable to be left about in such a manner as to be lost, and no surprise need be expressed that it has been discovered in sepulchral monuments appertaining to the same people, for nothing was too good as an offering for the use of the dead in the happy hunting-grounds above.

That at least some of these huts belonged to "medicine men" is probable, from the finding in them of large, clear quartz crystals, such as are employed by several savage races as mediums for conjuring spirits.

Some of the hut circles are enclosed within "pounds." Many examples exist. The most noteworthy is Grimspound. The circumference of the wall measures 1500 feet, and it includes within it twenty-four hut circles. The wall is double, with small openings as doors into the space between, two of which are perfect; but for what purpose the inter-space between the walls was left is most uncertain. It can hardly have been filled in with earth or rubble, as no traces of such filling remain. The entrance to the pound is in a very perfect condition. There is a hut circle outside the enclosing wall, just as in the prehistoric forts of Ireland.

A curious passage may be quoted from the gloss to the Law of Adamnan, which shows how women were treated among the early races.

In the hovels, very similar to our hut circles, a hole was dug in the floor from the door to the hearth about three feet deep. In this, in a condition of stark nudity, the women spent the day, and the object of the hole was partly decency and partly to keep the women in their places, so that—without joking—they were not on the same level as man. They did all the cooking, turning the spits. They made candles of fat, four hands'-breadth long. These they were required to hold aloft whilst the men ate and drank. At night the women were put to sleep in bothies like dog-kennels,outside the enclosure, so as to keep guard over their lords and masters, like watch-dogs.

In Wales, Iltyd the knight sent his wife out stark naked in a bitter wind to collect the horses and drive them into pound, whilst he lay cuddled up in the blankets.

Verily men had the upper hand then. Nous avons changé tout cela.

Near Post Bridge were numerous pounds containing hut circles; most have been destroyed—one only remains intact, at Broadun. Adjoining it was another, much larger; there the enclosing wall has been destroyed, but not all the hut circles. At Archerton a plantation of firs has been made within one of these enclosures, of course to the destruction of the monuments it contained.

What we learn from the hut circles on Dartmoor is that they were built and occupied by a people who, though they knew bronze, held it in high value, as we do gold.

Barrow on Chagford Common

II. Of the characteristic dolmen, which we in England call cromlech, we have but a single good example, that at Drewsteignton. Cornwall possesses numerous and fine specimens; they abound in Wales and in Ireland. But although we have one only remaining, it can hardly be doubted that formerly there were others, wherever the name of Shillstone (Shelfstone) remains, as near Modbury, and in Bridestowe.

The dolmen belonged to the period before bodies were burnt; it was the family or tribal ossuary. As it became crowded with skeletons, the earliest were unceremoniously thrust back to the rear, to make room for the last comers. The allée couverte in France, and the chambered barrows of Denmark, North Germany, Scotland, Ireland, and England, are but extensions of the dolmen to hold a larger number of the dead. The dolmens usually have a hole at one end, or a footstone that is removable at will, to allow for food to be passed in to the dead, and for the introduction of fresh applicants for house-room in the mansion of the departed.

Some of these holed dolmens have the stone plugs for closing the holes still extant. On Dartmoor in the kistvaens a small stone at foot or side was placed, to be removed at pleasure.

III. The kistvaen, or stone chest, is a modification of the dolmen, and is usually of a later date; when incineration was become customary, the need for such enormous mortuary chapels, or tombs, as the dolmens and allées couvertes ceased. The dead could be packed into a much smaller space when reduced to a handful of ash. Nevertheless, it is probable that some kistvaens belong to the period of carnal interment, and were erected for the reception of single bodies, which for some reason or other could not be conveyed to the family mausoleum. In Derbyshire carnal interment is found in cists, which are miniature dolmens, or kistvaens, sometimes standing alone, sometimes congregated together like cells of a honeycomb, each containing its crouched skeleton. On Dartmoor we have hundreds of kistvaens. Most have been rifled, but such as have been explored show that they belonged to the same people and period as those who occupied the hut circles.

In the fine kistvaen at Merivale Bridge, plundered and mutilated though it had been, a flint knife and a polishing stone were found; and flint flakes have been picked out of the ploughed soil round the Drewsteignton cromlech. At King's Oven is a ruined circle surrounding a demolished kistvaen, of which, however, some of the stones remain. A flint scraper was found wedged between two of the encircling stones. Some fine specimens are to be seen near Post Bridge.

IV. The stone circle is called by the French a cromlech. The purport of this is conjectural. Undoubtedly interments have been found within them, but none, so far, in those on Dartmoor, In the great circle on Penmaen-mawr there were interments at the foot of several of the monoliths, and, indeed, one of these served as the backstone of a kistvaen. Stone uprights surround many cairns, in the midst of which is a kistvaen; but such circles as the Grey
A Book of the West - LAKEHEAD, KISTVAEN.png


Wethers, Scaur Hill, and that on Langstone Moor, never enclosed cairns or kistvaens, and must have had some other purpose. Among semi-barbarous tribes it is customary that the tribe and the clan shall have their places of assembly and consultation, and these are marked round by either stones or posts set up in the ground. Among some of these tribes, if one of the constituent clans fails to send its representative, the stone set up where he should sit is thrown down. It is possible that the circles of upright stones on Dartmoor, not connected with cairns, may have served such a purpose. They are usually placed on the neck of land between two rivers. There are on Dartmoor about a dozen.

V. The stone row is almost invariably associated with cairns and kistvaens, and clearly had some relation to funeral rites. The stone settings are often single, sometimes double, or are as many as eight. They do not always run parallel; they start from a cairn and end with a blocking-stone set across the line. In Scotland they are confined to Caithness. The finest known are at Carnac in Brittany. It is probable that just as a Bedouin now erects a stone near a fakir's tomb as a token of respect, so each of these rude blocks was set up by a member of a tribe, or a household, in honour of the chief buried in the cairn at the head of the row. It is remarkable how greatly the set stones vary in size; some are quite insignificant, and could be planted by a boy, while others require the united efforts of three or four men, with modern appliances of three legs and block to lift and place them. Usually the largest stones are planted near the cairn, and they dwindle to the blocking-stone, which is of respectable size. There is no known district so rich as Dartmoor in stone rows. The number of these still remaining in a more or less dilapidated condition is surprising. Some five-and-twenty have been counted, and quantities must have been destroyed, and these the very finest examples, as the big upright stones lent themselves readily to be converted into gate-posts. Indeed of those that have been allowed to remain many have lost their largest stones.

The most important stone row is that on Stall Moor, a single range, that can be discerned even from Cornwood Station, and looks like a number of cricketers in flannels stalking over the brow of the hill. A fine one is on Down Tor; here the largest stones had been thrown down for the sake of removing them for gate-posts, and the marks of the levers were visible. Happily the Dartmoor Preservation Society interfered and re-erected the stones which had been cast down. At Drizzlecombe are three sets of stone rows leading from tall menhirs. The stone avenue that led from the Longstone, near Caistor Rock for over a mile, was wantonly destroyed by a farmer a few years ago, when building a new-take wall hard by. A good example is on the brow of the hill opposite Grimspound, but the stones are not large. The Merivale Bridge remains consist of two sets of double rows, the stones very small, but the rows fairly intact. But the most remarkable row of all is that near the Erme Valley, which, starting from a great circle of upright stones, extends for two miles and a quarter, descending a dip and crossing a stream to mount the opposite hill.

VI. The menhir, or tall stone, is a rude, unwrought obelisk. In some cases it is nothing other than the blocking-stone of a row which has been destroyed. But such is not always the case. There were no rows in connection with the menhir at Devil's Tor and the Whitmoor Stone.

That the upright stone is a memorial to the dead can hardly be doubted; it was continued to be erected, with an inscription, in Brito-Roman days, and its modern representative is in every church-yard. The menhirs, locally termed longstones, or langstones, must at one time have been numerous. Those round the moor have been carried away to serve as window-sills, door-jambs, even church pillars. Several places and moors, by their names, assure us that at one time these monuments were there.

Menhirs are still erected by the dolmen builders on the Brama-pootra, the Khassias, and always in commemoration of the dead. The Chinese hold that the spirits of the deceased inhabit the memorials set up in their honour; and the carved monoliths in Abyssinia, erected by the same race when it passed from Arabia to Africa, have carved in their faces little doors for the ingress and egress of the spirits. Holed menhirs are found in many places.

There are several menhirs on Dartmoor, as the Beardown Man (Macn, stone), near Devil Tor, in a wild and desolate spot far from the haunts of man; the highest is at Drizzlecombe, height eighteen feet, and weighing six tons. It may well be doubted whether in any part of England such a complete series of remains of a vanished population exists as on Dartmoor, where we have their houses and their tombs. But the monuments are not of great size.

VII. Cairns on Dartmoor are numerous, but all the large ones have been opened and robbed at some unknown period. They would not have been dug into at the cost of time and labour unless they had rendered results of value. One ruined cairn with a kistvaen in it is still called "The Crock of Gold," but probably bronze was the metal chiefly found. A cairn opened on Hameldon yielded a bronze knife with an amber handle with pins of gold. A cairn at Fernworthy gave up an urn with a button of Kimmeridge coal, and a small bronze knife, together with another of flint. But the cairns were not always raised over the bodies of the dead. Sometimes, perhaps, only over the head, which has long since disappeared; sometimes over the place where the body was burnt, and sometimes as mere memorials.

What makes ancient Irish usage so valuable is that there we have traditional pagan customs recorded, and after Christianity was adopted the ancient usages were but slightly modified. I will quote a passage from Professor Sulivan that explains the various methods of interment. And it must be borne in mind that in Ireland the Celt was superposed on the Ivernian just as in Devon and Cornwall,
A Book of the West - Urn from Kistvaen.png


and that in both the dominant race largely adopted the religious views and customs of the subjugated people.

"From the ancient laws and other sources we have direct evidence that the ritual of the dead varied with the rank, sex, and occupation of the deceased, and that it was more splendid and elaborate in the case of great men."[1]

The various kinds of monument were the Derc, the Fert, the Leacht, the Duma, the Cnoc, and the Carn.

The Derc was a hollow, a pit, or hole, dug in the ground; in fact, a simple grave.

The Fert was a rectangular chamber, composed of stones set upright, and covered horizontally with flags; in a word, a kistvaen.

The Leacht seems to have been a larger-sized kistvaen, a cromlech or dolmen, but a single upright stone was also called a leacht. When a number of persons were buried in a single mound, then a stone was set up in commemoration of each round the tumulus or cairn. A good specimen may be seen beside the road to Widecombe from Post Bridge. The cairn has been almost levelled, but the ring of stones remains.

The Cnoc was a rounded, sugar-loaf mound of earth, and the Duma was a similar mound raised over a kistvaen.

The Cairn or Carn was a mere pile of stones, generally made over a grave, but sometimes having no immediate connection with one. Here is a curious passage which will explain why some cairns contain no interments:—

"The plunderers started from the coast, and each man took with him a stone to make a earn, for such was the custom of the Fians when going to plunder or war. It was a pillar-stone they planted when going to give a general battle; and it was a cairn they made this time, because it was a plundering expedition. . . . Every man who survived used to remove his stone from the cairn, and the stones of those who were slain remained in place, and thus they were able to ascertain their losses."—The Book of the Dun Cow.

Sometimes, after a battle, when it was not possible to carry away a body, the head of the man who had fallen was buried by his friends under a cairn, because the ancient Irish were wont to carry off heads as trophies; but to violate a cairn, even when raised by a foe, was regarded as sacrilege.

On Dartmoor, in addition to prehistoric antiquities, numerous rude stone crosses remain; some of these, if not all, indicate ways, and were employed as landmarks. Only one bears an inscription, "Crux Siwardi."

The whole of the moor, in the stream bottoms, is seamed with streamers' "burrows" and deep workings. It is not possible to fix their date. Throughout the Middle Ages stream tin was extracted from Dartmoor. Fresh activity was shown in the reign of Elizabeth. Beside the mounds may be seen the ruins of the old "blow-house," where the tin was smelted, and very probably among the ruins will be found the moulds into which the tin was run. I postpone what I have to say on the tin -working to a chapter on that topic in the ensuing portion of my book, on Cornwall.

Books on Dartmoor:—
Rowk (S.), Perambulation of Dartmoor (new ed.). Exeter, 1896. A caution must be given that the original work was written in 1848, when archaeology was a matter of theorising, and when Druids and Phoenicians cut great figures. In reading Rowe's book the reader must pass over all this.
Crossing (W.), Amid Devonia's Alps. London and Plymouth, 1888. A pleasantly written little book, and free from the arrant nonsense of pseudo-antiquarians of fifty years ago, cooked up afresh.
Page (J. L. W.), An Exploration of Dartmoor. London, 1889. All the archoeologic lore in this book must be rejected. Otherwise it is good.
Cresswell (B. F.), Dartmoor and its Surroundings. London, 1898. A handy 6d. guide, very useful, and commendably free from false theorising on antiquarian topics.
Spencer (E.), Dartmoor. Plymouth, 1894. A fresh and pleasant book, trustworthy as to the geology, but wildly erroneous as to the antiquities.

For the Archaeology:—
Reports of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee of the Devonshire Association, 1894-9.
For the History of the moor:—
Reports and publications of the Dartmoor Preservation Society.
For the Crosses:—
Crossing (W.), The Ancient Crosses of Dartmoor. Exeter, 1887.
Crossing (W.), The Old Stone Crosses of the Dartmoor Border. Exeter, 1892.
For the Churches on the borders of Dartmoor:—
Chapter xix. of Rowe's Perambulation, new edition.
For the Flora and Fauna of the moor:—
Chapters xiv.-xvii. of the same.
For the Geology of Dartmoor:—
Ussher (W. A. G.), "The Granite of Dartmoor," in Transactions of the Devonshire Association, 1888.

  1. Introduction to O'Curry, Manners and Customs of the Ancient Irish, 1873, i., p. cccxxix.