Visit to Hound Tor medieval village & Buckland-in-the-Moor & Holne churches
July 20th, 2017
Seven of us met in the Hound Tor car park on a cool but dry summer’s day, where we listened to the first part of an English Heritage commentary on the deserted medieval village that was discovered on the east side of the tor in the late 60s.
We made our windblown way over the summit of the tor from where the site and some of the remains of the village could be made out. Whilst descending to the remains it became markedly warmer and by the time we reached the remaining walls of the village longhouses it was quite pleasant.
Four different-sized longhouses can be quite clearly made out, together with a number of smaller houses, 3 corn-drying barns, gardens and paddocks. The village was built and occupied from around 1300AD until climate deterioration and population loss caused desertion in about 1450AD.
From Hound Tor we made our way to Widecombe-in-the-Moor for lunch at the excellent Rugglestone Inn.
From Widecombe we moved on to Buckland-in-the-Moor where, on entering the mostly C13th church, we bumped into its treasurer (who was doing some tidying up). He showed us some of its main features. The screen is quite remarkable, being decorated on both sides. The nave side has orthodox religious portrayals of saints and other holy figures, the chancel side has some rather sinister caricatures in black outline of what look like lay people. Eddie Sinclair has done some initial restoration work on the feature.
In the churchyard we saw an ancient yew, still alive, but whose twisted trunk was completely split. The dial of the church clock has letters where the numbers should be and together they read “My dear mother”. The clock was the gift of William Whitely, who died in 1931.
Leaving Buckland we followed a quite delightful route along the River Dart to Holne.
The church here is for the most part C15th. Eddie Sinclair, chief restorer of Exeter Cathedral (who lives in Crediton), has done extensive work on both the screen and the remarkable C16th pulpit.
I know that Eddie is very proud of her work on the screen and all the fairly primitive figures have been beautifully restored.
We departed for Crediton at around 3.30pm.
Click on a picture below to see it full-size with more details.