We had a small window of opportunity last week to get away for a few days' holiday - I would say recharge our batteries, but it proved to be the opposite of this as we slept badly and came home absolutely shattered!
The weather forecast was NOT good but my asthma had gone from dire to amazing peak flow levels, so we thought we would take advantage of Middle Daughter Gabby's birthday present of a couple of nights' B&B (we've been trying to fit this in since April!) and get away - even if it meant sitting in a rainswept Dartmoor car park reading a book - which at one point came to pass!
The drive down was horrid - I hate motorway driving at the best of times, but even moreso when it has been pouring with rain and there is roof-height spray from the heavies on the road. Anyway, we survived and I have kept my m/way driving skills in poor visibility up to speed.
We decided to aim for Chagford, one of our favourite Dartmoor towns, and here are the photos from our wander round, me with camera in hand. This beautiful building is The Three Crowns hotel - I know there was a restaurant in there too. We've not been inside for many a long year, but I seem to remember it had a lot of atmosphere, inside and out.
It apparently has a resident ghost - that of a Royalist, Sidney Godolphin, who was killed there in 1643, at the height of the English Civil War. It was originally Sir John Whiddon's Manor House back in the 1500s. An incident in the Whiddon family history probably inspired R D Blackmore's classic novel "Lorna Doone", as Sir John Whiddon's descendent Mary was shot dead after she left the church (below) following her wedding on the 11th October 1641. She was buried in the churchyard and her epitaph is:
Reader, would'st though know who here is laid,
Behold a matron, yet a maid
A modest look, a pious heart
A Mary for the better part
But dry thine eyes, why wilt thou weep
Such damselles do not die, but sleep.
Modern brides often lay a flower from their wedding bouquet on her tomb after signing the register.
There are many beautiful pretty corners which I have tried to capture with my camera.
This is the Pepperpot, in the centre of Chagford's square, and was once the meeting place for the Stannary Court (Chagford was a stannary town, where smelted tin was assayed - and taxed - which the moor's tinners brought in.) Unfortunately the original Stannary Court on this site collapsed in 1616 which resulted in the death of 10 people, with many others suffering broken limbs from the falling timbers and stonework.
Below, looking across the fields to the moor.
This building had formerly been a pub, and had a metal gate still preventing unwanted intruders!
A beautiful piece of artwork which is I am sure by someone I know from a Facebook friendship. There were some similar pieces for sale up in a shop near the Pepperpot on the square.
Above, on the wall were the pink and red stems and leaves of Shining Cranesbill.
After buying a bottle of wine at "Jaded Palates", we drove across to Beechcroft B&B at Postbridge, where we were staying. The first thing I did after we checked in was take some photos of the Medieval clapper bridge. It felt like coming home (as Devon is where my roots are on dad's side of the family).