Friday, 8 July 2016

Circular walk taking in Gibbet Hill and North Brentor

A very pleasant walk recently with our U3A Thursday walking group. Just over 6 miles taking in Gibbet Hill (yes, there was a gibbet on the top of it), some of the West Devon Way and a meander along country lanes. And the weather was kind as well.

Apologies for the somewhat random order of the photographs. For some reason, the blogging software is playing up.
Lots of Bell Heather around. Sometimes as a single plant, other times as a clump but never masses of it.
Blue wild flowers are not that common and the Meadow Cranes-Bill stands out whenever its around. We saw these along the old railway line at Lydford.
If you look at the seed pods, you can see why it's called a Cranes Bill. The seed pods are explosive and, when they are ripe, they can 'throw' the seeds a metre or so from the plant.
Cow Parsley is very common at this time of year and the lane side verges are white with their fluffy flowers. What I've never noticed before is that the flower buds are tinged with pink making for a very attractive contrast with the white open 5 petalled flowers.
Lots of Honeysuckle around, maybe passed their best but still retaining their characteristic fragrance.

In the distance is Brentor church (St Michael de Rupe or St Michael of the Rock).
At the moment it is having some significant repairs to its roof, hence the plastic shroud. Here's a useless fact, St Michael's is the fourth smallest parish church in the UK.
Our route, starting and ending at SX48812 80070, which has a height of 725 feet above sea level. The highest point of the walk was 1149 feet at the top of Gibbet Hill.

Not a lot can be said about this photograph except that it's very green.
A very complicated way of fastening a gate.
The green, white and black flag of Devon, dedicated to St Petroc. Here's what Wikipedia says about it: "The subject of a Devonian flag was raised by the county's contingent of scouts to the 20th World Scout Jamboree in an interview on BBC Radio Devon in 2002. The scouts were unaware of a Devon flag and wondered if any of the listeners knew of a flag for the county. BBC Radio Devon took up the search for a flag for Devon and asked the public to send in designs. The flag was created in 2003 after a vote in two polls run by the BBC Devon website, the winning design taking 49% of the votes cast. The design was created by student Ryan Sealey and was adopted as the county flag in 2006".
Lurking in the long grass, a wicker stag. Very realistic from a distance.
Look through a wooden door in a high stone wall and what do we see - a secret walled garden. This was attached to Burnville Farm, an Edwardian house which is currently an upmarket B & B.
Assuming that this stone carving is as old as it looks, it has obviously been relocated (pinched) from somewhere else. Is the lintel an old granite gatepost?
I think it looks better with the plastic downpipe taken out.
Large stone wheel? Must be a grindstone for a mill. Wrong. This one does not have the characteristic grooves of a grain mill and was, or so the notice in the nearby window told us, a wheelwright's template for iron wheel rims - for wooden wheels, that is. The rim is formed around the stone and then heated before dropping around the wooden wheel.. I've never seen one this big before.

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