Dartmoor

The bleak beauty of Dartmoor National Park covers an area of 365 square miles. It is the result of an eruption of granite 250 million years ago, which lifted the softer rocks on the earth’s surface. This accounts for the weird and wonderful shapes left where the sedimentary rocks have eroded to leave the granite outcrops. The desolate high moor is only one aspect of Dartmoor. There are softly undulating hills on the lower levels, and lovely wooded valleys. There are also several forest plantations. Sheep and ponies graze the moor and there are several examples of early human habitation.

Among these remains are tombs, hut circles and standing stones from the earliest times, but there are also ruins of 19th century industrial projects from the days when tin and copper were mined in the area. Granite was quarried here too and evidence of that can still be found here and there on the moor. Some small cottage crafts still survive on Dartmoor, many revitalised by the upsurge in tourism. The rather spooky Dartmoor, evoked by Conan Doyle in The Hound of the Baskervilles, can still be found easily, especially on a day when the mist shrouds the moor.

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