Looking across to Sheeps Tor...
...and the track ahead out past the scout hut to Eylesbarrow.
At the site of the Eylesbarrow Tin Min I took the right hand track down towards Plym Ford. In the distance on the right is Great Gnats' Head which was where I was going.
Looking down across Evil Coombe.
...and finally through Plym Ford.
From here a short walk up to the Carin on the top of Great Gnats' Head....
Then across the boggy top towards Ducks' Pool
Just a featureless area of bleak and beautiful remoteness - there are no tors on this part of the southern moor. This would a difficult area to navigate with a map and compass because there are few features to aim for!
Eventually I came to Ducks' Pool - a boggy depression.
At the north end of this is the memorial stone to William Crossing...
...with the plaque on the stone and the letter box below and Ducks' Pool clearly visible behind
The plaque reads
IN MEMORY OF
AUTHOR OF MANY INSPIRING
BOOKS ON DARTMOOR WHOSE GUIDE
IS A SOURCE OF
TO ALL LOVERS OF THE MOOR
DIED 3RD SEP 1928 AGED 80
Inside was the current visitors' book with stamp, pens and even a pair of reading glasses! I duly signed the book and put it all back. The book is full and a replacement is needed. Now who will do that?
I couldn't help but wonder what Crossing would make of life on the moor today. Many aspects of the moor will not have changed at all since his time a hundred years ago. I think the main difference he would notice is that the many mineworkings he would have been familar with are now all derelict. And what would he make of the moor walkers today all arriving at the start of their walks in motor cars with modern waterproofs and GPS navigation?
Much more about Crossing here
and his grave can be viewed on my blog here http://mydartmoorwalks.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/tuesday-10th-april-wheal-betsy.html
I started my return heading South West around the edge of Ducks' Pool...
...to the south east I could see the top of the spoil heap at Red Lake.
I headed over to the tor at Little Gnats's Head (with Lower Hartor Tor and Higher Hartor Tor behind)
Looking across to Evil Coombe again but from the other side.
The view down the Plym valley as the sun was getting lower in the sky.
I crossed the River Plym again just below Lower Hartor Tor...
...to rejoin the track I started out on - Sheeps Tor in the distance....
...and Combeshead Tor and Down Tor to the North