Sunday, October 9, 2011

Dartmoor Archaeology

OK - here’s your bit of Dartmoor archaeology for the week.  I know, I know, these hut circles all sort of look alike in photos -but they really don’t at all.  Each one is SO individual; the rocks chosen with such care and attention to shape and size. Walking among the remains of dwellings that are at least two to three thousand years old is a moving experience.   It always gives me a sense of peace and hope; for if these circles have lasted that long, and weathered the storms both natural and man made that have swept this country for all that time, then maybe they’ll last a little bit longer.   Long enough for my descendants to come and marvel at them as well.  The pictures here are of hut circles in Fernworthy Reservoir that are usually below the water.  They only are visible when the reservoir is low, as it is at the moment.  My romantic soul loves the fact that they are hidden for so much of the time and then all of a sudden they just appear on the shoreline.  There is another group of hut circles higher up the hillside that also come and go with the changing seasons. In the early spring, when Brian and I went walking there, the circles were absolutely bare and exposed, with only short grass around them.  Now, at the beginning of autumn, they are completely hidden; covered in tall grass and bracken.  If we hadn’t seen them early in the year, we would never have known that they were there at all.  It just makes me wonder how many things there are; right under our noses that we just don’t see? 

The single standing stones are also aspects of the landscape that seem to come and go, sometimes exposed and sometimes hidden in the yearly growth of bracken, brambles and grasses.  The stone on the hillside is one that we see most of the time -it’s very exposed; but the one amongst the trees is a new discovery – for us anyway -I’m sure lots of people have always known about it.  But that’s the fun of personal discovery - it doesn’t matter how many others have found something before you -it’s always amazing to discover something new for yourself. 

On the way home, I saw what looks like a bit of prehistoric something -but really, it’s probably the last remnants of a medieval barn.  Looking at the opening -gateway, doorway, what ever it is - makes me wonder what would happen if I stepped through.  Of course you can see right through it, but -what if it’s really a doorway to another world?  I may have to go back and find out. 

We rearranged the furniture in the upstairs hallway, which meant moving all of the dolls and models to a new home.  This is where they ended up for the moment.  It’s a troll, role call.  Most of these figures were photographed for the book. 

I have the feeling I’m forgetting something important I wanted to tell you -hmmmm. Well - it can’t be helped. I was sidetracked by the standing stones and whatever it was will just have to wait until next time.


  1. I love that last doorway, like something that Aslan sent people through to . . . ? I'd certainly go back on a foggy late afternoon and by myself and step through. Even if it did mot take me to another world, I would probably get lost on the moor for a good while and think I had been transported.
    Those hut circles are so inviting to sit on a stone facing inward and just be . . .
    I do love the work you do and your attitude to life.

  2. How amazing that such significant, ancient archeology is undisturbed and at your fingertips to discover and explore, quite wondrous. It's just a natural part of the landscape as it has been for centuries. Like Arija stated, I too love your family's work and philosophy. I had the pleasure of seeing you and Brian at Central Michigan University in April and enjoyed it very much. Take care!

  3. I love the doorway!

  4. Let us know what happens when you walk through that doorway...if you can...

  5. Amazing as always!
    Can´t wait to see the ne book published!
    Is there an aproximate release date for it?
    Best regards from Spain.

  6. The area you live in is so enchanting (just like you and your family). It must be amazing to have these ancient ruins so close, and to be able to walk where people walked thousands of years ago. One day I would love to see a stone ring for myself. :)