Road to Doccombe

October 11, 2016




This image of a classic green Devon lane is the 'Old Moreton Road' and was the original route from Doccombe to Moretonhampstead (about 3 miles) until the 'new' turnpike was made in about 1815. It was a 'Yoleway' - an Anglo-Saxon term - to 'drang' (drive) animals up to the high moor for summer grazing. This was known as the 'red tide' from the colour of the local South Devon cattle and features in the medieval manorial courts when tenants were fined if the yoleway wasn't kept in good repair. Transhumance is the term for seasonal movement of people with their livestock between fixed summer and winter pastures. Sledges and pack-horses used it during the rest of the year - no wheeled transport before the turnpike! The Old Moreton road is still a pleasant way to walk or ride a horse to and from Moreton, especially under snow.

From 1207 Moretonhampstead held a fair in November selling the cattle following the summer grazing before they lost any weight. This became our annual popular carnival that continues on to this day.



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Doccombe is a hamlet in Dartmoor National Park with a distinct heritage that our HLF funded Project aims to record and present in various media forms over the next 18 months to include a book and an exhibition.

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