An independent voice and a forum for debate for those who find Dartmoor a source of livelihood or inspiration

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Forthcoming Events

The following events have been organised over the next few months. More details can be found in our Newsletters. New events are normally added to the website to coincide with Newsletters being posted.

Please use the Book Now buttons to book places and pay online. If you are a Dartmoor Society member please sign into the Member Centre beforehand so you can book places for members-only events and not need to enter all your contact details every time.

Alternatively you can download and print a booking form and post it to us together with a cheque to cover any payment to The Dartmoor Society, PO Box 570, Torquay, TQ1 9JB.

When our events are over-subscribed, waiting lists are created. If you find that you cannot attend an event you have booked for, please contact the Honorary Secretary as soon as possible. Your place can then be allocated to someone else.

Lewtrenchard Church, Forgotten Gardens, Coombe Trenchard House/Gardens Visit

Wednesday 19th September, 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Lewtrenchard Church (SX 457 861, EX20 4PN)

Following on from our very successful 2017 Dartmoor Society Research Lecture where Martin and Shan Graebe told the story of Baring-Gould's journeys across Dartmoor and his search for songs, we are delighted to now offer our Members a very special joint visit which will provide many Baring-Gould references.

Graham Yeo, Chairman of the Friends of the Forgotten Garden of Lewtrenchard, and his father-in-law Dr Ron Wawman, who has been active in the Sabine Baring-Gould Appreciation Society (SBGAS) for many years, will conduct a tour of Lewtrenchard Church with its numerous Sabine Baring-Gould connections.

After this we will visit the nearby Forgotten Gardens which include woodland, a holy well and a lime kiln which is being lovingly restored as part of a local community project. The tour will last about one hour and is free, although donations are requested.

Please park thoughtfully and congregate in the car park of the Church of St Peter in Lewtrenchard at 1pm.

At approximately 2pm we will drive the very short distance to Coombe Trenchard, following pre-prepared signage, where we will be able to park on the driveway.

Once there we can enjoy a leisurely afternoon with our hostess Sarah Marsh, who will share her passion for the whole estate whilst conducting a guided tour around the ground floor of the house, which is a fine example of an Arts & Crafts Edwardian country house.

After the tour we will be able to walk around the beautiful Edwardian gardens at our leisure.

Coombe Trenchard is an Invitation to View property and normally a visit to the house, with tea, costs £18 per person. For our visit, which also includes a hot drink and a slice of homemade cake, a price of only £12 per person has been arranged, which represents excellent value and a wonderful opportunity to visit both venues.

Directions: Exit the A30 via the slip road signed Broadwoodwidger and head south towards Sprytown and Lifton. At the next junction, turn left towards Lewdown. At Lewdown turn right after the Post Office to Lewtrenchard. At the junction, turn left into Lewtrenchard and the church is near the junction on the left.

Our apologies, but any cancellations after Sunday 9th September will not be able to be refunded.

  • Members only.
  • £12.00 each.
  • Numbers limited to 30.
  • Please book by Wednesday 12th September.

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Dartmoor Society Debate 2018

Saturday 20th October, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Meldon Village Hall (SX 560 924, EX20 4EU)

Are We Using Dartmoor’s Stone Resources Wisely?

Dartmoor’s distinctive stone resources have been used since prehistory to create the distinctive built heritage of the area, and further afield.

However, for many years, quarrying within the national park has been perceived by many as anathema, and since 1997 there has been no working granite quarry on Dartmoor.

Nevertheless, two quarries survive, and both are important employers – one producing limestone on a large scale at Linhay, Ashburton and another, much smaller in scale, producing metamorphic building stone at Yennadon, Dousland.

The principle of using local stone for local and regional needs fits with contemporary ideas about wise and environmentally sound use of resources. Are we doing enough to meet this imperative?

A wide range of speakers will explore what makes Dartmoor stone so special – in the morning its geology, archaeology, and its potential use for historic and modern buildings will be explored; in the afternoon the role of the two working quarries will be told.

There will be ample time for discussion.


1000 – Welcome

1015 – Kevin Page (University of Plymouth): The geological diversity of stone in the Dartmoor region

1100 – COFFEE

1130 – Tom Greeves (independent cultural environmentalist): The archaeological legacy of Dartmoor stonecutting

1215 – Mike Barr: The importance of local stone, its use for building on and around Dartmoor

1300 – LUNCH

1400 – Ian Glendinning & Barry Wilson (Glendinnings): Limestone: its use and history of quarrying at Ashburton

1445 – Andrea Robertson (John Grimes Partnership Ltd): Yennadon Quarry: continuing Dartmoor’s tradition of supplying building stone

1530 – TEA

1600 – Discussion: Have we got the balance right?

1700 – Close

  • Open to the public – non-members welcome.
  • Members: £17.00 each.
  • Non-members: £20.00 each.
  • Cost includes coffee, buffet lunch and tea.

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Dartmoor Society Research Lecture 2018

Friday 9th November, 7:00pm
Dolphin Hotel, Bovey Tracey (SX 813 782, TQ13 9AL)

Why we disagree about moorland management and grazing regimes – the different narratives of the Dartmoor commons

by Adrian Colston

Adrian is a PhD student at the Centre for Rural Policy Research at the University of Exeter researching the topic ‘Stakeholder attitudes to the narratives of the Dartmoor Commons: tradition & the search for consensus in a time of change’.

He has a BSc (Hons) in Biological Sciences (Zoology and Ecology) from Exeter University and an MSc in Conservation from University College, London.

He was General Manager for the National Trust on Dartmoor for 12 years, and Property Manager at Wicken Fen for 7 years.

His research on the Dartmoor Commons is of the greatest importance at a time of major changes in upland farming and environmental thinking.

  • Open to the public – non-members welcome.
  • Members: £10.00 each.
  • Non-members: £12.00 each.
  • Cost includes a light buffet after the lecture.
  • Please book by Friday 2nd November.

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