While I was on Dartmoor last week, busy taking photos of Haytor and the surrounding area, I discovered Haytor Quarry. Now, when I say I discovered it that's a bit of an overstatement. I mean, lots of other people have been there before, obviously, and I actually knew of its existence long before this visit, but in personal terms I discovered it last Thursday, because I had never been there before. I suppose it's a bit like the perceived history that Captain Cook discovered New Zealand - he didn't. Neither did Abel Tasman, who charted a short stretch of coastline more than a hundred years before Cook. Maori had been there for more than seven-hundred years before either of these great mariners stumbled across the land I yearn to visit again and again.
With that historical digression out of the way, I'll get back to last Thursday. About 500 metres away from the rocks of Haytor there is a bracken covered lump in the landscape. I wandered across to it and got there just as the sun made a brief, fleeting appearance. The area of the quarry is fenced off to stop the Dartmoor ponies and other livestock from straying into it. It has been out of use for well over a century and nature has done a good job of trying to reclaim it, in the way that nature, reassuringly, often does. It was a delight to wander around this little former industrial site in the middle of the Dartmoor bleakness. It was like a micro-climate, an oasis in the desert. It was gorgeous, even though it's really just a man-made scar in the granite. It was mainly worked from the 1820's to the 1860's and the stone was used in the building of The British Museum and London Bridge (the one now in Arizona.) Okay, I'll get to the pictures.
Yet another very determined tree.
Old machinery just slowly rusting away.
My attempt at turning industry into art!
Lichen covered walls.
Nice, isn't it?
The colours of the moss, bracken and rocks were great.
The clouds came back, it looked like rain, but it added a moodiness to the pond.
The path that winds through it.