Scorhill Stone Circle, Teign-e-ver clapper bridge and a couple of Hawthorn Trees

The hawthorn tree has had great significance since prehistoric times.  I often see these twisted and gnarled old trees on moorlands, usually near to some feature such as an ancient crossroads or burial site, and always wonder at the aura that surrounds them.  Hawthorn trees have long been associated with paganism, witches brooms are reputed to have been made from them and there are often hawthorns growing beside wells and springs, many of these sites are considered to be sacred and by association, the hawthorn has connections with the Otherworld.

The tree itself was once known simply as 'May'.  This is the month when it comes alive with sweet-scented blossom.  Until recent times in some parts of the UK,  'Mayers' would leave hawthorn branches outside cottages, singing traditional songs as they went from house to house.

The prehistoric round pound at Batworthy Corner (above) on Dartmoor has a fine solitary hawthorn.  On quiet evenings when all that can be heard is the breeze and occasional ravens calling as they fly overhead, spend some time at these ancient places and wonder about the hawthorn.

Teign-e-ver clapper bridge over the infant North Teign.

Walla brook clapper bridge with it's hawthorn tree to mark the way.

Scorhill stone circle at moonrise.

I was lucky enough to have a clear evening as the full-moon rose over Scorhill stone circle. One thing you can be certain of is that the temperature will drop rapidly when the sun has gone down.  By 5pm at this time of year, it was too cold to sit outside the tent and a long night was in store.  This is the best way to enjoy Dartmoor, you have to immerse yourself in it's ambience.


Martin Rye said…
Stunning. Simply stunning. I cant seem to stay away from your blog Steve. Photos like that just make me want to return to Dartmoor soon.

On film I do remember it. I have a old SLR I have been playing with. You never know I might get a decent shot with it soon. If not the LX3 will save the day.
Steve Walton said…
Thanks, Martin. It's very gratifying to know that my words and pictures encourage a desire to get out there.

There is a lot to be said for returning to film-based photography occasionally. Film is the best teacher, get to grips with that by understanding the image-making process and you can go on to get so much more from digital capture.

Either way if you are a keen photographer, photography should be enjoyed for what it is. Does it really matter if every image is not technically perfect? No! It's the getting out there, having a go and enjoying the experience that counts. If we can learn from that, so much the better!
Ben said…
nice blog, great pics of the landscape and stones...
Steve Walton said…
Thanks for dropping by and your kind words, Ben.