History running in the Slow lanes

13.5 Km this evening took me along lanes less familiar, with opportunity to see where village originated. Our house is strategically positioned on an ancient route, believed to have been used by the monks of Buckfast ,travelling to Slapton, which is on the South Devon coast. The monastic order came from France. The road was called The Ridgeway, though in Saxon times the name changed to The Wheelway- a nod to the development of technology. A mile and a half from here is a signpost which used to point to a medieval settlement believed to be where the village originated. Today the finger-post is missing and so the lane I took goes nowhere apparently! We discovered Crabadon a few weeks ago, so tonight I wanted to explore.

Diptford is the village name, though Saxon in origin, it has been spelt in various ways: Dupaforda- Deepeford. It is most likely that the little stream which I crossed on the road near Crabadon is where the name arises from, not down on the Avon ( Avon means river and that is a Celtic word).

There is evidence of quarrying all around this area dating from the 17th Century. The evidence is seen on most old buildings, including our own of large rag slates used on the verges and eaves of houses peculiar to the South Hams, similar to those in North Cornwall ( another mining area).

Mining in the South West of England

The slate produced around Diptford and Harbertonford (Harberton Quarry) were mid -Devonian, producing very dark, grey slate of small random size. The quarry pool at Harbertonford is beside the lane and just before I reached it,the sides of a possibly bridge for a tramway remain. The farm beside the road, is conspicuous in appearance, being Gothic nodding distinctly towards a former life as a mine captain/ engine house.

I ran on to join the other lane at Rolster Bridge where the Harbourne river is measured for depth of a rise of 0.2M to 2.03 M when flooding occurs. I joined the road to Eastleigh and passed another medieval farm, Overleigh before rejoining my usual route at Westleigh.

This is the longest run done this year, but yielded a lot of interest.

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