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A while ago we took a day away into the West Country to deal with a goal that had been on our books for some time – a visit to Wistman’s Wood!
The drive down was quick and uneventful – thank goodness! One hour to the Exeter Services was not yet under “holiday mode” and rammed solid with people eating & drinking all sorts of stuff!
Another half hour approximately and we were there – the weather was fine and pretty warm!
My lady found a book recently called Mark Gibbons’s Dartmoor. In there is a painting: The West Dart below Wistman’s Wood.
Alongside said painting Mr Gibbons writes:
I hope my painting expresses the eeriness of this part of the Moor. Perhaps it is for good reason that the ancient word ‘wisht’, meaning weird or affected by magic, appears as part of the name Wistman’s Wood. The stunted, low-growing oak trees – a tiny remnant of an oak wood that long ago covered the valleys – push up painfully through moss-clad boulders and are allegedly visited by ghosts. When you stand there, you can well believe it. The Wood is easily reached by walking from Two Bridges Hotel. In fact, there’s a nice circular walk west over Beardown and back down along Cowsic River.
His comments about “The stunted, low-growing oak trees – a tiny remnant of an oak wood that long ago covered the valleys – push up painfully through moss-clad boulders and are allegedly visited by ghosts” is not far from real truth from the walk we took through the Wood!
As you walk through the Wood, it is very reminiscent, maybe, of tortured spirits and some of the trees and visuals look like they are reaching out….to you….or something!!
A very haunting experience!