Photographer's Note

'Lonely there, betwixt moor and sky,

Where great grey clouds go drifting by,

And the peewit utters her plaintive cry,

The Windy Post stands silently.'

To the north west of Feather Tor stands an ancient and rugged granite cross known as either the Beckamoor Cross or more romantically the Windy Post and Windy Stone. For centuries this lone cross has stood upon the bleak moorland with just the murmuring Grimstone and Sortridge leat for company. Many writers consider that the age of the cross dates back to the sixteenth century and that possibly it replaced a much earlier cross, English Heritage however notes on its Pastscape Record that the cross is of medieval origin and date it to between 1400 and 1499 which tends to buck the trend of all Dartmoor writers. Today the time-worn granite pillar displays the effects of numerous cattle and ponies rubbing up against it which has resulted in a somewhat 'drunken' tilt. As with many of Dartmoor's granite relics the Windy Post proudly wears a multi-coloured coat of lichens which serve to emphasise its rugged texture. The cross itself is best described by one who viewed it many years ago when the ravages of time and nature had impacted less on its appearance:

'In a gap in the hills, nigh Feather Tor and westerly of the Vixen, stands an old crooked granite post. The Windy-stone is seven feet high and from afar suggests some giant human figure bending forward as he tramps the desolation; but seen at hand this memorial of the Middle Ages resolves itself into the symbol of Christianity. Shaft and arms are octagonal and in fair preservation. Centuries of wild weather, flood, and frost, have driven the cross out of the perpendicular; time has fretted its angles; but still the grey stone, clad in venerable vesture of jade and black lichens; shall be seen to stand nobly on the heath. It glitters by day with the transparent quartz crystals that form part of its amorphous substance; and by night withdraws into a formless shadow against the sky', Eden Phillpotts, The Mother.

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Additional Photos by Leslie Bennett (williewhistler) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1247 W: 41 N: 2372] (16606)
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