TORS OF DARTMOOR

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Coffin Stone

Above Dartmeet, just south of the B3357, this split stone was a resting place for those that were tasked with carrying coffins over the moor for burial in Widecombe. On each face there are several crosses and initials cut, although only a few are visible today.

Sabine Baring-Gould regales a tale of the stone in "A Book of Dartmoor"; "The descent to Dartmeet by the road is one of over five hundred feet. Halfway is the Coffin-stone, on which five crosses are cut, and which is split in half-the story goes by lightning. On this it is customary to rest a dead man on his way from the moor beyond Dartmeet to his final resting-place at Widdecombe. When the coffin is laid on this stone, custom exacts the production of the whisky bottle, and a libation all round to the manes of the deceased."

"One day a man of very evil life, a terror to his neighbours, was being carried to his burial, and his corpse was laid on the stone whilst the bearers regaled themselves. All at once, out of a passing cloud shot a flash, and tore the coffin and the dead man to pieces, consuming them to cinders, and splitting the stone. Do you doubt the tale? See the stone cleft by the flash."

Coffin Stone
The map above is not a navigation tool and we recommend that the grid reference shown below is used in conjunction with an Ordnance Survey map and that training in its use with a compass is advised.
Grid Ref:
SX 6773 7329
Height:
310m
Parish:
Widecombe in the Moor
Tor Classification:
Boulder
Access:
Public
Rock Type:
Granite
Credit:
Ordnance Survey
Sabine Baring-Gould
Reference:
Ordnance Survey Maps
Sabine Baring-Gould: A Book of Dartmoor

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