Dartmoor: A Mystery That Feels Like Home


What is it? What does it mean? What does it do? Why does it have such a consistently magical effect on all who pass through it?

The wind that passes over these chilled flattened hills seem to breeze through the minds and souls of all those who live near or on this Moor. Those who pass through this Moor, over this Moor, in this Moor and outside this Moor, are left with a ghostly cloud over them and within them. Surrounding them, filling them, maybe sometimes scaring them.

Because there is something distinctly disquieting about Dartmoor for those who are not born here, who have not lived here, who do not understand the whole thing, who do not see what we see sea, who do not find comfort where we find comfort, who do not find peace where we find peace, who do not find in Dartmoor what so many others find in Dartmoor: a mystery, but a mystery that feels like home.

Brentor church, late evening light, nr Tavistock, Dartmoor National Park, Devon, UK. October 2010.

“Wistfully, I wonder through the moor, it takes my mind into its own temperament and time scale and forces me to slow down. The inside of humanity is a mystery, it’s so difficult to really figure oneself out. It is, in fact, impossible, you cannot solve the mystery of life you have to embrace it and learn how to live within it. Yet so often we attempt not to, we try to organise the world and formalise it and make it straight and structured and simple. But this only makes the chaos inside feel more dangerous and more problematic. But the Moor, the mysterious, uncontrollable, unstructured endless Moor, throws all our internal mysteries back at us and tell us that they’re ok. That you can live in them and you can live with them. And it’s true”

From ‘Letters and Darts’ By Thomas Paquin

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