the established track from Whiteworks to the Raddick Plantation,
about 100 yards to the east of Crazywell Pool.
O/S Grid Ref: SX/58380/70401 Longitude/Latitude (Degrees+/-): -3.99893/50.51621
Map location: Click here to view map.
Purpose: This is probably one of a number of crosses that marks the route of the Monks’ Path. This is the ancient name given to the track that links the Buckfast Abbey with those at Tavistock and Buckland.
No-one is entirely sure which course the path took to the West of Nun’s Cross. However, considering the number of ancient crosses on this track it is perfectly feasible that it passed this way, via Walkhampton, to Tavistock and Buckland.
Size: 4 feet 5 inches (1.35 metres) tall, 2 feet 1 inch (0.63 metres) across the arms.
Information: The arms of this cross are slightly tapered giving it the tendencies of a Maltese Cross. The head appears to be original, but replacements for the shaft and probably the socket stone were found at the time the cross was repaired and reset. It is thought that the cross once stood on the banks of the nearby Crazywell Pool. The head was certainly found lying near pool at some point during the 19th Century. It would have been moved to its new home at the time of its repair.
An alternative name for this cross is 'Heidi's Cross' and there are faint traces of some lettering down the eastern face of the shaft which, although no longer legible, are believed to refer to 'Heidi'. My research has failed to discover to whom the 'Heidi' might refer or what connection she had to this cross. Although the cross is quite close to Crazywell Pool, there are extensive views around the area including Sheeps Tor and the Burrator Reservoir.
Crazywell Pool is surrounded by superstition. It was thought that it was bottomless and that the water level rose and fell with the tides at Plymouth. This was believed to have been confirmed when the parishioners of nearby Walkhampton brought up the bell ropes from the parish church to test its depth. They tied the ropes together, weighted the end and lowered them into the water, but were unable to reach the bottom of the pool.
Another superstition is that, during the middle-ages, the pool was haunted by the Witch of Sheepstor who used to give her clients a lot of bad advice. One such instance was Piers Galveston who was a favourite of Edward II. She advised him to return to the Court at Warwick where ‘his humbled head shall soon be high’. Taking her advice, he returned to Warwick and was promptly executed. There was, however, some truth in the prophecy in that his severed head was set up on the battlements of the castle.
Other superstitions include the waters calling out at dusk the name of the next Walkhampton parishioner to die. Also, that at midnight on Midsummer’s Eve you can see the face of the next parishioner to die in the still waters of the pool.
In reality the pool was excavated by tinners and may well have been used by them as a reservoir. Certainly it is fine spot to sit awhile and ponder during a walk on a fine summer’s day.