Browse crosses

LocationFrom Teigncombe Farm, take the road back towards Chagford, go around a right hand bend and the socket stone is in the gateway facing you on the next bend in the road, about 200 yards from the farm. Alternatively, walk up North Hill Lane from Leigh Bridge towards Teigncombe Farm, turn right onto the narrow road, from Chagford, at the top and the stone is to be found in the left hand gateway on the first bend you reach in the road.

O/S Grid Ref:  SX/674/872       Longitude/Latitude (Degrees+/-):  -3.87808/50.66887 (approx.)

Map location:  Click here to view map.

Purpose:  Although now in use as a gatepost, this socket stone would originally have been used to support a waymarker cross. This would probably have marked the route of the Marinerís Way, which passes through Teigncombe Farm. More information on this ancient track can be found on our page for Leeper Cross, which is also sited on this route.

Size:  3 feet 8 inches (1.12 metres) across and 3 feet 2 inches (0.97 metres) in height. The depth of the stone is 10 inches (0.25 metres). The rectangular socket in centre of the stone measures 16 inches (0.41 metres) by 11 inches (0.28 metres).

Information:  The stone is set vertically in the ground and is used for the apse end of the gate. The stone looks to be circular and its height, as shown above, would probably be the same as its width had part of it not been set into the ground. There is a circular iron fixed into the top edge of the stone, which is used to hold the apse of the gate. Towards the top of the face of the stone another iron has been cut off flush with the surface. It is very likely that this is the remains of a gate hanger. There may well be a partner to it, but this is not visible as its position would be on that part of the stone which is currently below ground level.
Harry Starkey recorded that the head and arms of the Leigh Bridge Cross, which is now to be seen in the wooded bank a few yards above Leigh Bridge, originally came from Teigncombe Farm. He was given this information by Mr John Somers Cocks but, although he was told that it was moved during the early part of the 20th century, he doesnít appear to have been given the reason why. Although the Leigh Bridge Cross currently has a replacement shaft, this is likely to be of a similar size to the original and would appear to be a very good match for the hole in this socket stone.

It is unusual, but not unique, in Dartmoor socket stones for the hole to go right the through the stone. Other examples of this are the socket stones for the Cadover and Whitchurch Down Crosses. A lady that I spoke to near the site of this stone informed me that it is referred to locally as a mill-stone. This sets me wondering whether this was its original purpose and that it was later converted to a socket stone and, more recently, to a gatepost. A square hole in the centre of a mill-stone could easily be made larger to accept the shaft of a cross and this could explain the reason for the hole going right the way through the stone.