From 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.
Grid Ref: 674 872
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).
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.
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.