On my travels across Devon gathering photographic content for Devonshire…
Dartmoor’s magnetic pull is intractable, pristine landscapes, unique cultural treasures, impressive natural feature, I challenge anyone not to consider it a magical place to visit.
What’s astounding is how often you come across the many stone crosses lurking across Dartmoor, often in the middle of nowhere. Some are extremely ancient, markers of times spanning millennia, Celtic, Saxon, Norman, their appearance I hesitate to say, is almost commonplace. From what I’ve read, the purpose of these crosses seems to be unknown, some are positioned at crossroads, although many aren’t. According to dartmoor-crosses.org.uk the Drywell Cross has had a checkered history, it lies 400 yards north of Jordan Manor and it’s said that a Mr Masson Phillips recorded that in 1937, he found the head of the cross build into a nearby roadside wall.
There was no sign of the lower shaft, and when a Mr Harry Starkey looked for the cross during the 1950s, it was found in a nearby ditch and later still it was found in a pile of rubble in a field. Thankfully, in 1967 the cross was restored by the Dartmoor Preservation Society (led by Masson Phillips), a replacement had been found for the lower shaft at the grounds of a house in Totnes. Jordan manor is historic, the name Jordan being interesting with the most obvious reference being to the river and its associations with Judaism and Christianity although in 1239-58 a Jordan de Exeter existed, an Anglo-Norman knight. Perhaps there’s some connection there?