The Solitary Rambler

MOORLANDS OF MERRIVALE
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Filmed 31st October 2017
Post-production completed 22nd January 2018

Running time 20 minutes
Synopsis

Discovering more of Dartmoor I explore the remains of a prehistoric settlement consisting of a small stone circle, a burial cist and two stone rows. I then follow a four mile walk that takes me to Vixen Tor and Pew Tor, from where there are fantastic views. This walk is particularly appealing to me as it passes a feature, which for me typifies the character of Dartmoor, a huge stone cross standing alone in the bleakness of the moorlands .....
Locations

Filmed in Dartmoor in the county of Devon . Locations include Merrivale and the stone rows , Vixen Tor , Pew Tor and Windy Post Cross.
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Background and production details

My second day in Dartmoor would involve following a walk in one of my walking guidebooks . I was attracted to a walk to Vixen Tor and Pew Tor as the route involved passing an isolated cross in the middle of the moorland, and from photos I’d previously seen I felt this was a feature that characterised Dartmoor, so I really wanted to include this in my next film of the area. I also found that there was a prehistoric settlement near the start of my walk, so I decided I would shoot that before beginning the walk.
 
Driving from the Travelodge in Whiddon Down on Tuesday 31st October 2017 I enjoyed a spectacular journey across Dartmoor as I drove along the B3212 from Moretonhampstead to Two Bridges and then along the B3357 to a rough layby just east of Merrivale. From here I climbed to the stone rows that I wanted to film first. After shooting at this location I moved the car into Merrivale itself, parking beside the Dartmoor Inn , so I just took a few shots around this tiny hamlet. I then travelled a little west of Merrivale to another rough layby on the B3212 at Whitchurch Common where I would leave the car for the remainder of the day whilst filming the walk.
 
I crossed the moor and descended to Vixen Tor. I was unable to walk onto the tor itself as it is on private land, but I captured many good shots from as close as I could get. Moving on and filming various cutaways as I went I eventually came to Pew Tor. This was a lovely location in which to film as I captured some superb shots of the rocks and the spectacular views it provides. Walking on from Pew Tor I dropped downhill to meet a lane, along which I walked for a short distance until climbing up across the moors heading for Feather Tor. As the route levelled out I reached the isolated cross I had wanted to see, Windy Post Cross. I enjoyed capturing many shots of this wonderful spot, which was my final location of the day’s filming before I walked the short distance across Whitchurch Common back to my car.

In late January 2018, a day or so after I completed post-production on “ Haytor to Hound Tor ”, I began working on editing my second Dartmoor film, “Moorlands of Merrivale”. I remembered recently hearing a slow piece of classical music on my car radio, and I thought something like this would really work for the musical score for this film. Using the VP Soft strings as well as oboe, woodwind, French horns and piano I recorded some long pieces of slow, classical type music to give a lovely and sometimes dramatic sound for the film, especially for the scenes at Windy Post Cross .


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