Cranmere Pool. A discussion about its history and conservation.
Cranmere Pool may be just a small depression in the blanket peat on the wetern slopes of Hangingstone Hill, but it is currently the subject of discussion about its conservation and restoration. How might it have been formed and what has been its function throughout time.
Cranmere Pool lies near the source of the River Okement and is now within the Okehampton Artillary Range. It has been immortalised in legends, film and in fiction. William Crossing states in his Guide to Dartmoor that James Perrott of Chagford built a cairn in the pool in 1854 and that this was the first Dartmoor ‘Letterbox’. Eric Hemery writes about it in his book High Dartmoor and there are references to it on Tim Sandles Legendary Dartmoor website
Has the pool always been filled with water or was it always a seasonal, only filled after heavy rainfall? What are the plans for this pool within the context of the current peatland restoration project on Dartmoor. Martin Gillard, Historic Environment Officer for the SWPP has kindly agreed to come and talk to us. All are welcome.
Cranmere Pool today. Photo: Bill Murray Summer 2023