Page:A Book of Dartmoor.djvu/49

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23
VENVILLE PARISHES

Sheeps Tor, Walkhampton, Sampford Spiney, Whitchurch, Peter Tavy, Lydford, Bridestowe, Sourton. There are others, standing like the angel of the Apocalypse, with one foot on the moorland, the other steeped in the green waves of foliage of the lowlands; such are South Tawton, Cornwood, and Tavistock. Others, again, as Lustleigh, Bridford, Moreton, Buckland-in-the-Moor, Ilsington, and Ugborough, must surely have been moorland settlements at one time, and Okehampton itself is as distinctly a moor town as is Moreton, which tells its own tale in its name. But all these have their warm envelope of arable land, groves and woods, farms and hamlets. Such have their commons, over which every householder has a right to send cattle, to take turf and stone, and, alas! with the connivance of the other householders, to inclose. This inclosing has been going on at a great rate in some of the parishes. For instance, common rights are exercised by the householders of South Zeal over an immense tract of land on the north side of Cosdon. Of late years they have put their heads together and decided, as they are few in number, to appropriate it to themselves as private property, and inclosures have proceeded at a rapid rate.

In Bridestowe there is a tract of open land on which the poor cotters have, from time immemorial, kept their cows. But they are tenants, and not householders, and have consequently no rights. The seven or eight owners have combined to inclose and sell or let for building purposes all that tract of moor, and the cotters have lost their privilege of keeping cows.