This picturesque village with a population of less than a hundred, lies in a secluded valley under Buckland Beacon, just a few miles north-west of Ashburton.

A drive through the narrow lanes will bring you to a cluster of thatched cottages and an unusual church.

St Peter’s is a simple 12th c church probably built over an earlier Saxon one and still retains some Norman features, but what makes it unusual is the clock which was only installed in 1930.

Commissioned by the owner of the Buckland Estate, William Whitley, the clock was dedicated to his mother, Elizabeth, who had died the previous year.’, but instead of using numerals he replaced them with letters that spell “My Dear Mother”. If you take a closer look at my picture of the clock you’ll see that it was almost A past E when I was here.

St Peter's Church

I mentioned that the village was sheltered under Buckland Beacon, and a short drive from the village and then a shortish walk will bring you up to the beacon.

The best way to get there is to turn back along the lane from which you came and take the first left turn, signposted to Haytor and Widecombe. Follow this road up to the car park at Cold East Cross and park up. Cross the road back to the signpost and walk across the open land staying on the same side of the road as the signpost. You’ll soon come across a path which will eventually lead you to the Beacon.

You will be rewarded with some expansive views on the walk towards the beacon and more when you get there, but not only that you’ll also come across some granite stone tablets that have the Ten Commandments chiseled out of them – and it may not surprise you that William Whitley was the man who was responsible for commissioning this to be done as well.

Even if your beliefs don’t stretch as far as William Whitley’s, Buckland-in-the-Moor is well worth seeking out, especially as it’s not too far from the A38 trunk road – not too far as the crow flies – but a world away at the same time.

Rippon Tor from Buckland Beacon
Rippon Tor from Buckland Beacon
The Ten Commandments Stone
The Ten Commandments Stone

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