Situated at the heart of Dartmoor National Park on the East Dart River the present-day settlement of Postbridge dates back to the late 18th century when the Turnpike Act of 1772 resulted in the construction of a new road across the moor from Moretonhampstead to Tavistock.
Spanning the river, just downstream from the road bridge, is one of the best examples of the many medieval clapper bridges that survive on Dartmoor; with its three large granite slabs (clappers) supported by two stone piers, this remarkable bridge was probably the first dry means of crossing this part of the river.
Adjacent to the settlement, the land around Bellever Tor was first planted with conifers between 1932 and 1943, leaving the tor and a strip of moorland in the middle free. Within this strip and in clearings within the plantation, a variety of prehistoric sites can be found: remains of stone-built round houses (hut circles), enclosures and field banks; and ritual monuments such as stone rows and burials.
Located in a sheltered valley on the main road across the moor, Postbridge, with a Dartmoor National Park Authority Information Centre and large car park, provides easy access for walkers to the high open moorland to the north and to the nearby sheltered conifer plantations.
As part of this tour you can accompany the walker to the remains of a 19th century gunpowder factory known as Powdermills. In operation between 1844 and 1897 gunpowder was produced here in a series of widely dispersed buildings and was used in the local mines and quarries.
Within this virtual tour there is also a section which explores some of the Dartmoor myths and legends that have their origins in this area of the moor.
Presentation created - December 2006
Some of the archive images within this virtual tour have been taken, with kind permission,
from the Dartmoor Archive: www.projects.ex.ac.uk/